January 7 2016 Landmark Tree Committee Meeting Minutes Draft


Draft Minutes
Thursday, January 7, 2016, 4:15 p.m.

City Hall, Room 421
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Rose Hillson (Chair), Malcolm Hillan, Dan Kida, Carla Short, Jon Swae

STAFF:  Not present

Order of Business

1.     Call to Order and Roll Call. The Landmark Tree Committee meeting convened at 4:55 p.m.

Present:  Chair Hillson, Members Short and Swae.  Absent:  Members Hillan and Kida.  Chair Hillson ascertained quorum and called the agenda items. 

2.     Approval of Minutes of the December 3, 2015 Urban Forestry Council Landmark Tree Committee Special Meeting.  (Explanatory Document: December 3, 2015 Draft Minutes)

(Discussion and Action).

Upon Motion by Member Short, second by Member Swae, the December 3, 2015 Draft Minutes were approved without objection (Members Hillson, Short and Swae).

No public present to comment.

3.     Landmark Tree Evaluation Process Flowchart. (Explanatory documents: Landmark Tree Evaluation Process Flowchart Update by Chair Hillson:  The committee will be given an update and the Committee members allowed to review the revised Landmark Tree Process Flowchart as amended from the Dec. 3, 2015 draft and recommend to Urban Forestry Council to adopt.  (Discussion, Possible Action)

       Chair Hillson presented 3 pages of revised Landmark Tree Process Flowchart.  Started on Page 1.  In the last meeting, it was noted that a member of the public is not a nomination source but has input via the Landmark Nomination Form as shown by the gray document input symbol in the flowchart.  Sources are listed in the third box at the right and the public must get a nomination source.  Member Short asked a clarifying point that the private property owner does not need to seek a source as that person is the source.  Chair Hillson agreed and since only the member of the public needs to seek a source, the last sentence in the third box was deleted.   Went through rest of the chart on Page 1.  There was a change with the use of the word “quorum” in the boxes because “quorum” and “majority” are different and in the UFC Bylaws, the word “majority” is used.  Member Short agreed that the two words have a different meaning which could mean quorum and majority are the same but not always. 

All three outcomes at LTC meeting – majority to support, no majority to support, split vote – all go to the full UFC meeting.  This page is still open to revision so if there are any changes, please bring up at next meeting.  Next, Page 2 was discussed.  Went over the boxes and protection ending if no majority and cannot nominate tree again for 3 years.  Went over when there is majority vote, the UFC sends the resolution and the vote to the BOS Clerk.  When there is a split vote, there was a question as to whether UFC sends a resolution and the vote to the BOS Clerk so Chair Hillson had asked Mei Ling about it.  Also, since Chair Hillson last asked the BOS Clerk what is needed in this case and was told that the BOS Office still needed the UFC findings in a resolution with the vote, Mei Ling had inquired and said she received a phonemail message from Rachel that the process being used now by UFC Staff to send an email with the findings and the vote is fine.  Chair Hillson explained that at the last full Council, there were two resolutions passed – to recommend to the BOS with no recommendation and to show the vote of 5-5.  Although there was a summary of findings, not sure about any resolution for the findings.  So although that is the answer Mei Ling received from the BOS Office, the split vote line (in the flowchart) that goes to needing a resolution is still unresolved.  The arrow may go straight down rather than to the left to the UFC Staff sends, and go to BOS Process.  The Committee continued discussion of the flowchart re notifications and recordation in Landmark Tree Book kept by Department of Public Works.  Chair Hillson also stated that on each of the pages of the flowchart, there is a disclaimer that this is not meant to be exhaustive but a guide.  Member Swae asked what the Landmark Tree Book was about.  Member Short explained that it was a lovely binder that contains the resolutions for each tree.  Member Swae mentioned photos and Member Short stated that there are no photos but that is a good suggestion to have for the Book.  Chair Hillson stated that she sent Mei Ling a pic of her tree as she was going to create some sort of Landmark Tree display at her office.  Member Short would like a picture of Chair Hillson’s tree to put in the Book as well.  Member Short has some photos but it would be good to get pictures of all the landmark trees in the Book.

Chair Hillson brought up an internal issue to UFC Staff and departments wherein some trees have a lapse of the temporary protection of the tree and those are not taken off the Planning and DBI lists.  Chair Hillson referenced the Planning Department’s “Tree Planting and Protection” document which has a list of landmarked trees and there’s one tree for sure that is not a landmark tree.  Member Short stated that that form is outdated.  Member Swae does not think Planning uses it.  Member Short stated that it all goes through DPW now and there is a different form and the trees are not listed but rather refer people to the website.  Planning will check to see if it has been taken down.  Member Short stated that the “Tree Planting and Protection” process is now all at DPW.  She said this (“Tree Planting and Protection”) document was active until 3-4 months ago.  Chair Hillson asked how a person knows there is a (landmark) tree on a particular parcel.  Member Short stated that the property with the landmark tree is flagged in the Property Information Map (Planning website) and also the adjacent properties as well.  Chair Hillson stated that trees that are landmarked with missing resolutions is another internal thing.  An outstanding problem is that trees whose temporary designation have ended are not relayed to whoever needs to know so that the property will accurately show there is no landmark tree there.

Chair Hillson continued to Page 3 which she said refers to Page 1 tree nomination sources with the asterisk.  The sources of nomination as well as the sponsors are listed because most people do not know that people have to seek out a sponsor in the end.  Chair Hillson noted that #5, the Mayor, gets to do what he or she wants; and Director Nuru is allowed to temporarily designate a tree.  Member Short stated that he will do so for any tree that looks like it has a chance of getting nominated and which is appropriate to give people a chance to go through the process and it does not mean that it will guarantee that that tree will get protected.  Member Short states that the worst thing is for somebody to nominate a tree and somebody to cut it down before it has a chance to be formally nominated.  Chair Hillson referenced 810 (DPW Code Section) and indicated that when Historic Preservation or Planning Commissions nominate, the time when it gets the temporary designation differs from when another source nominates and it is when the UFC adopts the resolution.  For the Cook St. tree, there was the Planning resolution adoption on July 2 and the one before that by Director Nuru.  The flowchart shows the case goes to UFC with a resolution of findings and a vote.  That is still murky.  Planning had a resolution of intent to nominate and stated findings in the summary pages but hard to figure out what the BOS wants because according to 810, the findings have to be the UFC findings.  Member Short does not think that is the same resolution and that is only Planning’s own resolution.  Chair Hillson stated that in the process, there is a need to get a sponsor (“Pending A Nomination Sponsor to BOS”) and a sponsor is a Department Head, a BOS member or the Mayor according to the BOS Rules.  Member Short understood that Historic Preservation Commission or Planning Commission were also sponsors and she will look into that.  According to 810, HPC or PC can be a source to nominate the tree but to get a tree agendized at the BOS, under the BOS Rules, there are 3 potential sponsors -- a Department Head, a BOS member, or the Mayor – that can do so.  HPC and PC can initiate the nomination to the UFC but as far as introducing a resolution to landmark a tree to the BOS, to get that agendized on the BOS calendar, only the 3 sponsors can.  Member Short, wonders, with what occurred in the past, if a nomination came from the head of the Department of the Environment through Staff, is that how the past nominations have come through because not all of them have been nominated by members of the Board (of Supervisors), not all have had sponsors from the members of the Board.  Member Short stated that the Director of Public Works sponsored a landmark tree.  Member Short stated that when the private property owner nominated it, e.g. 2626 Vallejo, the UFC agendized it and assumed it was nominated by the head of the Department of the Environment.  Member Short stated that this is something we need to ask Mei Ling and asked if there is not a Board sponsor, how has she been getting it on the agenda?  Chair Hillson also reiterated that question on how that item got on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda.  Member Short guessed that they had the Director of the Department of the Environment sign something that officially comes from a department head.  Chair Hillson asked the members to look at the rest of the flowchart and comment later.

At this time, Member Swae had to leave.  Chair Hillson stated that all the items on this agenda will come back at the next meeting.  Moved by Member Short, seconded by Member Swae.

Items #4- #6, & #7 (no public present to comment) not discussed at this meeting as the meeting ended when Member Swae left.

4.     Alterative Tree Protection Policies. (Explanatory document: Planning overview document)  The Committee will discuss alternative tree protection policies. (Discussion)

5.     On-site Identification of Landmark Trees. (Explanatory documents: Images of Landmark Trees from Dec. 3, 2015 meeting.) The Committee will hear from members on what they decided on the best two sizes for the on-site identification of landmark trees, make suggestions for tree markers, including materials, design procurement, and installation.  (Discussion and Possible Action)

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

7.     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.

8.     Adjournment.  The Landmark Tree Committee meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m. due to losing quorum.

Minutes written and submitted by Chair Hillson.

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., (2) or may be available at the Landmark Tree Committee Meeting website http://www.sfenvironment.org/about/taskforce/urban-forestry-council/agendas posted with each agenda or meeting minutes, or 3) upon request to the Commissions Affairs Manager at the above address, telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected] Audio recordings of all meetings can be accessed at the following websitehttp://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=129