02.26 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco

DEpartment of the ENvironment

URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 5:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 416   

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102

 


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting was called to order at 5:34 p.m.  Present:  Chair Milne; Vice-Chair Quirke, Members Blair, Boss, Cohen, Habert, Hillan, Miller (5:45), Rodgers (5:46), Sherk (5:43) and Short. Excused:  Members Griswold, Marks, Nervo, and Sustarich.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the December 14, 2007 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Member Cohen and second by Member Hillan, the December 14, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Chair Milne, Vice-Chair Quirke, Members Blair, Boss, Cohen, Habert, Hillan, and Short; Absent:  Members Griswold, Marks, Miller, Nervo, Rodgers, Sherk and Sustarich) (Explanatory Document: Approved Minutes of the December 14, 2007 Regular Meeting).

 

3.      Urban Forestry Council Bylaws Amendment. Draft Resolution File 2008-01-UFC to amend the Bylaws to change the Planning and Funding Committee’s meeting time and location (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Documents: Draft Resolution and Notice of Proposed Bylaws Amendment). 

 

Upon Motion by Member Short and second by Member Blair, Resolution File 2008-01-UFC to amend the Council Bylaws to change the meeting location of the Planning and Funding Committee meetings to Room 421, City Hall and time of meetings to 4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. was approved without objection (AYES:  Chair Milne, Vice-Chair Quirke, Members Blair, Boss, Cohen, Habert, Hillan, and Short; Absent:  Members Griswold, Marks, Miller, Nervo, Rodgers, Sherk and Sustarich) (Explanatory documents: Approved Resolution 001-08-UFC Bylaws Amendment and Bylaws Adopted on February 26, 2008).

 

4.      Outreach Plan for Landmarking of Trees. Approval of Outreach Letter to Members of the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Landmark Preservation Advisory Board, and Directors of any City Agency or Department (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document:  Outreach Letter).

 

Upon Motion by Member Blair and second by Member Cohen, the Outreach Letter was approved with amendments without objection (AYES:  Chair Milne, Vice-Chair Quirke, Members Blair, Boss, Cohen, Habert, Hillan, Miller, Rodgers, Sherk, and Short; Absent:  Members Griswold, Marks, Nervo, and Sustarich).  (Explanatory Document:  Approved letter)

 

5.      Amendments to Section 810 of the San Francisco Public Works Code. Ordinance amending Section 810 of the San Francisco Public Works Code to make clarifying changes, establish hearing notice provisions, and extend the term of temporary designation of nominated landmark trees; and making environmental findings—Introduced at the Board of Supervisors December 11, 2007 Meeting. (Discussion and Possible Action) (Explanatory Document:  Ordinance File No. 071672)

SPONSOR/SPEAKER:  Chair Terry Milne

 

Chair Milne and Member Cohen discussed the Urban Forestry Council’s Resolution that (1) supported Supervisor McGoldrick’s proposed amendments to Section 810 and (2) recommended an additional amendment (Explanatory Document: Amendments).  Chair Milne discussed the Council’s concern about the original legislation that had since been revised to change the landmark tree notification requirements from a 300-foot radius to adjacent property owners and to provide for additional days for temporary landmark tree protection from 180 to 215 days.  Chair Milne indicated that (1) as soon as information is provided as to when the legislation would be heard before a Board of Supervisors Committee, he would make sure that a Council Member would be present at the meeting and (2) would notify the Landmark Tree Committee members of amendments. 

  

6.      Urban Forestry Council Work Plan for 2008. Review Planning and Funding Committee’s 2008 Work Plan recommendations (Discussion and Possible Action). (Explanatory Documents: December 20, 2007 Planning and Funding Committee Meeting Minutes Discussion; Background Documents: Urban Forestry Council’s Suggestions for the Work Plan from the September 28, 2007 Meeting Minutes—Item 4, and Planning and Funding Committees’ Priority Action Steps Discussions)

 

Chair Short reported that the Planning and Funding Committee prepared 2008 Work Plan recommendations for the Council to consider (see explanatory documents above). Member Short recommended deleting the work plan item on recommending to the Board of Supervisors that fines be imposed when trees are damaged as a result of major renovations and capital improvement projects, as the Planning Department will be handling enforcement.

 

Member Cohen expressed her concern for people that wreck their trees during construction or for other reasons and then request to have them removed. Member Short reported that fines would be issued for damaged trees that are in the public right-of-way and a larger replacement tree may be required.  Removal is not always granted even if the tree is severely damaged. Member Short indicated that it usually costs the property owner or developer a fair amount if they damage a tree.  It was reported that the tree disclosure statements should be provided before construction, and contractors may not get final permit signoffs on their projects if trees are damaged.  Member Short discussed the importance of having inspectors at the site to assess work that is being done.  Member Blair recommended that contractors provide a deposit to ensure protection of trees, and if a tree is damaged, an additional fine should be imposed. Member Boss recommended that the Board of Supervisors consider legislation to enforce significant fines.

 

Vice-Chair Quirke reported that Friends of the Urban Forest has a volunteer who is creating a matrix of all urban forestry activities with a list of responsible agencies and contacts. Member Habert recommended that the permeable landscaping and public open-space gardens pilot projects be added as part of the work plan.  Member Blair requested that the Urban Forestry Council’s Recreation and Park Department representative present issues that the Council may want to consider before they are implemented and passed by the Board of Supervisors; e.g., the artificial-turf installations on public playgrounds that would require removal of trees.

 

The Council decided that the Planning and Funding Committee would work on creating a prioritized Work Plan for 2008 list that would be reviewed for accomplishments and status updates on a quarterly basis from the attached list).

 

7.      Permeable Landscaping and Public Open-Space Gardens.  Resolution recommending that the Urban Forestry Council in conjunction with other city agencies and community groups or individuals design and install three permeable landscaping and public open-space gardens located on public rights-of-way that incorporate Landmark and/or “significant” trees in 2008.  (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Documents:  Draft Resolution and Design and Implementation Tasks)

SPONSOR/SPEAKER:  Urban Forestry Council Member Jocelyn Cohen

 

Member Cohen reported that the Planning and Funding Committee had considered the Draft Resolution at their January meeting and recommended support.  Member Cohen stated that she is working on a book promoting the notion of sidewalk pocket park gardens and is emphasizing that the gardens are there to protect and preserve landmark and significant street trees.  It was requested that the Council endorse the Resolution in order to gather support for the project and that the Council create a process to designate a few potential sites and carry it forth towards implementation so that it could become the model for sidewalk pocket park gardens.  Member Blair recommended that a presentation be made before the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods or other organizations in order to gather support. 

 

Chair Milne asked whether there are volunteer groups that might be interested in co-sponsoring pilot projects along with the Council.  Member Cohen (1) suggested that the Council collaborate with a large group of organizations, City agencies, and non-profits, and (2) indicated that she is collaborating with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers who may be interested in doing prototype designs and also has connections with nurseries that would be interested in donating under-story plants.  Member Miller suggested that different entities (private business, City agency, or landscape contractors) could be stakeholders that would like to have their name associated with a project in order to promote their business. 

 

Chair Milne asked if ideas for implementation had been established. Member Cohen stated that she had created a design and implementation task list, and suggested that the Council recommend potential sites.  It was suggested that possible sites could be in front of the Bernal Heights Library with the two trees that have just been landmarked, the landmark trees on Bush and Octavia, or a site in Alamo Square.  Member Boss suggested that if the ash trees on Cortland were to be selected, the Cortland Merchants Association may take on the maintenance for a period of time. 

 

Member Boss stated that it was important to identify a budget that would identify donations, costs, and funding sources for material purchases, equipment, and dump fees, etc.  Member Short indicated that funding may not be an issue if partnerships were formed that could provide pro bono or in-kind donations, but stated that implementation has to be accomplished in conjunction with a neighborhood group, non-profit, or somebody that will be an implementing agent with support from others.  Member Short suggested that the design and implementation task list include a provision for the responsible party for long-term maintenance and how it would be organized.  It was stated that the Department of Public Works could not take on anymore maintenance tasks.  Chair Milne and Member Blair suggested that libraries, schools, and religious organizations could be involved in maintaining the sites as part of a project.  Chair Milne suggested adding a maintenance plan that would include responsibilities to the design and implementation tasks.  Member Short discussed the permit approval process and guidelines that would account for maintenance. 

 

Vice-Chair Quirke recommended that as a first step, Member Cohen should prepare a draft proposal that would include all of the components discussed; e.g., budget, identify groups, type of media outreach, requested donation amounts.  Member Cohen stated that she could add the draft proposal as part of the design and implementation tasks that would have to initially happen.  Vice-Chair Quirke indicated that Friends of the Urban Forest may want to be involved and suggested recruiting the Urban Forestry Coordinator who had piloted similar projects for additional assistance. Member Sherk suggested two potential sites that are part of ongoing programs with the Living Library and could involve that organization for ongoing maintenance.  Member Hillan requested sketches and drawings of specific locations in order to visualize how the projects would look like initially and over time.  Member Cohen indicated that her book on pocket parks includes sketches of three design models. 

 

Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Quirke and second by Member Rodgers, Resolution 002-08-UFC recommending support and creation for three pilot permeable landscaping projects involving landmark and/or significant trees was approved without objection (AYES:  Chair Milne, Vice-Chair Quirke, Members Blair, Boss, Cohen, Habert, Hillan, Miller, Rodgers, Sherk, and Short; Absent:  Members Griswold, Marks, Nervo, and Sustarich) (Explanatory Document: Resolution 002-08-UFC)

 

8.      Role of the Urban Forestry Council’s Environmental Assistant.  The Council will discuss the Planning and Funding Committee’s recommendations for the role of the Environmental Assistant and make recommendations to the Department of the Environment (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document:  Planning and Funding Committee’s January 17, 2008 Meeting Recommendations from the Draft Minutes, Item 5). 

 

Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Quirke and second by Member Rodgers, Planning and Funding Committee Chair/Council Member Short was directed to write a letter to the Department of the Environment’s Director, Deputy Director, and Environmental Justice Program Manager relaying the Council’s recommendations 1 – 7 for the role of the Environmental Assistant.  The following recommendations were approved by Council Members:

 

1.       Hold regular meetings with Supervisor’s Aides and the Mayors Office of Greening to keep them apprised of Council activities--information should be relevant to the Supervisor’s District.

 

2.        Make sure that the Council receives neighborhood plans and regular presentations from the Planning Department and other City agencies as well as staying current on all activities so the Council has an opportunity to provide feedback.

 

3.        Schedule a discussion with the Council on how regular work requests should be handled—either through the Chair or a form reviewed by the Chair.  Schedule a regular meeting between the Chair and Assistant on work requests after the monthly Council meeting.

 

4.     Raise awareness about the need for maintenance of trees, both those that are being planted and those that exist.

 

5.     Recommend that the Board nominate a certain number of trees for landmark status.

 

6.     Provide recommendations to the Board that anyone that works on a tree under City jurisdiction hold certification. This activity would be worked on at the Committee level with support from the Assistant.

 

7.     Create a City Pine pitch canker policy.

 

Member Short stated in addition, that whatever work plan the Council adopts would have an impact on the Assistant’s work plan. Coordinator Hui agreed that the work plan recommendations would be feasible but indicated that there was concern for holding a monthly meeting if the Council did not have action items that month or if the meeting was cancelled.  Chair Milne indicated that the recommendation would be for regular meetings that may not always be held every month if there were no actions or discussions to report.

 

9.      Review and Approval of the Street Tree List recommended by the Planning and Funding Committee and previously adopted by the Urban Forestry Council in 2006 (Discussion and Possible Action) (Explanatory Documents:  Draft Resolution File No. 2008-03-UFC adopting the Recommended Street Tree List for 2008 and 2006 Street Tree List).

 

Upon Motion by Member Cohen and second by Member Habert, the 2006 Recommended Street Tree List was readopted for Calendar Year 2008 with the provision that the Council could make amendments through an agenda item (AYES:  Chair Milne, Vice-Chair Quirke, Members Blair, Boss, Cohen, Habert, Hillan, Miller, Rodgers, Sherk, and Short; Absent:  Members Griswold, Marks, Nervo, and Sustarich).  (Explanatory Documents:  Approved Resolution 003-08-UFC and Approved Recommended Street Tree List for 2008).

 

10.  Staff Report.  Staff will provide updates on Urban Forestry Council administrative and programmatic operations relating to research, planning, funding, outreach, and other related activities. (Informational Report and Discussion).

 

Coordinator Hui reported on the following activities:

 

·        Budget: the budgeting process for the Department of the Environment and the City is in progress, and the urban forest budget has been submitted.  Responses have been received from all departments that work orders had been requested from. 

 

·        Calendar of Urban Forest Activities: The calendar for all urban forestry related activities in the City has been incorporated into a Department of the Environment calendar that can be accessed by doing a “Google” search for “SF Environment.”  Ms. Hui indicated that she would email the calendar address to all Council members.

 

·        Landmark Trees: The four trees that were recently approved by the Council and are highlighted in the New Bernal Journal newspaper will be heard on Thursday, February 28 at the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting starting at 1:00 p.m.  Coordinator Hui would be presenting a report on the Council’s findings and Chair Milne would be attending.

 

·        Outreach Event:  On Thursday, February 28, there will be an outreach event for landmark trees at the Mary Ellen Pleasant trees starting at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Bush and Octavia, 1801 Bush or 1661 Octavia.  Supervisors Mirkarimi, Maxwell, Chair Milne, and the Greening Director would be speaking at the event.

 

·        Urban Forest Master Plan:  Interviews have been completed with four firms that applied as project leads, and a selection will be made in the near future. It may be a couple of months before the contracts are finalized.

 

·        Pruning Guide:  Revisions are being made, but will not be ready on time for Arbor Day. Member Cohen recommended that the brochures be published in different languages.  Coordinator Hui reported that she has had discussions about publishing the brochures in Spanish and Chinese, but it is a budgeting issue at this time.

 

·        Arbor Day: The Department of the Environment’s web page will have information on Arbor Day events.  On March 5th, there will be a ceremonial tree planting on Webster and Grove with the Department of Public Works; on March 6th, a planting workshop and demonstration at the Bill Graham Auditorium; on March 8th, actual Arbor Day, there will be an environmental fair, barbecue, cherry picker, and bucket rides at the African American Cultural Center.  There will also be tree planting, clean up work, concrete work, and work being performed at a few schools.  Friends of the Urban Forest will be working at Willie Brown Academy again this year.  Member Short reported that the ceremonial tree planting on March 5th would be dedicated to Ruth Osawa.  

 

11.  Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee, Chair, Carla Short

The next meeting is scheduled for March 20, 2008 at 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421.

 

Planning and Funding Committee Chair Short stated that the Committee has been working on many of the items discussed at the Council’s meeting and would be prioritizing the Work Plan items at a future meeting.  It was stated that at the February meeting, a discussion was held on review of the Bylaws and it was decided that a quarterly review/status updates of tasks and responsibilities would be scheduled.

Landmark Tree Committee, Chair, Mike Boss

The next meeting is scheduled for March 11, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421.

 

Landmark Tree Committee Chair Boss stated that the Landmark Tree Committee had worked on the outreach letter that the Council approved today.  It was stated that there have not been any new trees to consider for landmark status, and the Committee has not met in the past two months.

 

12.  Chair’s Announcements: Terry Milne, Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion).

 

Chair Milne requested that all Council members attend the landmark tree event on Thursday, February 28 at 11:00 a.m.  It was announced that Supervisor McGoldrick has introduced legislation that would amend the Urban Forestry Council Ordinance to change the membership from 15 to 5 members.  The proposed legislation has not currently been scheduled for Committee hearing yet.  Chair Milne recommended that members visit the new restaurant, Epic Roadhouse and Water Bar on Embarcadero at Folsom in front of the Gap World Headquarters, to look at the special olive tree that has been planted in the piazza.

 

13.  New Business/Future Agenda Items (Information and Discussion).

 

Member Rodgers asked if the Council should create a Resolution commenting on the proposed legislation to change the Council’s membership requirements.  Member Rodgers indicated that she spoke with Supervisor McGoldrick’s legislative aide, Stephanie Tucker, who recommended that if Council members felt it was necessary, they could stop by their office and provide comment.  Chair Milne indicated that the Council would be discussing the legislation at their March meeting and possibly considering a Resolution that states their position.  Member Sherk recommended that the Council address the deletion of agency representation as part of the proposed legislation.  Member Blair discussed a Recreation and Park Department project called “Marina Greens” that would include the removal of four eucalyptus trees to create a multi-use path.  

 

14.  Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  Member Blair stated that the San Francisco Tree Council urges that consideration be given to projects such as the “Marina Greens” that calls for trees being removed and not replaced.

 

15.  Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

 

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at Department of Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., by clicking on the links by each agenda item above, or upon request to the Council Secretary at the address listed below, telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@Sfgov.org.

Urban Forestry Council

San Francisco Department of the Environment

City and County of San Francisco, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Council Secretary   

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