10.26 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco

DEpartment of the ENvironment




TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2010, 6:00 P.M.





1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 6:09 p.m. Present: Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Council Members Cohen, Costello (7:00) Hillan, Hillson, Milne, Rodgers and Sherk; Excused: Member Vargas. Advisory Members Excused: Council Members Barrow and Nervo.  Council Coordinator Hui and Council Secretary Fish were present for this meeting.


2.      Adoption of Minutes of the September 24, 2010 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  September 24, 2010 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Rodgers, second by Member Cohen, the September 24, 2010 Urban Forestry Council Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Council Members Cohen, Hillan, Hillson, Milne, Rodgers and Sherk; NOES:  None; Absent:  Members Costello and Vargas).


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 were no members of the public present at this time.


4.      Urban Forestry Council Discussion and Vote on Draft Resolution File No. 2010-09-UFC to amend their Bylaws to delete the Urban Forestry Council’s Meeting Requirements for the April and July Meetings.  Sponsor and Speaker: Chair D’Agostino (Explanatory Documents:  Draft Resolution File No. 2010-09-UFC and Notice of Proposed Bylaws Amendment) (Discussion and Action)


Member Sherk proposed that the Council adjust their meeting schedule by eliminating the July meeting but retaining the April meeting.  No motion was made.  Council Members discussed the pros and cons of reducing or maintaining their meeting schedule. Members in favor felt that the benefits of reducing meetings could result in more meaningful agenda items and would allow time for the Council Coordinator to work on more meaningful work for the Council.  Chair D’Agostino pointed out that the April meeting was not held for the past three years due to lack of quorum.  Members that were in opposition to reducing the meeting schedule stated that a reduction in meetings may not allow for adequate time to hear and respond to public tree concerns, to meet Landmark Tree Ordinance requirements, and would reduce the visibility of the Council.


Member Rodgers motioned to amend Resolution File No. 2010-09-UFC to reduce the Council meeting schedule to every other month (six meetings a year).  Chair D’Agostino seconded the motion with an amendment that the meeting schedule would be every other month utilizing the current schedule (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino and Member Rodgers; NOES: Vice-Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Hillan, Hillson, Milne and Sherk; Absent: Members Costello and Vargas).  This motion did not pass--Vote 2-5.


Member Hillan motioned, second by Vice-Chair Buck to approve Resolution File No. 2010-09-UFC to amend the Council Bylaws to delete meeting requirements in April and July (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, and Member Hillan; NOES:  Members Cohen, Hillson, Milne and Sherk; Absent: Members Costello and Vargas).  This motion did not pass—Vote 3-4.  


This agenda item was continued to the December 10, 2010 meeting.


5.      Update on the Urban Forest Annual Report.  Speaker:  Mei Ling Hui (Informational Report and Discussion) (Explanatory Document:  Annual Urban Forest Report Survey Responses)


Council Coordinator Hui distributed an “Annual Urban Forest Report Survey Responses” matrix of all responses received to date and reported on agencies that have not responded.  She stated that twenty agencies were contacted, ten of which have provided responses as shown in the matrix.  The Council was asked for their assistance with providing agency contacts and any additional contacts they would like to have surveyed. Chair D’Agostino offered Council support for contacting agencies.  Council Coordinator Hui stated that she would submit a Draft Annual Report for review at the November 18, 2010 Planning and Funding Committee meeting.  A final Draft would be forwarded to the full Council for approval at the December 10 meeting.


6.      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 reported that the majority of her time has been spent working on the Annual Urban Forest Report survey.  She reported that the tree at 46 Stillings Street that the Council endorsed for landmark tree status was approved by the Board of Supervisors.  All relevant agencies were notified and the landmark tree web page has been updated.  Pending at the Board of Supervisors are the three trees the Council endorsed at 2040 Sutter Street, and the tree that the Council forwarded without recommendation at 4441 – 20th Street.  Council Coordinator Hui reported that funding has been received through the Strategic Growth Council for the San Francisco Planning Department to complete its work on the Urban Forest Plan.  An invitation would be extended to Mr. Andres Power, Planning Department’s project manager on the Urban Forest Plan, to present an update to the Council at the December 10 meeting. 


7.      Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 18, 2010, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421.


Planning and Funding Committee Chair Buck reported that the October Planning and Funding Committee meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.  He asked Council members to bring forth discussions to the Planning and Funding Committee about any large-scale projects or greening initiatives that may be related to urban forestry.  Committee Chair Buck explained that one of the charges in the Council Bylaws is to weigh in on large-scale projects that impact the urban forest in some way. 


Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Landmark Tree Committee Chair Hillan did not issue a report at this time.


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


Council Chair D’Agostino reported on her attendance at a North Beach parklet festivity and suggested that Council Members attend future festivities as a way to offer support. She reported on her discussions with Mr. Andres Power, San Francisco Planning Department Project Manager, about presenting at a future Council meeting on the status of the Urban Forest Plan and the parklet program.  She announced that Council Member Vargas received an award for her work on the Urban Forest Map at a California Urban Forest meeting in Temecula. 


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


Council Coordinator Hui and Member Sherk reported on e-mail correspondence received from a member of the public who was concerned that there is a Recreation and Parks Department site where a lot of mature and healthy trees would be removed so that gardens can be created.  This individual would like to see the trees remain and a compromise design created.  Member Sherk inquired about the process for the Council to hold a discussion about this topic.  Ms. Fish explained that a Council member who wishes to sponsor this agenda item would complete a scheduling request form and send it back to either the Council Secretary or Coordinator.  If the public member wishes to speak during public comment on items not on the agenda, the Council is limited to (a) briefly responding to statements made or questions posed by members of the public, (b) request staff to report back on a matter at a subsequent meeting, or (3) directing staff to place the item or issue on a future agenda


Dr. Costello joined the meeting at this time. 


Member Rodgers announced that the Planning Department has released a document called Standards for Bird Safe Buildings that reports on the large amount of casualties from birds flying into structures, specifically glass windows. San Francisco is entering the leading edge by inviting policy to address this issue. She asked that the Council review and provide comment on the document that addresses this important environmental issue. See link to document--http://www.sf-planning.org/ftp/files/publications_reports/bird_safe_bldgs/Standards_for_Bird_Safe_Buildings_DRAFT_OCT2010.pdf. 


Member Cohen reported on limitations with the Planning Department’s Tree Disclosure Statement and future work on legislation to protect trees during construction.  She stated that her impression was that the Tree Disclosure Statement required disclosure of all trees on the property, and that all construction had to follow these procedures, but found that a lot of permits were approved by Department of Building Inspection and not the Planning Department and did not follow these procedures. Chair D’Agostino stated that potential next steps would be to identify who is charged with implementing tree protection measures.  She suggested (1) following-up with Friends of the Urban Forest who has been working and gathering information on this issue, (2) bringing this issue to the Planning and Funding Committee for discussion, or (3) creating a Work Group.  Member Rodgers expressed her willingness to be part of the Work Group and suggested involving a representative from the Department of Building Inspection.


Vice-Chair Buck discussed the loss of street trees due to installation of new garages.  He reported on an over-the-counter permit that was issued for a new garage in which the site had a street tree and significant tree in the way.  He reported on neighbor concern that there were no postings issued about this project.  Vice-Chair Buck suggested a discussion at the Planning and Funding Committee on tree protection issues in general.


Council Chair D’Agostino reported on a presentation at a conference she attended in Tucson, Arizona, on the positive impact of greening schoolyards and children’s ability to do well in school.  The study would be published in a science journal that she offered to share with Council Members once it is published.  Chair D’Agostino offered to share the PowerPoint presentation with Council members at a future meeting and to invite Mr. Nik Kaestner, Sustainability Director of the San Francisco Unified School District or at another venue.


Council Coordinator Hui discussed Council vacancies and provided membership updates. She reported that Mr. Dan Flanigan, Friends of the Urban Forest Director, has applied for a Council seat. Ms. Fish reported that the current membership term expires on November 18, 2010 and explained the reapplication process.  She also reported on a call received from a member of the public who expressed interest in a Council seat and she had guided to the application process. Council Coordinator Hui reported that Council Members have holdover rights until someone is either appointed in their stead or until they are reappointed.  Member Sherk requested a list of seats that members occupy that Council Secretary Fish agreed to provide.


10.  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.


11.  Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.


The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, December 10, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Room 400, 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 [email protected].  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:  December 10, 2010


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