09.24 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco
DEpartment of the ENvironment
URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010, 8:30 A.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 400, ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT JR. PLACE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 8:45 a.m. Voting Members Present:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Costello, Hillan, Hillson, Milne, and Vargas. Excused: Member Sherk; Absent:  Member Rodgers; Advisory Members Present:  Members Barrow and Nervo.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the August 24, 2010 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Documents:  August 24, 2010 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino and second by Member Hillson, the August 24, 2010 Draft Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Costello, Hillan, Hillson, Milne and Vargas; Absent:  Members Rodgers and Sherk).

 

3.      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.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

4.      Hearing on Nomination for Landmark Tree Status. The Urban Forestry Council will hold a hearing to determine whether the tree nominated at the following address meets the criteria for designation as a landmark tree. (Discussion and Action)

 

  • Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) located at 4441 20th Street, Assessor's Block 2750, Lot 037, San Francisco, CA (Explanatory Documents: Nomination Form, Images, Committee and Staff Evaluation Forms, Homeowner Presentation, Neighborhood Support and Opposition Letters, Site History, Property Owner Arborist Report, Neighborhood Petition Requesting Support of Landmark Status, Vice-Chair Buck’s Comments, Landmark Tree Report 092410)

 

Mr. George King, property owner and nominator of the tree for landmark tree status presented his case for landmarking the tree, presenting tree images, discussing his passion for the tree, the tree’s role in his emotional growth and in times of adversity, neighborhood and history, the tree as a wildlife habitat, attributes of the tree, evolution and changes over time, conservation status of this tree variety and his recommendation and conclusion.  (See Homeowner Presentation explanatory document)

 

Chair D’Agostino advised Mr. King that there are measures for protecting the tree through a Tree Protection Plan separate from landmarking the tree.  Council Members discussed whether the adjacent property owner’s proposed development plans should play a role in the Council’s decision to recommend landmark tree status with several members stating that it should play a role and others that it should not.  Some members were concerned that landmarking the tree would block development while others based their decision strictly on the merit of the tree. The consensus of the Council was reflected by the vote indicated below.  

 

Public Comment: 

 

Mr. Roy Leggitt, Consulting Arborist for Mr. King, spoke in support of landmarking the tree discussing the attributes of the particular tree species and the individual tree, its important environmental function, and high wildlife value.  Mr. Leggitt discussed the 125,000 year old Monterey Pine debris event at Fort Funston that happens once every ten years.  (See Arborist Report explanatory document).

 

Mr. Myra Friel, adjacent property owner, spoke in opposition to landmark tree status at this time discussing her concern that landmark tree status may obstruct proposed construction plans on her property.  She stated that her family is committed to the safety and health of the tree that she would balance with her construction plans. Ms. Friel discussed proposed construction plans, application timeline, and neighborhood outreach about the project (see explanatory document letter from Ms. Myra Friel).  Mr. Friel submitted an arborist report (see explanatory document).

 

Landmark Tree Chair Hillan presented the Landmark Tree Committee Report from the hearing held on September 14, 2010 stating that the Committee is forwarding a No Recommendation proposal to the Council (see Written Summary explanatory document). 

 

Member Cohen motioned to approve landmark tree status, second by Member Milne.  (AYES:  Members Cohen, Milne and Hillson; NOES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Members Costello, Hillan, and Vargas; Absent; Members Rodgers and Sherk)  This Motion did not pass (3 AYES; 5 NOES).  The Urban Forestry Council will be forwarding the tree to the Board of Supervisors to consider Without Recommendation.

 

5.      Council Meeting Schedule.  Sponsor:  Chair D’Agostino (Explanatory Document:  Chair D’Agostino’s Council Meeting Schedule Proposal) (Discussion)

 

Chair D’Agostino stated that due to a reduction of funding for Council staff support, she is suggesting that the Council consider reducing their number of meetings as outlined in the proposal (see Urban Forestry Council Proposed Meeting Schedule explanatory document).  Chair D’Agostino announced that Member Sherk suggested reducing the meeting schedule by eliminating the July meeting.  Council Members discussed the three options outlined in Chair D’Agostino’s proposal.  Several members spoke in support of the proposal to reduce meetings while others felt that the number of meetings should stay the same so that the Council could accomplish its work effectively.  Ms. Fish reported that special meetings could be held if there was business to accomplish separate from the regular meeting schedule.  Council Members directed the Commission Secretary to publish a Notice of Bylaws Amendment to consider at their October 26 meeting to reduce meetings from eleven to nine meetings a year, with no meetings in April, July and November.  Chair D’Agostino suggested consulting with other groups on how they accomplish their work within their meeting schedules.

 

6.      Outreach for Council Membership.  Sponsor:  Chair D’Agostino (Discussion) 

 

Chair D’Agostino reported that the present expiration term for Council seats for Board of Supervisors appointments is in November, but that seats would be held over until Council members are either reappointed or replacements are made. Council Members were urged to visit the Board of Supervisors Board and Commissions vacancy website to review seat requirements, fill out an application, and review application instructions.  Vice-Chair Buck and Member Costello asked that the Council Coordinator send information to members about their status. The Council Secretary was asked to report back to Mayoral appointments about their term expiration dates.  Department representatives were asked to consult with their Department heads to reissue a reappointment letter or to make appointments to the Council.  Chair D’Agostino reported on Mayoral, Board of Supervisors, and Department seat requirements and reported that the Executive Director of the Friends of the Urban Forest’s application for the non-profit vacant seat is pending. She suggested that an Outreach Committee consisting of a small number of members be formed to review membership and make recommendations to replace positions as they become open. 

 

7.      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)

 

Council Coordinator Hui was not present for this meeting.  A Staff Report was not issued at this time.

 

8.      Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

 

Planning & Funding Committee.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 21, 2010, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421.  Committee Chair Buck reported that the Planning and Funding Committee at their September 16 meeting continued to review ongoing Council business and approved minutes.  He reported that the July’s meeting was cancelled.  He urged the Council to review minutes and schedules for meetings.

 

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Landmark Tree Committee Chair Hillan reported on the Committee’s consideration of landmark tree status for the tree at 4441 20th Street and discussion of proposed amendments to the Landmark Tree Ordinance at the September 14, 2010 hearing.  He stated that Members Cohen and Hillson would be working on Ordinance language amendments that would be forwarded to the Council at a future date to consider.  

 

9.      Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion)

 

Chair D’Agostino announced that Member Costello has agreed to join the Landmark Tree Committee, and she would ask the Executive Director of Friends of the Urban Forest to join the Planning and Funding Committee if he is appointed to the Council.

 

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

 

Member Hillson reported that she is a member of a Subcommittee working on the Japan Better Neighborhoods Plan and discussed the Subcommittee’s request to plant ethnos-specific trees in the area that are not on the Department of Public Work’s approved list of trees.  She stated that the Subcommittee is concerned that there is no forum for this type of discussion and asked if the Council could become involved. Vice-Chair Buck suggested that Member Hillson consult with him on the list of trees and he would forward her request to Urban Forester Carla Short.  He stated that the recommended list does not block species to be planted but should be reviewed by City staff.  Member Milne suggested that the Urban Forestry Council be a forum for the Subcommittee’s presentation.

 

11.  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.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

12.  Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

 

The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 416, City Hall.

 

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@Sfgov.org.  Explanatory documents are also available at the Council’s meeting or agenda website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/urban-forestry-council/2010-meetings as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.

 

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

 

Approved:  October 26, 2010

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