03.13 Approved Minutes

 URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL

LANDMARK TREE COMMITTEE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

 

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 4:00 P.M.

 

City Hall, Room 421

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Mike Boss (Chair), Carolyn Blair, Steve Griswold, David Habert and Mark Sustarich

                                                                  

Urban Forestry Council Associate:  Grace Ma

 

Council Secretary:  Monica Fish 

ORDER OF BUSINESS 

1.      CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL. The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m.  Present:  Chair Boss, Members Blair, Habert, and Sustarich; Excused:  Member Griswold.

 

2.      ACTION: Adoption of minutes of the February 13, 2007 Urban Forestry Council Landmark Tree Committee Regular Meeting.  (Explanatory Document: Approved Minutes of the February 13, 2007 Regular Meeting.)

 

Upon Motion by Chair Boss and second by Member Sustarich, the February 13, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (Absent:  Members Griswold and Habert).

 

Member Habert joined the meeting at this time. 

 

3.      DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION:  Public Outreach Letter for Landmarking of Trees (Continued from the February 13, 2007 Meeting).  Committee Members reviewed outreach letters addressed to the Board of Supervisors, Department Heads, Property Owners and Tenants and presented their ideas.  (Explanatory Documents:  Draft Outreach Letters.) Committee Members recommended that two letters be written, one to the Board of Supervisors and Department Heads and one to San Francisco Residents.  It was recommended that the letter to San Francisco Residents be kept short expressing enthusiasm for landmarking trees, pulling out three to five points from the Landmark Tree Ordinance on why trees should be nominated, and referencing the procedural document entitled “City and County of San Francisco Landmark Tree Program, Information and Nomination Forms by the Urban Forest Program.”  The letter to San Francisco Residents would include a message to property owners about their ability to nominate trees on their property directly and an overall message on how to get a tree nominated if it is not on private property (e.g. through a Supervisor).

 

Chair Boss recommended that the letter to the Board of Supervisors and Department Heads include a message encouraging them to make nominations and referring to the brochure as to the process.  The message could be similar to the Board of Supervisors Letter explanatory document above, page 2.

 

Member Blair discussed the Board of Supervisors process for landmarking trees.

 

Public Comment:  Urban Forestry Council Chair Milne explained that an individual Board of Supervisors member could nominate a tree, but explained that the entire Board has to approve the nomination as part of the process.

 

Urban Forestry Specialist Ma advised that the Department has no additional funding to mail letters to San Francisco residents, but could send letters to the Board of Supervisors and Department Heads.  It was recommended that letters addressed to San Francisco residents be distributed at Department events, through inquiries, and posted on the web.

 

This item was continued to the April 10 meeting to review final drafts.  Member Habert agreed to prepare and send draft letters to include in the packet ten days before the meeting as requested by Committee Members.

   

4.      DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION:  Landmark Tree Nomination Form Revisions. Chair Boss and Urban Forestry Specialist Ma would meet and put together a template to present to the Committee.  This item was continued to the April 10 meeting. 

 

5.      DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION:  The Committee discussed redefining landmark tree evaluation criteria.

 

Chair Boss recommended improvements to landmark tree evaluation criteria as a result of the Committee’s initial review of trees and from discussions at Urban Forestry Council meetings.  Member Habert recommended that certain criteria such as rare, size, and age be quantified in order to minimize the subjective and maximize the objective.  Chair Boss questioned whether factual data could be applied to many of the categories (e.g. ethnic appreciation).  Urban Forestry Specialist Ma stated that factual data is not available for rare, size, and age categories and Committee member’s impressions are relied upon to fill out the fields.  Member Blair suggested using data from the United States Forest Department on the state of the Urban Forest in San Francisco.  Urban Forestry Specialist Ma explained that the UFORE Study is an estimated inventory of the trees in San Francisco, and gives a general idea of all the tree species, general size classes, and general distribution, but does not include all of the tree species and number of trees.  As a result, quantifying these fields may not be possible because factual data is not available.

 

Chair Boss explained that once the evaluation criteria have been changed, the nomination and evaluation forms would be changed to match the criteria.

 

Committee members discussed the evaluation criteria form as it relates to the rare and important wildlife habitat categories.  It was stated that the rare category should be expanded to give it more distinction.  Member Blair felt that all trees are important wildlife habitats for birds and other wildlife. 

 

Public Comment:  Urban Forestry Council Chair Milne indicated that several fields were put on the criteria list without the benefit of the experience in landmarking trees, but in thinking about the important things that should be considerations for landmark tree designation.  Other categories are included as an opportunity to write personal observations.

                                                                                                               

Committee Members were asked to submit their recommendations for improvements to the evaluation criteria to the Council Secretary for distribution to Committee members.  Urban Forestry Specialist Ma advised that the Urban Forestry Council would ask the Board of Supervisors by Resolution to make a legislative change to the Ordinance to adopt the new criteria once adopted.  This item was continued to the April 10 meeting.

 

6.      DISCUSSION:  Discussion on Landmark Tree Committee agenda timelines versus timelines for landmark tree documentation.

 

Urban Forestry Specialist Ma explained that the Committee Members approved a process that requires that agendas and documentation be made available to Committee members ten days before the actual meeting.

 

Public Comment:  Chair Milne explained that he believes that there was a question about dates of when agendas and documentation were to be turned in.

 

This item was continued to the April 10 meeting after clarification of the agenda item by the Council Secretary.

 

7.      DISCUSSION: New Business.  Urban Forestry Specialist Ma stated that Supervisor Dufty’s office introduced an intent to nominate a group of seven trees at 3184 Market or 314 Corbett Street, but the nomination has not yet been submitted to the full Board for a vote.  Member Blair asked that the Landmark Tree Committee receive a list of all nominated trees and their current status, e.g. who nominated, date, status, deadline.  Chair Boss asked Urban Forestry Specialist Ma to report on Board of Supervisors and Committee landmark tree hearings.  Urban Forestry Specialist Ma advised that the Urban Forestry Council has recommended trees for landmark status, but the Board of Supervisors has not yet designated any of the trees as landmarks.  Member Blair asked whether Landmark Tree Committee members should lobby the Supervisors to landmark trees.

 

Chair Boss reported on an upcoming San Francisco Flower and Garden show in a week and a half where Rock and Rose + Birkmyer would have a demonstration garden of natural lawn and meadow.  Member Blair reported on a new book called “The Trees” written in an easy to read and informative language.

 

8.      PUBLIC COMMENT:  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.

 

9.      ADJOURNMENT.  The Landmark Tree Committee meeting adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

 

The next Landmark Tree Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 4:00 p.m., Room 421, City Hall.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Monica Fish

Council Secretary

 

 

Adopted:  April 10, 2007

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