08.23 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco
DEpartment of the ENvironment



TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2011, 6:00 P.M.






The August 23, 2011 Urban Forestry Council meeting location was rescheduled from Room 416, San Francisco City Hall, to the Offices of the San Francisco Planning Department.
1.    Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 6:00 p.m.  Present:  Council Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Council Members Buck (6:10), Costello, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas.  Advisory Member Present: Member Muraoka.  Excused:  Member Flanagan; Advisory Member Absent: Member Barrow.


2.    Adoption of Minutes of the June 28, 2011Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  June 28, 2011 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Sutherland, second by Chair D’Agostino, the June 28, 2011 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Members Costello, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent:  Members Buck and Flanagan)


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.  Mr. James Scheid, Urban Forester, Bay Area Coordinator for CalFire, introduced himself and reported on CalFire’s new office location.   Ms. Carla Short, Urban Forester for the Department of Public Works (DPW) reported that DPW staff and its Deputy City Attorney are now reviewing the landmark grove proposal and hope to provide feedback in the near future.  DPW would also be reviewing landmark grove criteria and the grove nomination form.


Item 5 was heard before Item 4.


4.    Update on Department of Public Works (DPW) Street Tree Maintenance Plan.  Speaker:  Ms. Carla Short, Department of Public Works Urban Forester (Informational Presentation and Discussion)


Urban Forester Short reported that as part of the Department of Public Work’s budget proposal plan to the Mayor’s Office, maintenance responsibility of approximately 23,000 street trees will be transferred from DPW to adjacent property owners.  It was explained that this plan is not the preferred course of action and is being proposed because (1) DPW has been faced with systematic budget cuts for the past several years that has resulted in an unsustainable pruning cycle; (2) to bring work in line with available resources; (3) two-thirds of City trees are already the responsibility of adjacent property owners; and (4) a long-term funding mechanism for tree maintenance has not been identified.  She explained that the Public Works Code outlines the process for implementation that includes tree examination before relinquishment, public noticing requirements, and public hearing process. 


A discussion was held on the proposed schedule for relinquishment, funding source allocations, potential funding mechanisms for tree maintenance, and the importance of preparation of studies to establish the impacts that private versus public maintenance may have on the health of the urban forest.   Ms. Short reported on trees that DPW would continue to maintain that include trees planted as part of specific tree planting programs whereby promises have been made to homeowners to maintain trees and trees in the median.  The Frequently Asked Questions, Fact Sheet, and PowerPoint presentation to the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services Committee are located on the Department of Public Works website. 


5.    Planning for the 2011 Urban Forestry Council Annual Report and Adoption of Survey Revisions. Speaker:  Chair D’Agostino (Explanatory Document:  Survey Revisions) (Discussion and Action) 


Chair D’Agostino and Coordinator Hui reported that as part of the 2011 Survey revisions, a set of alternate questions have been produced for agencies and organizations that own or manage city trees and for those that support urban forest programming through policy, technical assistance or funding. A discussion was held on how to identify the City open space network and past agency response to the survey. Council Members provided recommendations for additions to the agency contact list.  Next steps include surveying agencies and producing the Annual Report for approval by the Urban Forestry Council before submission to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor.   


Upon Motion by Member Vargas, second by Member Sherwin, the 2011 Urban Forestry Council Annual Report Survey Revisions were approved without objection (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Members Buck, Costello, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent:  Member Flanagan)


6.    Formation of Work Group for Tree of the Month Campaign, Annual Review of Recommended Street Tree List, and Street Tree List Informational Pamphlet. Speaker:  Chair D’Agostino (Discussion)


Chair D’Agostino reported on the Urban Forestry Council’s work plan goal to annually review San Francisco’s Recommended Street Tree and suggested that a Work Group be formed to work on the Recommended Street Tree List, the Tree of the Month campaign, and a Guide to the Street Trees of San Francisco all at the same time.  She reported that she would be working with PG&E on the preparation of the guide for San Francisco that would contain similar content to the one that was prepared for the City of Davis. The Tree Guide was distributed for reference. 


The Council held a discussion on how the Recommended Street Tree list and the Guide would meet the Council’s objectives to increase its visibility and serve as an educational tool.  Additional discussion was held about potential printing costs, funding sources, work group participants, target audience, and brochure content.   Next steps include distribution of (1) the Recommended Street Tree List to Council Members for review and comment, and (2) list of percentage of tree species planted by the Bureau of Urban Forestry and Friends of the Urban Forest.


Public Comment:  Mr. Scheid stated that this project could potentially be funded by a CalFire grant.     


7.    Review of Urban Forestry Council Goals and Objectives. The Council will review their goals and objectives and outline projects for the upcoming year.  (Explanatory Document: Review of Urban Forestry Council responsibilities and goals from the Environment and Public Works Code) (Discussion and Possible Action)


The Council discussed how best to prioritize its work for the coming year based on responsibilities and goals set forth by the Environment and Public Works Codes as outlined in the explanatory documents.  Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Sullivan, the Council approved (1) reformatting of the explanatory document; (2) that at its September 15, 2011 meeting, the Planning and Funding Committee would prepare an organizational framework for the annual work plan review to be held during the regularly scheduled meeting in December (3) that Council members will use the explanatory document to make preliminary decisions about what items are highest priority before the discussion at the meeting in December. (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Members Buck, Costello, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent:  Member Flanagan) 


8.    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 asked Mr. Scheid to discuss potential grant opportunities for the Urban Forestry Council.  Mr. Scheid reported on urban and community forestry grant opportunities, process, timeline, requirements, and coordination with other City agencies.  A discussion was also held on Strategic Growth Council grant opportunities.


9.    Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report on the August 18, 2011 meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 15, 2011, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421. Committee Chair Buck reported on the August 18, 2011 meeting on goals and objectives, relinquishment of DPW tree maintenance, tree of the month, street tree list, informational pamphlet, Annual Urban Forest Report and Survey, Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project.  The September 15, 2011 meeting agenda will include review of the Urban Forestry goals and objectives.


Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Chair’s Report for the August 9, 2011 Meeting.  Committee Members reported that the Landmark Tree Committee at its August 9, 2011 meeting suggested revisions to Landmark Tree Evaluation Criteria and Nomination form.  Council Coordinator Hui reported that legal counsel would be writing amendments to the Public Works Code to present to the Department of Public Works.  The Landmark Tree Committee would review and approve revisions to landmark tree criteria and forms at its next meeting on September 13, 2011. 


10. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion) Chair D’Agostino reported that (1) the Bus Rapid Transit District’s public meeting was postponed until the completion of the Environmental Impact process.  Interested Council Members were asked to review the Plan and provide comment.  She suggested that the Council consider writing a letter of support on a particular proposal; (2) she has been working on filling the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and Recreation and Park Department open seats to the Council and the possibility of filling the seat with a Presidio appointment.


11. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)  Chair D’Agostino reported on the conference at Stanford on Oaks and the Landscape authored by Member Costello.


12. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion) Vice-Chair Hillson requested a Planning Department presentation on the Recreation and Open Space Element (ROSE) at the Council’s September 23, 2011 meeting and agreed to present to the Council her ideas on important elements of the Plan.  Member Sider discussed opportunities for Council and individual comment on the Plan.  Coordinator Hui suggested that the Council prepare a position Resolution on the ROSE before the end of the public comment period.  Member Muraoka suggested a future presentation on the California Department of Parks and Recreation Candlestick Point State Recreation Area Plan.


13. 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.


Mr. James Scheid reported that the 2011 California Urban Forest Council (CAUFC) and California Relief will be holding an annual conference on Friday, September 16 in Palo Alto and additional sessions will be held the following Saturday.  He stated that the plan is to create a Bay Area Chapter meeting to plan local workshops throughout the year and asked for Council input.  The website for additional information is www.CAUFC.org.  Chair D’Agostino discussed CAUFC membership opportunities and benefits.   


14. Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, September 23, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, Room 400, San Francisco, CA  94102.

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 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:  September 23, 2011


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