Urban Forestry Council
LANDMARK TREE COMMITTEE
APPROVED MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, June 10, 2008, 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, Malcolm Hillan, and Mark Sustarich.
Order of Business
1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Landmark Tree Committee meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. Present: Chair Boss, Members Blair and Hillan; Excused: Members Griswold and Sustarich.
2. Adoption of Minutes of the April 8, 2008 Urban Forestry Council Landmark Tree Committee Regular Meeting. Minutes were approved by the Committee. (Explanatory Document: Approved Minutes of the April 8, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion and Action)
3. Landmark Tree Evaluation Criteria. The Committee shall continue to discuss redefining landmark tree evaluation criteria and discuss criteria used in other jurisdictions. (Continued from the April 8, 2008 Meeting) (Explanatory Documents reviewed in Committee: Original Landmark Tree Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Criteria Revised 050307 and 061008 Landmark Tree Criteria Discussion) (Discussion)
Chair Boss reported that he was having difficulty applying the current evaluation criteria to site evaluations as certain fields (1) had greater weight than others, (2) had duplicate meanings, and (3) were difficult to interpret on how it affected whether the tree was of landmark quality. Chair Boss and Coordinator Hui presented a landmark tree criteria discussion document that categorized the criteria into four main sections 1) physical; (2) environmental; (3) historical; and (4) cultural (see explanatory document 061008 Landmark Tree Criteria Discussion). It was explained that one of the fields from the original criteria on whether the tree extends between multiple properties was not included as it was felt that it was irrelevant to determining the landmark quality of the tree, and other criteria had encompassed the visibility and neighborhood appreciation criteria that this criteria may have been intended for.
Council Chair Milne stated that “extends between multiple properties” should be preserved because it provides information on whether there may be neighbor un-appreciation, and could provide the Council background on the tree. Committee members agreed to include this item in the nomination form description under “TREE DESCRIPTION, Location of Tree,” by adding a checkbox. Coordinator Hui suggested quantifying how it extends between multiple properties. Council Chair Milne asked that the historical category be moved to number 2 because historical association would score higher in terms of criteria to consider for landmark status. Council Chair Milne stated that if the criteria would remain the same and if it was just a matter of prioritizing and defining, that the Council may not have to go through the process of sending it to the Board of Supervisors for ratification, and it could just be ratified by the Council. Coordinator Hui stated that if criteria were to be left out, an amendment may be required. Council Secretary Fish reported that the Board of Supervisors adopted Landmark Tree Procedures and Criteria that included evaluation criteria and a nomination form so if anything were to be revised it may require the Board to receive a newer version or to readopt a current set of procedures. Coordinator Hui stated that she would seek legal advice from the Deputy City Attorney on the correct process.
Members Blair and Hillan requested that the environmental category order be changed as follows: (a) prominent landscape feature; (b) low tree density; (c) interdependent group of trees; (d) accessible from right of way (e) high traffic area; (f) wildlife habitat (g) wind and sound barrier, and (h) erosion control. Member Hillan requested including an additional section on type of species. Coordinator Hui recommended using the term rarity instead of species and Member Hillan agreed. The priority order proposed was (1) rarity; (2) physical; (3) historical; (4) environmental, and (5) cultural.
Members discussed each field on the Evaluation Criteria and proposed revisions (see 061008 Landmark Tree Criteria Revised 061008). Chair Boss stated that the next phase of the discussion would be to match the nomination form with the revised evaluation criteria and possibly suggest additional revisions. Member Hillan suggested that Coordinator Hui revise the nomination form to match the revised evaluation criteria for discussion at the next meeting. Chair Boss stated that the new titles and definitions agreed to in the revised evaluation criteria draft may also be reviewed again at the next meeting.
4. Visible Identification of Landmark Trees after Designation. The Landmark Tree Committee shall discuss methods for visibly identifying trees that have received landmark tree status (Continued from the April 8, 2008 Meeting) (Explanatory Documents reviewed in Committee: (1) Bench marker images, (2) 061008 Visible Identification of Landmark Trees Proposal, and (3) Benchmarker Graphic 061008 Landmark Tree Identification) (Discussion)
Coordinator Hui stated that she would not be able to move forward with working on fund raising or creating a partnership with the Department of Public Works (DPW) or others on this effort until a decision is made by the Committee and Council. Member Hillan presented a proposal for visible identification of landmark trees that consists of four components, a recommendation for permanent markers, and associated costs and sources for markers (see explanatory document 061008 Visible Identification of Landmark Trees Proposal).
Coordinator Hui reported that she had met with Member Hillan and created a potential marker based on their discussion (see marker graphic 061008 Landmark Tree Identification). It was explained that the Monterey Cypress was selected to appear on the marker as it is the official San Francisco tree that is located in front of McLaren Lodge (even though it is not yet a landmark tree). Coordinator Hui stated that she would also checkADA requirements and would report back at a future meeting. Coordinator Hui stated that she she hopes that DPW would be willing to install the markers for a nominal expense, but it would still require fund raising for the actual markers. Chair Boss recommended adding the species to the marker. Coordinator Hui explained that adding the species would be an ongoing expense that would require funding to run the program whereas numbered plaques would not be an ongoing expense. Member Blair recommended that the marker should state “contact the Urban Forestry Council” instead of “contact the Department of the Environment.” Coordinator Hui reported that the marker lists the Department because it maintains the most information on its website, but it could be another entity on the plaque. Chair Boss reported that more consideration has to be given to including the species on the marker and requested additional information on potential costs.
Discussion of this agenda item along with Member Hillan’s proposal and the graphic would be scheduled for discussion at the June 24 Urban Forestry Council meeting.
5. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)
Coordinator Hui reported that there would be a discussion of Committee standards and procedure for the evaluation criteria and possible action to adopt revised criteria and nomination form to recommend to the Council. Coordinator Hui reported that the two trees that were recommended for landmark status by the Council had been introduced at the Board of Supervisors meeting and would be heard at the Board of Supervisors City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee possibly on June 19. Member Blair reported that the Rules Committee would be hearing the proposed legislation regarding Urban Forestry Council membership on July 17 and requested that members attend the meeting.
6. 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.
7. Adjournment. The Landmark Tree Committee meeting adjourned at 6:17 p.m.
Approved: August 12, 2008