February 17 2016 Policy Committee Meeting Minutes Approved


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2016, 5:00 P.M.


*If a quorum of the Commission on the Environment is present, it will constitute a Special Meeting of the Commission on the Environment.  The Commission Affairs Manager shall make a note of it in the minutes, and discussion shall be limited to items noticed on this agenda.

**The Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 5:00 p.m. meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee has been RESCHEDULED to Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair), Elmy Bermejo, Lisa Hoyos.


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

1.         Call to Order and Roll Call. The Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting was convened at 5:09 p.m. (Present: Commissioners Wald, Bermejo and Hoyos)

2.         Approval of Minutes of the January 11, 2016 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: January 11, 2016 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Commissioner Wald welcomed Commissioner Hoyos.  Commission Affairs Manager Anthony Valdez indicated being contacted by a member of the public, David Pilpel.  David Pilpel has non-substantive amendments to the minutes but as of the meeting had not shared them with staff or the Committee.  Chair Wald said that the minutes may be changed so long as the changes were not substantive.

Upon motion by Commissioner Bermejo and second by Commissioner Hoyos, the minutes of the January 11, 2016 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting were approved without objection (AYE: Commissioners Wald, Bermejo and Hoyos).

3.         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.

Dee Seligman shared materials with Committee members related to the Integrated Pest Management List.  Dee indicated opposition to the use of Tier 1 and Tier 2 chemicals.

Anastacia Glikshtern expressed opposition to the chemicals on the Reduced Risk Pesticide List.

4.         Update on Sustainable Chinatown Project. Speaker: Richard Chien, Senior Program Coordinator; Cindy Wu, Deputy Director, Chinatown Community Development Center; Lisa Chen, Planner – Citywide Planning Division, San Francisco Planning Department (15 minutes) (Discussion)

Richard Chien, Senior Program Coordinator with the Department of the Environment said that the Department has been working on the Sustainable Chinatown Project for over a year.

Cindy Wu, Deputy Director, Chinatown Community Development Center discussed the goals of the Sustainable Chinatown Project including equity, preserving affordable housing and preserving culture while improving sustainability.  The key opportunity was to work with public housing and eco districts.

Jon Swae, Lead Planning with the San Francisco Planning Department discussed how Chinatown is one of San Francisco’s eco-districts and how the goals of the ecodistrict program were incorporated into the Sustainable Chinatown project including the goals of green public housing, more efficient and affordable buildings, looking at the use of the public realm and open space and collecting data on usage and equity.

The project focused on the four Ping-Yuen housing projects in San Francisco’s Chinatown which are being transferred from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to nonprofits and affordable housing developers.  Improvements are being made as part of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

Sustainable Chinatown intends to use the experience with the Ping Yuen development to inform and encourage other private building owners to retrofit in Chinatown.  The program completed an inventory of buildings in Chinatown and is creating a plan on how to outreach.

Cindy Wu discussed open spaces in Chinatown and various ongoing projects.

Jon Swae discussed how data is being used to inform the work of Sustainable Chinatown.

Director Debbie Raphael shared excitement for the cooperation between two City departments and non-profits on this project.  Commissioner Bermejo asked about the displacement of the residents during construction.  Commissioner Wald asked what a deep green retrofit consists of and asked about the public involvement in the creation of the plan.  Commissioner Hoyos asked how much of the housing stock is private.  Director Raphael asked about concerns around gentrification.

5.         Update on the Progress of San Francisco’s Municipal Green Buildings. Speaker: Mark Palmer, Municipal Green Buildings Coordinator; Melina Markarian, Architectural Associate, Building Design and Construction, San Francisco Department of Public Works; Sam Mehta, Environmental Services Manager, Planning Design and Construction, San Francisco International Airport (15 minutes) (Discussion)

Mark Palmer, Municipal Green Buildings Coordinator from the Department of the Environment, discussed the 41 San Francisco Municipal LEED certified projects between the years 2008 and 2016.  Nearly 6 million square feet have been certified LEED.   San Francisco has a number of milestones in LEED certification and currently has nine certified platinum buildings.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has established the Civic Center Sustainable Resource District to create sustainability in and around the Civic Center.  Other major zero net energy projects include San Francisco International Airport, the Exploratorium and the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park.

LEED Version 4 is being introduced which means that the Department and its partners must learn the new requirements.

Mark Palmer is working with building engineers and managers to have their buy in in the process.

Melina Markarian, Architectural Associate, Building Design and Construction, San Francisco Department of Public Works thanked Mark Palmer and the Department for their leadership.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about the projects in the pipeline and LEED Version 4 and efforts to engage the Labor community.  Commissioner Wald asked about the Department’s efforts to publicize Mark Palmer’s work.  Director Raphael asked if the San Francisco LEED Ordinance needed to be updated and recommended that it come to the Policy Committee to recommend approval.

Mark Palmer discussed the Department’s relationship with the U.S. Green Building Council and how unique it is that San Francisco has adopted LEED requirements into City code.

Commissioner Wald asked how many buildings the City owns.

6.         Director’s Update. Deborah Raphael, Director (Discussion)

Director Raphel reported back on the meeting of the SF Hotel Council where the Director challenged hotels in San Francisco to consider 0-50-100 Roots.  The Director also attended a spoke before a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their trade mission in San Francisco.  Commissioner Wald asked if a previous meeting with the hotel industry has helped.  Commissioner Bermejo discussed ways in which the Commission on the Status of Women engages the community.

The Department held the Green Business Awards at Autodesk’s Innovation Center.  On April 21, 2016 the Department will host the Earth Day breakfast at City Hall with a theme of moving the 0-50-100 challenge into churches and businesses.

Director Raphael discussed the beginning of efforts to look into natural gas leaks in San Francisco to avoid the unnecessary release greenhouse gasses.  Commissioner Hoyos asked about outreach to the Labor community about this matter.

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

At its next meeting the Policy Committee will be discussing the 2016 Reduced Risk Pesticide List.

Commissioners Bermejo and Hoyos indicated that they cannot attend the March 14th Policy Committee meeting date.

Commissioner Bermejo suggested the Commission discuss the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission sewer upgrade project and how to ensure there is a social justice aspect to construction.

Commissioner Hoyos discussed Zero Waste policies in San Francisco and ways the Committee can explore the issue through tours, conversations with staff or potential citywide policies.

Commissioner Wald discussed producer responsibility around packaging and the carbon footprint of internet purchases.

8.         Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:09 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. in City Hall, Room 421.

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 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 entry to the building. (2) on the Commission’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas; (3) upon request to the Commission Affairs Manager, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected] within three business days of a meeting. If any materials related to an item on this agenda have been distributed to the Committee after distribution of the agenda packet, those materials are available for public inspection at the Department of the Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94103 during normal office hours or will be made available on the Commission’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas as attachments to the agenda or meeting minutes. 

Posted: February 24, 2016