07 07 15 Planning and Funding Committee Approved Mintues

City and County of San Francisco

Urban Forestry Council

Planning and Funding Committee Regular Meeting

Approved Minutes


Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 4:00 p.m.

Offices of the San Francisco Planning Department

1650 Mission Street, Room 400

San Francisco, CA  94103



Committee Members:  Members Sullivan (Chair), Flanagan, Leffingwell, Alvarez and Swae


Order of Business

 Public comment will be taken before the Council takes action on any item.


1.    Call to Order and Roll Call.
Members Sullivan (Chair), Flanagan (left meeting at 4:32), Leffingwell, and Swae present. Member Alvarez absent.


2.    Approval of Minutes of the May 5, 2015 Urban Forestry Council Planning and Funding Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  May 5, 2015 Meeting Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)
Member Leffingwell motioned to approve the minutes, seconded by Member Flanagan. The May 5, 2015 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection. (AYES:  Members Flanagan, Leffingwell, Sullivan and Swae; Absent:  Member Alvarez).


3.    Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.

Anastasia Glikshtern provided comment on the Natural Areas Program and Masonic Street improvements: She received communication on hearings for tree removals that she believes are not necessary.


4.    Street Tree Nursery Research. Presenters: Jon Swae and Stephanie Ng, Planning Department. . The Planning Department will provide an update on their summer research project regarding street tree nurseries. (Presentation and Discussion.) 


Stephanie Ng, Planning Department Intern, provided an informal presentation: A report on her research will be complete by mid-August and will include three sections. The first section will be an analysis of street tree supply, with a goal of better understanding how to ensure an adequate supply of trees is available to achieve the Urban Forest Plan goal of increasing street tree canopy by 50K trees over a 20 year period. It will include information provided by Public Works and Friends of the Urban Forest on which nurseries they use to source trees, which species they are planting, and how many of each species they are planting.   The second part of the report will studies the existing models for community based nurseries and examines the possibilities of creating a pilot street tree nursery to serve San Francisco. The third part of the report will outline site selection for possible street tree nursery locations.


Committee member discussion included: Public Works and Friends of the Urban Forest are interested in planting species that are currently difficult to source, which an internally managed nursery may help provide. Planning has spoken with the San Jose based nonprofit organization Our City Forest about their nursery operations, which include 12K trees that are being grown on land near SFO, production of the 2K trees they plant annually, and smaller plants that supply a retail operation which provides $50K a year in annual income. Former UFC member Larry Costello operates a tree nursery that Planning is speaking with next week.


Anastasia Glikshtern provided comments: She attended the Integrated Pest Management Technical Advisory Committee July 2015 meeting where an attendee advised that some mulch products are treated with pesticides that may be avoided by the city producing the mulch products that they use.  


5.    Urban Forest Plan, Phase III - Private Property Trees. The Committee will discuss the Urban Forest Plan, Phase III - Private Property Trees. (Discussion.)


The committee discussed protection of private trees, noting that tree within backyard are generally unprotected. Committee members briefly discussed San Francisco’s Significant Tree protection guidelines and identified other municipalities that have protections in place for trees on private property, noting a handful of CA cities have good protection guidelines in place but may not have the staffing needed to ensure that these guidelines are effective. A possible solution for construction related tree damage it to require an appraisal of trees that should be protected and have signs on the tree that describe the tree’s value, to encourage contraction workers to protect the tree – members noted that this strategy can enhance the effectiveness of tree protection zones.  Members noted that regulation alone may be ineffective and that providing support to private property owners in caring for their trees could be more effective, including increasing education around proper tree management.


Anastasia Glikshtern provided comments: A property developer has applied for the removal of a significant tree in Glen Park. There was an appeal hearing, though she does not know the outcome of the appeals process or where to find out more information.  


6.    Update on the 2015 Annual Report. The Committee will hear on update on the Annual Urban Forest Report for 2015. (Explanatory Documents:  2015 Annual Report Survey) (Discussion)


Staff provided a list of organizations that surveys have been sent to and asked the membership if there were additional organizations that they would like to include.


These organizations have received the 2015 Annual Report Survey: Cal Trans, Department of Public Works, Dept. of Public Health, MTA, Port of San Francisco, PUC Natural Areas Division, SF Housing Authority, SF International Airport, Recreation and Park Dept., Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, TIDA, Friends of the Urban Forest, GGNRA, Presidio Trust, SF City College, SF Unified School District, UCSF, SFSU, PG&E. Additionally, the Planning Department has received the 2015 Annual Report Alternate Survey.


Members suggested surveying golf courses, the Public Library system, and large scale private property developers.


7.    New Business/Future Agenda Items.  (Discussion)


In September, the committee will discuss an idea proposed by Member Michael Sullivan for tree lists that would supplement the List of Recommended Street Trees.


8.    Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.


Anastasia Glikshtern provided comment on the Masonic Street improvements: She said four gingko trees were planted and that she spoke with a contractor who told her that no trees needed to be removed for grading or road work. She wanted the committee to know that there is conflicting information regarding required tree removal for the project.


9.    Adjournment at 4:47pm.


The next Planning and Funding Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 4:00 p.m., Offices of the San Francisco Planning Department, 1650 Mission Street, Room 400.




Approved: August 4, 2015