August 25 2015 Urban Forestry Council Meeting Minutes Draft

City and County of San Francisco

DEpartment of the ENvironment

urban forestry council


Meeting Minutes DRAFT

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:00 p.m.


City Hall, Room 416

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place

San Francisco, CA 94102


Council Members: Dan Flanagan (Chair), Carla Short (Vice Chair) (Department of Public Works), Malcolm Hillan, Rose Hillson, Dan Kida, Igor Lacan, John Leffingwell, Sandy Sherwin, Andrew Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, Ana Alvarez (San Francisco Recreation and Park Department), Tom Carter (San Francisco Port), Yolanda Manzone, (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission), Jon Swae (San Francisco Planning Department), and Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Vacant)


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


Order of Business


1.    Call to Order and Roll Call. Meeting was called to order at 6:03pm. Present: Chair Dan Flanagan, Vice-Chair Carla Short, Members Rose Hillson, Igor Lacan, John Leffingwell, Sandy Sherwin, Andrew Sullivan (left meeting at 6:48pm), Tom Carter, Yolanda Manzone, and Jon Swae. Excsued: Members Dan Kida, Malcolm Hillan, Michael Sullivan, and Ana Alvarez.

2.    Adoption of Minutes of the June 23, 2015 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:   June 23, 2015 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action).

This item was continued to the next meeting.

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

There was no public comment at this time.

4.    Treasure Island Development Authority Draft Tree Removal Procedure. Presenters: Robert Beck, Treasure Island Director, Treasure Island Development Authority. The Committee will review the Draft Treasure Island Development Authority tree removal procedures and provide comments to

TIDA on the guidelines. (Explanatory Documents: Tree Removal Procedures -Public Comment DRAFT.) (Presentation, Discussion, and Possible Action.) 


Robert Beck, the Treasure Island Director, and Pamela Conrad, from CMG Landscape Architecture presented background and overview for the Treasure Island Development Plan and procedures to provide public notice for tree removals related to the Development Plan. 

In 1993, the Navy identified the Naval Station Treasure Island for closure and in 1994 the City of San Francisco formed a committee to examine how to reuse Treasure Island. The initial re-use plan was adopted in 1996 and the naval station closed in 1997. In 1998, TIDA entered into a cooperative agreement with the Navy to oversee maintenance of trees and other infrastructure. The Treasure Island Use and Development Plan was endorsed by the Board of Supervisors in 2006 and in 2011 the environmental work for the development plan was completed and the Yerba Buena Island Habitat Management Plan was adopted. In 2013, the Development and Disposition Agreement was signed. In February 2015, the Street Scape Master Plan was approved, which outlined proposed tree planting. In May 2015, TIDA accepted the first land transfer from the Navy of 290 acres, plus submerged land around the island. TIDA will begin predevelopment work in autumn 2015, including work within a number of areas where tree removals will occur in advance of bird nesting season.

The development plan includes 8K new residential units, of which 25% will be affordable housing. There will also be 500K square feet of commercial space, 300 acres of open space on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, 3K new trees will be planted, of which 1650 will be new street trees.  Approximately 2K trees are planned for removal as part of the development plan. Some trees with historical significance, including olives trees and palm trees planted as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, will be preserved and replanted.  Some tree conflicts that require removals on Treasure Island include geotechnical stabilization of the shoreline to address liquefaction and to pre-consolidate bay mud under the new building locations, raising grade elevation to address sea-level rise and settling that’s happened since the Treasure Island was originally constructed, and preparing for the new street grid. Yerba Buena Island has a denser tree canopy coverage and smaller development footprint. Some tree removal will take place in new building development areas, for roadway widening and new roadway alignment, new water tank and utility installation, and grading and geotechnical work.  The construction of Hilltop Park will include removing some trees to open view corridors to the Bay. Over time, the Yerba Buena Habitat Management Plan calls for replacing eucalypts with oak and cypress trees. A consultant is currently working on a tree inventory. Tree removals will be posted for trees with historic significance, for example the olive and palm trees described earlier, as well as native trees, for example oaks, toyons, redwoods, and buckeyes. Detailed tree removal and tree protection plans will be developed for the native trees. The majority of the trees on Yerba Buena Island are Blue Gum Eucalyptus. TIDA intend to selectively remove eucalyptus trees and infill plant with oaks and other native trees, noting that clear-cutting would cause major erosion issues and will not be done.

Mr. Beck identified additional resources to find more information:
The Streetscape Master Plan is available online here:

The Yerba Buena Island Habitat Management Plan is available online here:

Once construction is complete, TIDA or a Master HOA will be responsible for street paving/surface improvements and street tree maintenance will follow Public Work’s Code.  Open space, including the 55 acres of open space on Yerba Buena Island, will also be maintained by TIDA. 

Member Andrew Sullivan explained that the UFC has focused on mature tree stand recently and identified that finance needs to drive development should not be one of the main decision when considering tree removals. Mr. Beck replied that the developer has identified existing trees as important site features that contribute to the sense of place and that retaining trees is therefore in the developer’s best interest. Member Sullivan urged TIDA to create a process and dialogue around this point, noting that TIDA could be subject to significant community pushback and additionally requested development of a mechanism that would involve the UFC when significant numbers of removals are planned. Mr. Beck replied that he is open to providing information and updates to the UFC.

Member Sandy Sherwin asks about the process and timeline for adoption of the Draft Tree Removal Guidelines. Mr. Beck responded that he anticipates the document will be adopted at the September TIDA meeting and that they intend for it to be a living document.

Member Jon Swae expressed concern about ensuring Yerba Buena Island is preserved as a natural resources and asks if the UFC could tour the proposed development locations to better understand the tree removal and development plans.

Member John Leffingwell emphasized the need to establish baseline data before beginning tree removal, though some tree removal has begun. Member Leffingwell noted a concern that the Habitat Management Plan doesn’t outline target tree planting numbers within specific restoration areas. Mr. Beck agrees that inventory data is important and identified that TIDA is working with SFE’s Biodiversity Program on a 10-year management strategy. Additionally, Mr. Beck identified interest in urban wood reuse; Member Swae will send the study that they worked on.

Member Carla Short asked for information on the timeframe for development plan, and the 10-year habitat management plan, and asked that the UFC be updated on progress. Mr. Beck replied that the first residential units are expected to be ready at the end of 2018. But 2020, the first three development areas will be largely complete. Work on McCalla Road will be complete in about 18 months while overall roadway work will continue until though 2021. Active implementation of the Habitat Management Plan will begin after development work is complete.  A UFC member asked for clarification on the projected tree removals and Mr. Beck clarified that the 2K trees planned for removal do not include trees that will be removed for implementation of the Habitat Management Plan.  Member Short requested postings for tree removals that are in the same area where tree removals will take place, that include information on where to find out more. Mr. Beck responded that they can place signage on McCalla Road.

Chair Dan Flanagan requested that UFC staff support work with Mr. Beck to schedule a tour.


5.    Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report. 

Committee member Swae reported that the committee had received a presentation from Bob Beck on TIDA’s draft tree removal guidelines; the members stated that this item will be heard again at the next Planning and Funding Committee meeting. Additionally, Coordinator Hui reported that the tree list member Michael Sullivan has been working on and the 2015 Annual Report Draft would be heard at the next committee meeting.


Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee.  Chair’s Report.

Landmark Tree Committee Chair Hillson informed the members that the nomination was continued to the Landmark Tree Committee meeting that will be on October 1, 2015.  Committee member Short reported that she had received feedback that the tree may be a hybrid of a Norfolk Island Pine and a Cook Pine. Committee member Swae reported that he plans to do more research on the historic resource.



6.    Staff Report. (Informational Report and Discussion)

Coordinator Hui updated the Council on the 2015 Annual Report progress, including providing initial survey data and timeline. The report will be heard at the next Planning and Funding Committee before being presented to the Urban Forestry Council at the upcoming Sept 25, 2015 meeting.  Vice-Chair Short

7.    Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion)

Chair Flanagan announced that Member Alvarez has resigned and that he has begun speaking to Phil Ginsberg about a new Recreation and Park Department appointee.


8.    Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)

Member Hillson thanked Public Works for their efforts to preserve the Rosa Parks tree that was slated for removal for the Van Ness BRT project. The tree will be preserved and replanted on Van Ness.


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

No additional items were discussed.


10.  Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.

There was no public comment at this time.


11.  Adjournment at 7:25pm.


The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, September 25th, 2015 at 8:30 a.m., City Hall, Room 400, San Francisco, CA  94102.


Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at (1) the Department of Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California 94103 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Photo identification is required for access to the building; (2) upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3700 or via e-mail at [email protected] within three business days of a meeting. Explanatory documents may also be available at the Council’s meeting or agenda website as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes. Meeting audios can be accessed at the following weblink


Respectfully submitted by Mei Ling Hui, Urban Forestry Council Coordinator


Urban Forestry Council

San Francisco Department of the Environment

City and County of San Francisco

1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94103



Posted 10/21/15