09.14 Approved Minutes

  

URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL

LANDMARK TREE AD HOC COMMITTEE SPECIAL MEETING

APPROVED MEETING MINUTES

 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 4:00 p.m.

City Hall, Room 421

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Malcolm Hillan (Chair), Jocelyn Cohen, Rose Hillson, Kelaine Vargas 

Order of Business

 

1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Urban Forestry Council Landmark Tree Committee meeting convened at 4:03 p.m.  Present:  Chair Hillan, Members Cohen, Hillson, and Vargas

 

2. Adoption of Minutes of the April 13, 2010 Urban Forestry Council Landmark Tree Committee Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Documents: April 13, 2010 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Vargas, the April 13, 2010 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Members Hillan, Hillson and Vargas; Absent:  Member Cohen) 
 
Member Cohen joined the meeting at this time.

 

3.  Hearing on Nomination for Landmark Tree Status. The Landmark Tree Committee will hold a hearing to determine whether the tree nominated at the following address meets the criteria for designation as a landmark tree. (Discussion and Action) 
 
Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) located at 4441 20th Street, Assessor's Block 2750, Lot 037, San Francisco, CA (Explanatory Documents: Committee and Staff Evaluation Forms, Nomination Form, Images, Neighborhood Support and Opposition Letters, Property Owner’s Arborist Report, Site History, Property Owner Support Documents, Council Member Buck’s Comments) 

Council Coordinator Hui explained the Landmark Tree Hearing recommended guidelines as described below and process going forward at the Urban Forestry Council, Board of Supervisors and Mayor.  Committee members Cohen, Hillan and Vargas and Council Coordinator Hui presented their evaluations of the tree (see Committee and Staff Evaluations). Council Coordinator Hui reported that neighborhood support and opposition letters were received and included in the information for this hearing.  She presented comments from Council Member Buck, Department of Public Works representative to the Council, who had asked that the adjoining property owner’s full set of proposed construction plans be presented to the Urban Forestry Council at the September 24 meeting for discussion (see explanatory document).
 
Mr. George King, property owner and nominator of the tree for landmark status presented supporting documentation to the Committee and his case why the tree should be granted landmark tree status (see Property Owner Support Documents). 
 
Ms. Myra Friel, adjoining property owner, spoke in opposition to landmark tree status and discussed the potential impact landmark status would have on her property and proposed construction project (see neighborhood opposition letter from Ms. Friel).  She inquired about City pruning guidelines as it pertains to overhanging branches on adjoining properties.  Council Coordinator Hui discussed the City’s guidelines for proper pruning practices on landmark-designated trees.  She requested a copy of Ms. Friel’s arborist report for her proposed construction project. 
 
Mr. King presented his rebuttal stating that his intention is not to slow down or prohibit Ms. Friel’s construction project.  He inquired about the City’s involvement and pruning guidelines for landmark trees.  Ms. Friel presented her rebuttal and requested more specifics going forward stating that her main concern is that her project would not be impacted by the tree’s landmark status.  She provided information on her project’s timeline, process, and current status.  Mr. Boe Hayward, Legislative Aide to Supervisor Bevan Dufty, discussed the Planning Department’s discretionary review process and the Planning Commission’s role if a consensus is not reached for approval of the project. Unidentified Speaker reported that the proposed project’s building height would not affect the tree’s canopy.
 
Committee Discussion and Action: Committee Members discussed the importance of cooperation between neighbors, City pruning guidelines, landmark tree disclosure requirements for construction projects, noting that landmarking a tree does not prevent development, and that development is not criteria for or against nomination of a tree.  
 
Member Cohen motioned to approve landmark status for recommendation to the Urban Forestry Council, second by Member Hillson (AYES: Members Cohen and Hillson; NOES: Chair Hillan and Member Vargas (DID NOT PASS).  Landmarking of the tree will be forwarded to the Urban Forestry Council to consider at their September 24, 2010 meeting without recommendation.  The Chair will be providing a report to the Council about the Committee’s deliberations.  
 
The Committee recessed at this time and reconvened to discuss Agenda Item 4.

 

4.  Amendments to the Landmark Tree Ordinance.  Committee Members will discuss proposed amendments to the Landmark Tree Ordinance and make recommendations to the full Council.  Speakers:  Committee Members Jocelyn Cohen and Rose Hillson (Explanatory Documents:  Committee Member’s and Staff’s Proposed Amendments) (Discussion and Action) 
 
Member Cohen stated that the Landmark Tree Ordinance does not include the capability to landmark groups and groves of trees and proposed language for a Resolution to make this inclusion in the Ordinance which Committee members provided their comments on (see explanatory documents).  Member Cohen stated that the Department of Public Works had in the past landmarked groups and groves of trees and would like that practice to continue in order to preserve the urban forest.  Member Vargas pointed out that the requested amendments would require Code changes to Public Works Code Article 16, Section 810.
 
Chair Hillan suggested that the Committee develop a Resolution with a simple statement that the Council is recommending that the Board of Supervisors adopt these amendments to the Landmark Tree Ordinance and attaching the language in the Ordinance that is proposed for amendment.  Committee Members and Council Coordinator Hui asked Member Cohen to make redlined amendments to the original Ordinance and email the document to Council Coordinator Hui for distribution to Committee members to make comments on.  Comments would be returned to Member Cohen for input into a combined document to review at the next Planning and Funding Committee meeting on October 21, 2010.   Member Vargas suggested consulting with legal counsel on Ordinance language.  Council Coordinator Hui explained that legal counsel and the Board of Supervisors may make amendments to the Ordinance language.  
 
Member Cohen read to the Committee the definition of landmark trees and groves that she and Member Hillson worked on. Committee members provided their recommendations on the definition.
 
Council Member Milne suggested that the Ordinance language be modified to state “coherent groups of trees.”  He also suggested consulting with the Deputy City Attorney to modify the Ordinance language instead of Committee members doing so.

 

5.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)  This agenda item was not discussed at this time.

 
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 Ad Hoc Committee meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m.


Landmark Tree Hearing Recommended Guidelines

 

The Committee Chair has the discretion to change speaker order or length of time for each speaker if the Chair determines the request to be reasonable.

 

1)   Sponsor for nomination (8 min)

2)   Staff analysis (8 min)

3)   Property owner’s presentation, including outside professional staff (8 min)

4)   Affected property owner’s presentation, including outside professional staff (8 min)

5)   Public comment (up to 3 min/per person)

6)   Committee Evaluation Reports (8 min total)

7)   Staff Rebuttal (3-5 min)

8)   Property Owner Rebuttal (3-5 min)

9)   Affected property owner rebuttal (3-5 min)

10) Discussion and Action by Committee

 

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at (1) the Department of the Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) or when possible, on the Landmark Tree Committee webpage https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/urban-forestry-council/landmark-tree-committee/2010-meetings, (3) upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at  Monica.Fish@Sfgov.org.

 

Approved: January 11, 2011

 

 

 

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