10.09 Approved Minutes

 

URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL
LANDMARK TREE COMMITTEE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Tuesday, October 9, 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, and Mark Sustarich (Vacant 1).                                                               

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, Griswold and Sustarich.  Ms. Mei Ling Hui was introduced as the Environmental Assistant for the Urban Forestry Council.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the August 14, 2007 Urban Forestry Council Landmark Tree Committee Regular Meeting (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Member Sustarich and second by Chair Boss, the August 14, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved (AYES:  Chair Boss, Members Blair, Griswold and Sustarich) (Explanatory Document: Approved Minutes of the August 14, 2007 Regular Meeting).

 

3.        Landmark Tree Evaluation Criteria.  The Committee will continue to discuss redefining landmark tree evaluation criteria and discuss criteria used in other jurisdictions. (Continued from the August 14, 2007 Meeting) (Explanatory Documents: Original Landmark Tree Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Criteria Revised 050307 and Phytosphere Guidelines for Developing and Evaluating Tree Ordinances http://www.phytosphere.com/treeord/heritage.htm.) (Discussion).

 

Chair Boss reported that the 2007 California Urban Forest Conference scheduled for November 1-3 would present a good opportunity to network with people from other jurisdictions that are dealing with this type of criteria.   It was stated that the Committee had produced draft revisions (Evaluation Criteria Revised 050307) to the original Landmark Tree Evaluation Criteria that would be revised further.  Member Blair suggested consulting a report produced by a Department of the Environment Intern called “Living Landmarks:  A Comparison of 12 Tree Preservation Ordinances and Suggestions for San Francisco’s Urban Forestry Ordinance” (Explanatory Document:  “Living Landmarks”) This item was continued to the November 13, 2007 meeting for further discussion.

 

4.      Outreach Plan for Landmarking of Trees. The Committee will review and possibly approve a draft letter to the Board of Supervisors, Department Heads, the Planning Commission, and Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board requesting that they consider trees in their jurisdiction for landmark status (Discussion and Possible Action) (Explanatory Document:  Draft Outreach Letter). 

 

Member Sustarich presented a draft letter for the Committee to consider.  Committee members stated that the letter should be presented in a format to glorify trees. Several suggestions were to use language such as “honor, to celebrate trees, preservation of trees, trees are part of history.”   Member Blair commented on impressionable language used in an article by the Department of Public Works that states, “greening spaces are vital to the quality of life in San Francisco” and suggested a similar tone. 

 

Committee members and staff went over the correct process for nominating and designating a landmark tree.  The Council Secretary was asked to forward a copy of the Landmark Tree Process outline provided by Deputy City Attorney Alicia Cabrera and Landmark Tree Program Document to Member Sustarich and Ms. Hui so that the process could be included as the second page to the outreach letter.  Committee members were asked to forward their suggestions to Ms. Hui who would be creating a final letter on Urban Forestry Council designated stationery. Chair Boss requested that the letter be sent on behalf of the Landmark Tree Committee.  Council Secretary Fish suggested adding Landmark Tree Committee to the letter stationery underneath Urban Forestry Council.

 

Continued to the November 13, 2007 Meeting for approval of a final letter.

 

Public Comment:  Chair Milne urged the Committee to place “Urban Forestry Council” on the very top of the letter so recipients could automatically see whom the letter originated from.  

 

5.      Visible Identification of Landmark Trees after Designation. The Landmark Tree Committee will discuss methods for visibly identifying trees that have received landmark tree status (Discussion). 

 

Chair Boss stated that very few people know about the landmarking process and would not be able to visibly identify which trees were landmarked because there is no marking or designation on the tree.  Concerns that were expressed were that in five to ten years, Committee or Council members may be the only ones that remember what trees had been landmarked or that workers could unknowingly cut down a landmark tree. Placing a plaque or other type of visible designation on the tree was considered; however, it was felt that plaques would be subject to theft and vandalism.  Member Griswold suggested a walking brochure that states where the landmarked trees are.  Chair Boss recommended that this issue could be reviewed with other participants at the California Urban Forest Conference and additional solutions or designs could be considered at the next Committee meeting. Member Blair discussed holding a tree celebration similar to what is done in Asia where trees are ordained and blessed. It was stated that a ceremony could require a lot of City resources, but could possibly be done by the nominator if they were interested.  Continued to the November 13, 2007 Meeting.

 

Public Comment:  Urban Forestry Council Chair Milne suggested an aluminum or stainless steel chain that says San Francisco landmark tree that is simple, inexpensive, and without an elaborate design.

 

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

 

Ms. Hui reported on trees that would be introduced by Supervisor Ammiano at the full Board meeting on October 16 without reference to Committee.  These trees would be voted on by the Full Board on October 23.

 

Blue Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) in the Bernal Height Natural Area near the intersection of Folsom and Bernal Height Boulevard

 

2 Flowering Ash (Fraxinus ornus) at the Bernal Heights Library at 500 Cortland Street

 

1 Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) at 3555 Cesar Chavez Street

 

Chair Boss asked whether Landmark Tree Committee members could appear at the Board or Committee meeting to show support for the nomination.  Ms. Hui reported that she was advised that members are not supposed to take action until it is sent to the Landmark Tree Committee for consideration.  Members requested further clarification on the landmark tree nomination process.  Ms. Hui offered to make a presentation at the November 13, 2007 meeting.  A discussion was held on the proper procedure for contacting the property owner to review a nominated tree for landmark status.  It was stated that the owner’s permission is required before examining a private property tree. Member Blair asked why the Council does not have additional funding for printing brochures.  Ms. Fish stated that Ms. Eng had previously indicated that now was the time for Council members to become involved in the budget process and make recommendations.  Member Griswold asked that a summary be presented on the California Urban Forest Conference at the next meeting. 

 

Ms. Hui indicated that she would check the status of the 4124 23rd Street tree, which had been approved for landmark tree status by the Urban Forestry Council and forwarded to the Board of Supervisors to consider designation.

 

7.      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.  Member Blair on behalf of the San Francisco Tree Council discussed the decreased allocation of funding from different departments to support the urban forestry program and recommended that the Department of the Environment ask for additional funding.  Member Boss recommended that the budget be discussed at the full Council.

 

8.      Adjournment.  The Landmark Tree Committee meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

 

The next Landmark Tree Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 4:00 p.m., Room 421, City Hall.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish

Council Secretary

 

Approved: November 13, 2007

 

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