09.18 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco

DEpartment of the ENvironment




Thursday, September 18, 2008, 4:15 p.m.

City Hall, Room 421, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Carla Short (Chair), David Habert, Milton Marks, Lena Miller, Terry Milne, Bonnie Ora Sherk


Order of Business

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Planning and Funding Committee meeting convened at 4:25 p.m.  Present:  Chair Short, Members Milne, Miller, and Sherk; Excused:  Members Habert and Marks


2.      Approval of Minutes of the August 21, 2008 Urban Forestry Council Planning and Funding Committee Regular Meeting.  (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Member Milne and second by Chair Short, the August 21, 2008 Meeting Minutes were approved with a correction to change “Quire” to “Quirke” on Item 4, last paragraph before Public Comment. (Explanatory document: August 21, 2008 Approved Minutes). 


3.      Pursuing Better Tree Protection on Large-Scale Development Projects.  Review of tree protection activities on current development plans and projects. (Continued from the August 21, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion) SPEAKER:  Chair Short 


(Referenced Plans: Better Streets Plan; Mission Streetscape Plan; Fisherman’s Wharf Public Realm Plan; Glen Park Community Plan; Redevelopment Plan; MSP Draft Design Toolkit -- shows how streetscaping elements are used in a few different street types. Redevelopment: Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan--Pages 21-23 describes the standards for development; Redevelopment Plan for the Western Addition; India Basin Industrial Park--Pages 12-14 describe the development standards).


Chair Short recommended that Committee members review plans for projects that are in the development process to review their tree protection activities and make recommendations to the Council for improvement if necessary.  Coordinator Hui provided links to projects as listed above.  Chair Short stated that it would be interesting for the Planning Department to provide feedback on tree protection activities that are being seen on development plans.  Chair Milne explained that various agencies had presented on their plans to the Council in the past (Redevelopment Plans, Presidio, etc.), and the Council was able to make suggestions and ask questions.  Chair Milne stated that the Council could have an effect on these plans by attending and providing feedback at community meetings on plan presentations.


Chair Short reported that adequate tree protection on large-scale development projects is not being seen often times because of a lack of awareness.  It was explained that there is existing legislation, but it is not being enforced.  Chair Short and Member Milne recommended that a request be made at the project level to report to the Council on what the plan’s tree protection plans should be and if it is not there, the Council can say that it needs to be included.  Member Milne suggested that presentations be made at the Committee level to see if a result can be achieved.  


Member Sherk recommended reviewing the plan’s tree-planting activities in addition to tree-protection activities so that the Council could make recommendations on tree selection.  Chair Short indicated that tree protection is on the Council’s Work Plan because it has been recognized that there is a problem.  It was explained that there is already a lot of legislation about tree planting requirements. 


Coordinator Hui reported that the Planning Department’s plans were more specific in terms of how landscaping and planting was going to be achieved in comparison with the Redevelopment Agency’s plans. Chair Short explained that there was also no discussion on tree protection in Redevelopment Agency plans.  Member Sherk asked whether the Council has the ability to comment on trees that are being removed by other agencies and reported on a tree that was removed by the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).  Member Milne recommended inviting a SFUSD representative to report on their forestry practices at a Council meeting so the Council could make comments. 


Chair Short stated that it is important for agencies to be accountable to some type of tree protection or be required to disclose their plan for trees so people can comment.  Member Milne recommended that agencies and developers discuss their tree protection plans at the Council so it is a public forum and media coverage could be provided.  Committee members discussed the possibility of the Council creating a Resolution to be sent to the Board of Supervisors so it can be adopted as law in San Francisco.  It was explained that all Redevelopment Agency projects have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors, so if tree protection legislation has been adopted, the agency would have to do what is required.   


Member Miller suggested getting a Resolution passed as a law so energy does not have to go into policing the matter, it would be automatic.  Chair Short asked Coordinator Hui to contact the Planning Department and Redevelopment Agency contacts to request a list of upcoming projects that are in the review process at this time so the Council could weigh in when there is time to make some requirements or changes.  Member Sherk recommended that Coordinator Hui ask specifically what tree protection plans are in place for each plan. 


Member Sherk recommended asking the Recreation and Park Department and the SFUSD what their tree protection rules are. Chair Short recommended not focusing on the Recreation and Park Department as their tree preservation and protection requirements are different than development projects.  Member Miller recommended that the Recreation and Park Department’s activities be reviewed at a future date.  Chair Short stated that all agencies are governed by policies that are available for review.  Member Miller recommended reviewing best practices and then providing recommendations to the City to adopt as policies that can be enforced.


Chair Short asked what from the Urban Forestry Councils Priority Work Plan should be covered in the Urban Forest Master Plan which would become part of the General Plan and hence would be a governing document.  A recommendation could be made that all public lands no matter which city agency has jurisdiction over, should be required to have similar tree protection laws to DPW lands, for example.  


Public Comment:  Ms. Carolyn Blair, Urban Forestry Council member and San Francisco Tree Council, suggested researching information on existing trees, that agencies be required to provide specific information on trees that would be considered for removal, and that it be clear that tree preservation is the most important consideration.  Chair Short explained that the tree disclosure statement would provide a list of existing trees.  Ms. Blair inquired how to protect trees for the Hunters Point Shipyard project and whether the Council should consider creating a Tree Preservation Plan. Member Milne stated that an analysis could be made after reviewing current plans.


Disposition of Agenda Item:  Member Milne reported that Coordinator Hui has been directed to request presentations to the Council on current development projects so that Council members could provide recommendations on tree preservation activities.  This item would be carried over for discussion at the October Urban Forestry Council meeting.


4.   Suggestions for Urban Forestry Council Letterhead for recommendation to the Urban Forestry Council.  (Explanatory Document: Department of the Environment Letterhead) (Discussion and Possible Action) SPEAKER:  Coordinator Hui


Coordinator Hui reported that she had received permission from the Clerk of the Board to use the City seal for Urban Forestry Council letterhead and presented an example for the Committee to consider and make recommendations.  Committee members provided their recommendations on content and formatting.  Coordinator Hui indicated that she would incorporate the Committee Members’ suggestions into a few examples for the Council to consider at their September 26 meeting.


5.   Review of the Urban Forestry Council’s Work Plan Action Items as it relates to the Urban Forest Master Plan process. (Explanatory Document: Urban Forestry Council Work Plan) (Discussion) SPEAKER:  Chair Short


Chair Short reported that she was reviewing the high priority action work plan items and then realized in last month’s discussions, that a number of items would be potentially impacted by the Urban Forest Master Plan.  Member Milne reported that Mr. Power, Urban Forest Master Plan project manager would be making a presentation at the Friday, September 26 Council meeting and would be reporting on updates every month or two and recommended that members present their recommendations individually at that time.


Chair Short identified what she believes the Urban Forest Master Plan should address as listed in the Urban Forestry Council Work Plan as Items #2, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of priority items and then bullet #2 under section B and bullet #7 under Section C.  Committee members agreed that they would provide recommendations individually to Mr. Power at the September meeting.


6.  Agency Reporting Requirements to the Urban Forestry Council. Annual Urban Forest Report and methods for pursuing responses from non-reporting City departments and agencies.  (Discussion) SPEAKER:  Coordinator Hui


Coordinator Hui asked if the Committee felt that agencies that did not submit a report on their urban forest activities should appear before the Council to explain why they did not submit a report and provide information at that time.  Coordinator Hui reported that the Commission on the Environment and the Director of Greening offered their assistance in securing responses from agencies, but has not yet received a status report from the Director of Greening on the six agencies that did not provide a reason for not responding.   Chair Short reported that these agencies are required to submit a report and recommended that the Council prepare a Resolution to forward to the Board of Supervisors enforcing the requirement for submittal of responses.   


Disposition of Agenda Item:  Member Milne requested that this agenda topic be placed on the Council’s September 26 meeting for discussion with the inclusion of a report on the six non-reporting agencies. 


7.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion).  Ms. Blair, San Francisco Tree Council requested support from the Urban Forestry Council on ensuring that the public and 311 know that they should call the San Francisco Police Department to stop an illegal tree removal in process (Explanatory Document: Carolyn Blair New Business Comment).  The meeting lost quorum at this time.   


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 Planning and Funding Committee meeting adjourned at 5:37 p.m.



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: April 16, 2009 


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