June 25 2013 Urban Forestry Council Meeting Approved Minutes


Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

City Hall, Room 416
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Council Members: Dan Flanagan (Acting Chair), Chris Buck (Department of Public Works), Dr. Larry Costello, Malcolm Hillan, Rose Hillson, Dan Kida, John S. Leffingwell, William Most, Sandy Sherwin, Dan Sider (San Francisco Planning Department), and Andrew Sullivan. Advisory Members: Mike Barrow (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission); Melinda Stockmann (San Francisco Recreation and Park Department); San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (Vacant); 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.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 6:03 p.m.  Present:  Council Members Flanagan, Costello, Hillson, Kida, Leffingwell, Most, Sherwin, Sider, and Sullivan.  Excused:  Members Barrow, Buck and Hillan.  Absent:  Member Stockmann.

2. Introduction of New Urban Forestry Council Members. (Discussion)  Members Kida, Leffingwell and Most introduced themselves and discussed their background and interest in urban forestry.

3. Adoption of Minutes of the February 26, 2013 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  February 26, 2013 Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Sullivan, the February 26, 2013 Urban Forestry Council Draft Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Members Flanagan, Costello, Kida, Leffingwell, Most, Sherwin, Sider and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Buck and Hillan).

4. 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.

5. Process and Upcoming Steps for Urban Forestry Council Strategic Planning. (Explanatory Document:  Urban Forestry Council Offsite Planning Meeting Draft Agenda) Speaker:  Michael Allison, Principal, Michael Allison Consulting (Discussion)

Mr. Michael Allison provided an overview of the draft agenda and process for the upcoming Urban Forestry Council Strategic Planning session scheduled for Tuesday, August 27, 2013.  The session would be held during the day and would replace the regular meeting on the same date.  Agenda topics for the meeting include a discussion on the purpose and goals for the meeting, developing a shared understanding of where the Urban Forestry Council is at the present time, identifying a vision, priority goals, and action plan for the Urban Forestry Council, and clarifying next steps. He suggested that Council members in advance of the meeting review the Council’s history, self-assessment survey results, stakeholder feedback for strategic planning, and the Planning Department’s Urban Forest Master Plan summary. 

Council Member Most requested that the Climate Action Strategy Plan be included as a topic of discussion at the meeting.  Council Members held a discussion on how the strategic planning session would help achieve a future strategic and focused work plan for the Council.    
6. Urban Forest Master Plan.  Mr. Jon Swae, Plan Manager, Urban Forest Plan, Planning Department, will provide an update on the Urban Forest Plan to the Council. (Explanatory Document:   Urban Forest Plan Draft Executive Summary) Speaker:  Jon Swae, Planning Department (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Mr. Jon Swae reported on the Urban Forest Plan vision and goals to grow, protect, manage, fund, and engage residents, public agencies and the private sector in the city’s urban forest.  He discussed the main recommendations of the plan to stabilize the urban forest, increase tree canopy, maintain all street trees, dedicate funding for trees, and plant more street trees.  Mr. Swae discussed the current role of the Urban Forestry Council, city agencies and departments and current focus to develop a finance study and complete a street tree census.  The Council is to be presented with a draft of the Plan in August with a goal of a final draft to be completed in early Fall 2013.   A public awareness campaign will be scheduled for 2013/14.   The Council held a discussion and provided input into the plan.  Working group meetings would be scheduled to provide further input.  Mr. Swae would provide a work plan of all recommendations, role of all parties, lead agencies, and timeline for implementation to the Council to review at its August 27 strategic planning session.

Public Comment:  Mr. Frank Mason discussed City budget backlog, allocations and tax assessments and choices the City should be considering in allocating spending toward planting more street trees in comparison with other programs.   He expressed his concern on the lack of consultation with property owners and neighborhoods when street tree maintenance had been reassigned to them in the past.  Mr. Mason stated that the plan disregards senior and disabled owners who may not want a tree or are unable to maintain or financially maintain a tree in accordance with Section 805 of Article 16 of the Public Works Code. 
7. Review of Procedure for the Urban Forestry Council’s 2013 Annual Report. Speaker:  Mei Ling Hui, Council Coordinator (Discussion)  Council Coordinator Hui reported that the Annual Report Survey was reviewed and updated at the Planning and Funding Committee and was sent to all stakeholders on June 24.  A response was requested by July 19 and would be reviewed at a rescheduled Planning and Funding Committee in the third week of July.  A Draft of the Annual Report would be provided at the August 27 strategic planning session for review and adoption. 

8. Nomination and Election of Urban Forestry Council Officers.  (Discussion and Action)  Member Sider nominated Member Flanagan as Council Chair and Member Flanagan accepted the nomination.  Member Flanagan nominated Member Costello as Council Vice-Chair, and Member Costello accepted the nomination.  Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Sullivan, Member Flanagan was elected as Chair and Member Costello was elected as Council Vice-Chair (AYES:  Members Flanagan, Costello, Kida, Leffingwell, Most, Sherwin, Sider and Sullivan (Absent:  Members Buck and Hillan).

9. Review and Approval of Draft Resolution commending Megan Sutherland for her service to the Urban Forestry Council.  (Explanatory Document:  Resolution 007-13-UFC) (Discussion and Action)
Secretary Fish read the Draft Resolution commending Council Emeritus Member Megan Sutherland-Morris for her service to the Urban Forestry Council.  Upon Motion by Member Flanagan, second by Member Sherwin, Resolution 007-13-UFC was adopted with amendments without objection (AYES:  Members Flanagan, Costello, Kida, Leffingwell, Most, Sherwin, Sider and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Buck and Hillan).

10. Staff Report.  Coordinator Hui reported on her work on current projects, provided the Street Tree Guide to Council Members for distribution, and reported on her out of office schedule.
11. Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)
Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report. 
Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Chair’s Report.

Member Sullivan reported on the Planning and Funding Committee’s work on strategic planning, the Annual Report and provided updates on the Urban Forest Plan.  Member Hillson reported on past Landmark Tree Committee meetings held to match landmark grove and tree nomination forms with the Department of Public Works (DPW) Code, and that proposed grove ordinance language and forms had been submitted to DPW legal for review.

12. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion) Chair Flanagan asked Council Members for their recommendations for meeting space for the August 27 Strategic Planning meeting.  He reported that a public member submitted a letter on the landmark tree process that would be forwarded to the Landmark Tree Committee for further action.  A copy of the letter from Ms. Dee Seligman was provided to all Council Members.

13. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)  Member Hillson inquired and suggested publicly accessible locations where the Street Tree Guide could be made available.  Members would be distributing the guide and provided suggestions for distribution locations such as community meetings, neighborhood organizations, permit filing locations, the public library.  Member Sullivan announced that a public meeting would be held at SPUR on July 17th on the Draft Urban Forest Plan.  Member Sherwin announced that the Botanical Garden was before the Board of Supervisors last week and inquired about the outcome. Coordinator Hui suggested that Council Members network their programs, projects or events with other members during this agenda item.
14. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)  Member Flanagan reported that future agenda items would include the Urban Forest Master Plan and Strategic Planning.  Coordinator Hui reported that the Annual Report would be reviewed at the August Council meeting.
15. 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.  Mr. Frank Mason reported on discussions held on the Better Market Street Plan and selection of trees and increased funding for the Plan.  He suggested that the Council become more involved in the process.  Mr. Mason asked that future provisions be made for property owners to opt out of street tree planting or maintenance due to extenuating circumstance and discussed the public relations problem he feels exists because of this requirement.  He suggested that the City Attorney provide advice on voting recusal requirements for Council Members that may have a financial interest in the Urban Forest Plan.

16. Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California 94103 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3709 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 http://www.sfenvironment.org/about/taskforce/urban-forestry-council/agendas as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.  Meeting audios can be accessed at the following weblink https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/urban-forestry-council/urban-forestry-council-and-committee-meeting-audios.

Respectfully submitted by Monica Fish, Council Secretary

Approved: August 27, 2013