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02.14 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

POLICY COMMITTEE

 

RESCHEDULED MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2011, 4:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 421

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

*NOTE:  The Monday, February 14, 2011, 5:00 p.m. meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee was RESCHEDULED to February 14, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-Chair), Rahul Prakash

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Policy Committee meeting convened at 4:07 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Prakash.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes of the January 10, 2011 Policy Committee Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document: January 10, 2011 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Prakash, second by Commissioner Gravanis, the January 10, 2011 Draft Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Prakash)

 

3.   Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

Items 7 -8 were heard before Item 4.

 

4.   Draft Strategic Plans Presentation and Commissioner Feedback on Department Program Areas.  Sponsor: Director Melanie Nutter and Commissioner Johanna Wald (Explanatory Documents: Draft Strategic Plans) (Informational Presentations and Discussion)

 

·         Public Outreach and School Education. Speakers: Mark Westlund, Public Outreach Manager and Tamar Hurwitz, School Education Manager

 

Mr. Westlund presented the Public Outreach Draft Strategic Plan for 2011-13.  He discussed what the Public Outreach program does, program history, impact opportunities, goals, objectives, and actions (see Public Outreach Draft Strategic Plan).    

 

Commissioner Gravanis inquired if the outreach message would reach people who do not have the latest technologies available to them.  Mr. Westlund confirmed that would be the case and messages would also be targeted to diverse cultures in various languages. Commissioner Prakash inquired about the social media tools that would be used to relay the outreach message and guide people on where and how to access information.  Mr. Westlund reported that the Department is working on (1) redoing its website to make it more interactive and adding a blogging component; (2) continuing its messages on Twitter and Facebook, and (3) an IPhone and Smart Phone EcoFinder application with Bay Area counties to create a regional searchable database to make Eco Finder a more usable tool that cities can import into their own websites and populate their own data.  Director Nutter reported that UserVoice technology is also being researched. 

 

Commissioner Wald suggested incorporating metrics for each goal into the plan in order to measure success of programs. Mr. Westlund and Director Nutter reported that metrics are being tracked on a monthly basis and would be added to the final plan. Commissioners commended Mr. Westlund and the Outreach team on their ambitious and comprehensive plan.

 

Ms. Hurwitz presented on the Environmental School Education Draft Strategic Plan for 2011-13.  She discussed what the Education program does, program history, impact opportunities, goals, objectives and actions (see Education Strategic Plan Draft). 

 

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that K-12 educational materials be made adaptable to adults once resources become available. She commended the inclusion of biodiversity in the program.  Ms. Hurwitz stated that adult outreach is the focus of the Public Outreach team, but would be happy to work on adapting the material to an adult population.  She stated that some of the factsheets are written at a level that can be applicable to an adult audience and are being used in that way.

 

Commissioner Prakash inquired if there is an incentive for students to get involved with Food to Flowers and how it is marketed on campuses.  He suggested holding inter-school competitions to motivate students.  Ms. Hurwitz stated that current strategies are working effectively to bring the recycling and composting message to life, e.g., poster competitions, partnership with Alliance for Climate Change, Phoebe the Phoenix mascot, school assemblies, and slideshows.  A cost-benefit analysis would have to be worked on before considering inter-school competitions.    

 

Commissioners acknowledged Ms. Hurwitz and the Environmental Education team for bringing this program to another level and for their good work.  She asked if the fifty-percent diversion goal is good enough for the schools.  Ms. Hurwitz reported that the fifty-percent figure is a benchmark and is the lowest diversion rate aimed for, but that a lot of schools reach a higher level.  Commissioner Wald suggested adding information about specific behavioral change goals that would help measure success at the end of the year. She asked if the number of field trips is limited by funding.  Ms. Hurwitz reported that the number of field trips is a target number that has been in place since the beginning of the program. There are budgetary allowances to pay for buses so the number fluctuates each year.  It also becomes more expensive to administer the program with more teachers in attendance.  Commissioner Wald suggested that there be a teacher award program in addition to a school awards ceremony.  Ms. Hurwitz stated that would be a good idea that would be considered.  

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Nick Kline inquired about the use of guerilla tactics in advertising.  Mr. Westlund stated that guerilla advertising includes posting advertising and outreach messages in public spaces or at public events.  Commissioner Prakash explained that it is a bombardment of messages in order to get the message across.   

 

·         Clean Transportation. Speaker: Bob Hayden, Manager, Transportation Programs. 

 

Mr. Hayden discussed the evolvement of the Clean Air program into the Clean Transportation program.  He introduced Ms. Mari Hunter, Ms. Adeline Canez and Ms. Krute Singa who work on Transportation Demand Management programs.  Mr. Hayden presented on the Clean Transportation Program’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2011-13.  He discussed the challenge and vision, policy framework, Department’s role that characterizes the implementation of the programs, and goals, objectives and actions (see Clean Transportation Program Draft Strategic Plan).

 

Commissioner Prakash inquired about the Department’s relationships with companies such as CarShare, ZipCar, etc.  Mr. Hayden reported that the City is supportive of car-share programs and helped establish City CarShare as a nonprofit organization.  There has been discussion with car-share companies on ways to integrate plug-in vehicles into their fleets and be involved in the electric vehicle infrastructure once it is set up. One of the challenges to electric vehicle ownership is that condo and apartment house residents or people who do not have a garage do not have a place to plug in an electric vehicle.  One answer is to encourage and increase car share pods in areas where there is a high concentration of those housing units and incorporate plug-in vehicles into car-share fleets.

 

Commissioner Prakash inquired about the Department’s marketing and outreach approach to consumers and stakeholders on the financial benefits of car-share programs.  Mr. Hayden stated that is an area that the Department could move into, but is not equipped to do so at this time.  The most aggressive outreach at this time is centered on Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs. It is possible that the Clean Cities Coalition can help leverage the message in the future.  Commissioner Prakash inquired about the number of electric vehicle plug-in stations located in San Francisco.  Mr. Hayden stated that there are less than a dozen charge stations in place that are geared toward new technologies, but installation of new stations in public garages and City-owned properties is in progress.  Commercial establishments that have retail parking lots are starting to install stations as well.

 

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that the Strategic Plan include a goal to reduce car ownership by utilizing car share programs.   Mr. Hayden stated that people are far less inclined to purchase a vehicle if they know that a car share program is available.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that the plan should also acknowledge the carbon footprint in the manufacturing and delivery of cars as well as the materials and energy required to produce them.  She stated that there are other environmental issues involved in reducing car ownership in addition to clean air and green house gas reductions. 

 

Commissioner Wald suggested including metrics into the Strategic Plan.  Example: expanding emergency ride programs.  How many businesses are currently enrolled in the program and what a reasonable goal for the coming year should be?  Include a definition of what expand means in order to have a sense of what it is we are trying to achieve.  Another example would be to measure progress from days that people are not supposed to get in their car, e.g. Walk SF, Sunday Streets.

Mr. Hayden stated that some metrics are achievable now and others can be developed.

 

Commissioner Wald suggested including goals in connection with the America’s Cup so that there is alternative transportation available to the event in place of single-passenger vehicles, e.g. setting up buses, trains, and car pools to transport people to the event and parking lots/garages outside of the city.  Then measure the progress in order to give people a sense that it can be done.   Mr. Hayden stated that these types of recommendations have been made to the America’s Cup Planning Committee, e.g., bike pods, car share.  Director Nutter reported that proposals, timelines and budgets are currently being submitted to the Event Committee so that they can review their priorities and determine what can be funded.  

 

Commissioner Prakash inquired about the level of communication between departments in order to make substantive changes to city infrastructure so that environmental objectives can be achieved. Director Nutter reported that there has been some coordination and more needs to be done.  The Municipal Transportation Authority has innovative project plans and visions on how to inspire people to use alternate methods of transportation and get people out of their cars.  She reported on her meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Vienna and the Deputy Director of the Municipal Transportation Authority on this topic.  A department director meeting is planned to discuss department coordination at the program level.  Commissioner Wald discussed the concept of linking departments and programs for this purpose.

 

Public Comment 

 

Ms. Lurilla Harris stated that there is a large population of handicapped people in San Francisco and inquired whether consideration has been given to making accessible vehicles available so that they can continue driving rather than be victims of paratransit.  She expressed her concern with the level of service provided by vans that are contracted out by MUNI. 

 

Ms. Miriam Gordon inquired why there is a shortage of MUNI passes for people with commuter checks.  Ms. Canez responded that in April, the Muni fast pass is only going to be available on the Clipper Card and so the physical paper passes will not be available. Now what you can do is take your commuter check and a Clipper Card and go to a retail vendor (Walgreens) to add the pass electronically onto your card. For more information on retail vendors you can go to clippercard.com. SFMTA is the agency responsible for the passes and the Muni transit service so any direct questions about passes and availability should be directed to them.  Ms. Singa added that since the passes are electronic now, there will not be a shortage.  Ms. Harris stated that there should be more publicity on where you can add money to the Clipper Card. 

 

·         Department Wide Priorities & Initiatives.  Speaker: Melanie Nutter, Director.  Department Wide Priorities and Initiatives was continued to the March 14, 2011 Policy Committee meeting.

 

5.   Update on the Treasure Island Draft Sustainability Plan. (Discussion) (Explanatory Documents: Executive Summary to the Policy Committee, Link to the current draft Sustainability Plan http://sftreasureisland.org/index.aspx?page=254; Citizens Advisory Board Staff Report; List of TICD Obligations; Green Building Specs for LEED ND, Presentation) Sponsor:  Director Melanie Nutter; Speakers: Michael Tymoff Deputy Director, Treasure Island Redevelopment Project, Mayors Office of Economic and Workforce Development (MOWED), Jean Rodgers Principal ARUP, Kheay Loke, Project Manager TICD

 

Mr. Michael Tymoff introduced himself and the project team consisting of Ms. Jean Rogers, Principal ARUP, Mr. Kheay Loke, Project Manager, TICD; Mr. Jack Robertson and Mr. Stephen Proud of Lennar.  Mr. Tymoff provided an informational presentation on the Draft Sustainability Plan for the Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Redevelopment Project (see Executive Summary to the Policy Committee).  He stated that the Sustainability Plan, as updated from the 2006 Plan, is a policy document that would be adopted by Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) at the time of final project approvals and would be a flexible plan that would allow for updates throughout the course of the project.  He discussed changes from the 2006 plan to the current reiteration of the Plan.

 

Mr. Kheay Loke reported on all positive aspects of the 2006 and recent reiteration of the plan that is in accordance with the Department of the Environment’s program goals.  It takes into account an environmentally sustainable approach toward climate change, transportation, walk-ability, energy efficiency/renewable energy, site design and land, water, waste, community, green building and neighborhood design standards and many other sustainable practices. 

 

Ms. Jean Rogers presented on the 2011 Sustainability Plan discussing the comprehensive vision for sustainability, what’s changed in the world from 2006-11, and what’s changed in the Plan to include changes in local and state regulations, advances in green technology (rising energy standards and new incentives and developments for green technology), and evolution of the project.  A presentation was given on the Sustainability Plan on topics of community, transportation, integrated sustainable design (energy, water and waste), climate change and resilience, and economic viability.    Each chapter of the Sustainability Plan includes objectives, strategies, targets and benefits for each focus area (see Sustainability at-a-Glance slide). Ms. Rogers stated that TICD would be codifying environmental sustainability obligations in their Design for Development Agreement in the areas of land use, transportation and infrastructure, energy and water, and community benefits.  Presentation topics are outlined in the presentation explanatory document.

 

Commissioner Gravanis provided the following suggestions to the Sustainability Plan:

 

·         Habitat Management Plan and Biodiversity.  (1) To the biodiversity reference in the plan, add at least a paragraph that addresses that one of the elements of sustainability is the natural world and the non-human species, and that implementation of the biological diversity goal would include the protection and restoration of natural occurring habitat on Yerba Buena Island; (2) add other aspects of biodiversity such as bird-safe facades and Integrated Pest Management in the context of non-human species; (3) specify what components of habitat management will be protected; and (4) the last Draft Habitat Management Plan only dealt with terrestrial habitats.  Include other aspects of biological resources such as, aquatic and inter-tidal habitats, and eel-grass beds.

·         Behavior Change.  Add a discussion of future tenant behavior, management of pets, individuals’ night lighting, and not feeding wildlife. 

·         Parking ratios.  Provide education to reduce parking and car ownership. The fewer cars there are, the cheaper the housing is, because there would be less need to build parking accommodations, and there would be more real estate available for public benefits as well as other revenue-generating activities. 

·         Ground Mounted Solar Panels.  Solar panels should not use up open space; they should go on every roof and wall as much as possible. 

·         Driving.  Add under TICD sustainability obligations under land use, to lessen or eliminate the need for driving.

·         Urban Agricultural Park.  How much of that park will be used for community gardens for individuals to use? Provide a lot of space for people to do their own gardening as opposed to only revenue producing and or educational facilities.

·         Remediation work. There is discussion about how developers will continue to clean up beyond what the Navy will do. Will institutional controls be avoided that have been talked about in the past?  Make sure that community gardens are going to be clean enough so people can grow produce.  More information is required on the cleanup.

·         Term usage.  Use the term climate appropriate, not drought-tolerant plantings. 

·         CEQA Requirements.  Protection of sensitive species is all that CEQA requires, but more should be done to not only protect sensitive species, but entire habitats. 

·         Car sharing.  Add promotion of mandatory car-sharing in larger residential and commercial projects.

·         Transit Pass.  Change wording to state that a transit pass will be included in the Home Owners Association fee.

·         Rental Housing.  Provide for the needs of San Franciscans of all income levels who want to rent instead of buy.

 

Commissioner Wald expressed her concern that decisions are going to have to be made about what strategies are to be employed, and she is unclear as to when those decisions will be made and how and when they will be communicated so it is known what they are, and a determination can be made as to whether they have been done or not.


Mr. Tymoff offered to share the scheduled performance that is attached to the Design for Development Agreement (DDA) and the phasing diagram. He explained that the agreement that the City and TIDA have with TICD is that they prepare all of the infrastructure and the land for development, and in exchange they have the right to sell that land to home builders for development. A major phase application will be submitted to TIDA and City agencies to review the infrastructure.  When they are ready to construct, they will submit a greater level of detail of design drawings for a sub-phase, which is typically about a block, that will include the adjacent parks and open space and all the public right of ways that will have to be provided, outside completion dates for all of those parks and open space, and the ancillary public benefits.  Included with that is a contribution or subsidy for affordable housing that would be paid to TIDA.  There is a clear mechanism by which the community facilities, subsidies for affordable housing, parks and open space, maintenance, transportation operating subsidy payments have to be made by the developer to TIDA.  If they do not make those and fail to deliver their other obligations, they would be in default of the DDA. 

 

Commissioner Wald stated that those are the specific terms in this Plan that had been put in a legally binding document.  She stated that she does not understand the relationship between the legally binding document and the Sustainability Plan.  Mr. Tymoff stated that there a number of components of the plan that were analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the ground mounted solar for example, so that when it is known who the power provider will be and when certain third parties would come to the table, there would be flexibility to implement that project.  When that happens will be based on when it makes sense in terms of the build-out of the project, and it is known how many residents are there and what the rate base is.   

 

Mr. Tymoff stated that with respect to the wastewater treatment plant, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will construct and operate that plant, so they will make determinations on how the sludge will be used.  Three different wetland scenarios have been covered in the EIR for treatment of wastewater and wetland pond applications.  The PUC would determine the appropriate technologies for that.  Other components such as a district and heating cooling plant will be provided by a third party.  There will have to be technical and economic feasibility analyses done to understand the appropriate technology for mixed uses, and when it will be possible to amortize costs based on the rate structure and the size of the resident base.  Somebody will not come in and build the district heating and cooling plant day one, there will be a critical trigger that TIDA will make decisions on. Mr. Tymoff stated that he would be happy to provide status reports back to the Department of the Environment at that time. There will be work with MTA, PUC, and various service providers to make these decisions in the future. 

 

Commissioner Wald stated it would be useful to have some kind of document such as a matrix that shows who makes these decisions and when and how they will be made.  Some decisions will be made by the PUC, others by TIDA, and the document and the plan would constrain the choices. 

 

Director Nutter inquired about the timeline and when decisions would be made, specifically for the automated waste management system and district heating and cooling.  She suggested that the Department and Commission prioritize what some of those projects are in order to be able to engage at that point. For these particular projects because of their implications of uses throughout the city in other venues, the Department of the Environment would want to be a partner to help think through whether it would work for Treasure Island and offer their expertise on the pros and cons and how to leverage the projects throughout the city.  It would be a way for the Department of the Environment to provide priority documents at the point projects are initiated.

 

Director Nutter suggested adding to the Plan (1) that there would be compliance with the Construction and Demolition Ordinance that the City passed because there will be so much construction and demolition as a part of this project; and (2) a discussion about the Commercial Green Building Ordinance that recently passed the Board last week that will mandate that all commercial buildings in San Francisco 10,000 square feet or over are required to do energy benchmarking and share that information through Energy Star and a web tool that we will have locally, as well as have an energy audit within the next three years. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Harris stated that the reference in the transportation slide that states there will be a 15-minute walking radius to a transit hub only applies to people who are not handicapped.  She asked whether an accommodation would be made for the handicapped.  Mr. Tymoff stated that there will be a free island shuttle that will stop in all the neighborhoods, two on Treasure Island, and two on Yerba Buena Island.  He stated that Treasure Island has a flat landscape.

 

Commissioner Gravanis inquired as to when comments would need to be incorporated into the Plan.  Mr. Tymoff stated that comments should be provided by March 1.  All the final documents are scheduled to be submitted for recommendation to the Citizens Advisory Board on March 29 and the TIDA Board on April 7.  He reported that Department of the Environment staff comments have been received.

 

6.   Director’s Report and Updates.  Speaker: Melanie Nutter, Director (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Director Nutter reported that (1) the landfill agreement was at the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee last week and was continued for two months; (2) No action was taken at a hearing today at the Board of Supervisors on the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Recycling Center (HANC); and (3) a press conference was held on the implementation of Global Tap at the San Francisco Airport.

 

7.   Announcements. (Discussion)  There were no announcements made at this time.

 

8.   New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Commissioner Wald on the recommendation of Commissioner Prakash requested a presentation at the March 14 meeting on new legislation proposed by the Board of Supervisors President David Chiu on Yellow Pages distribution and handbills.  The project sponsor, representatives from the business community and Department staff would be invited to present on this proposal.  Department staff would be asked to discuss energy and material savings.  Mr. Westlund, Program Outreach Manager, reported that this issue is currently at the Board of Supervisors under the 30-day rule. Additional agenda items suggested for the March 14 meeting include (1) an update on the Heron’s Head Eco Center; (2) staff report or written summary on Global Tap and eliminating single-serve water bottles at City events; (3) Department-wide Priorities and Initiatives Draft Strategic Plan; (4) San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority Climate Action Strategy report; and (5) America’s Cup.  

 

9.   Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

10.  Adjournment.  The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 6:27 p.m.

 

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary, Telephone (415) 355-3709; Fax (415) 554-6393

 

The next Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. in Room 421, City Hall.

 

Approved:  April 18, 2011

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