March 28 2014 Urban Forestry Council Meeting Approved Mintues

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL

APPROVED MINUTES
Friday, March 28, 2014, 8:30 a.m.

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

*NOTE:  The Urban Forestry Council meeting was held in City Hall, Room 416 instead of the regularly scheduled meeting location of City Hall, Room 400.

Order of Business

1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council Meeting convened at 8:42 a.m.  Present:  Council Members Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Kida, Most, Short, Sullivan, Swae and Wayne;   Excused:  Members Barrow, Leffingwell and Sherwin.  Member Short served as Acting Vice Chair.  Member Wayne attended the meeting as a representative of the Recreation and Park Department.

2. Adoption of Minutes of the February 25, 2014 Urban Forestry Council Meeting. (Explanatory Document:   February 25, 2014 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Sullivan, second by Member Most, the February 25, 2014 Meeting Minutes were approved with an amendment to state that Lisa Wayne attended the meeting as a representative of the Recreation and Park Department (AYES: Members Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Kida, Most, Short, Swae, and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Leffingwell and Sherwin).

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.

Ms. Robin Sherrer reported on her concerns with the Recreation and Open Space Element (ROSE) and references made to tree removal and replacement, native and non-native species, land use, and plans for Mt. Sutro.  She asked that the Council consider a Resolution stating that the ROSE should continue to be considered but that it is not yet ready for approval.

4. Review and Approval of Draft Resolution 2014-03-UFC Commending Urban Forestry Council Member Larry Costello for his service to the Urban Forestry Council.  (Continued from the February 25, 2014 Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Approved Resolution 003-14-UFC) (Discussion and Action)

Council Coordinator Hui read the Resolution into the record.  Members Short and Flanagan commended Member Costello on his contribution to the Urban Forestry Council and urban forestry.  Member Emeritus Costello thanked the Council and commended the composition of the Council and its work toward improving the urban forest.  Upon Motion by Member Flanagan, second by Member Hillson, Resolution 003-14-UFC was approved (AYES:  Members Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Kida, Most, Short, Sullivan and Swae; Absent:  Members Leffingwell and Sherwin).

5. Review and Approval of the 2014 Recommended Street Tree List and Draft Resolution 2014-04-UFC Approving the List.  (Continued from the February 25, 2014 Meeting—Proposed for Continuance to the May 23, 2014 Meeting) (Discussion and Action) 

Public Comment:  Mr. Charles Cunningham inquired whether the purpose of the Recommended Street Tree List is to address trees that are being recommended for removal.  Chairperson Flanagan reported that the Department of Public Works and other entities work on making annual recommendations for street trees to plant in San Francisco.  Mr. Cunningham inquired whether the list would address a street tree that should be removed from a public walkway.   Chair Flanagan reported that street tree removal does not apply to the Recommended Street Tree List. Member Short offered to advise Mr. Cunningham on the process.

This agenda item was continued to the May 23, 2014 Urban Forestry Council meeting.

6. Nominations and Expression of Interest in Urban Forestry Council Office for Chair and Vice Chair. (Discussion and Action)

Member Most, second by Member Short nominated Council Chair Flanagan as Chair.  Chair Flanagan, second by Member Hillson nominated Member Short as Vice-Chair.

Public Comment:  Ms. Robin Sherrer commended Members Short and Flanagan for doing a good job.  She suggested that the Council consider adding a San Francisco Forest Alliance representative so as to have a more balanced view.

7. Summary of Draft Urban Forest Plan Public Comments.  (Explanatory Document:  Draft Urban Forest Plan – Phase 1: Street Trees Public Comments Summary) Sponsor/Speaker:  Member Jon Swae (Informational Report and Discussion) 

Member Swae reported that the Phase 1 of the Draft Urban Forest Plan was released on January 15.  The comment period was until January 21 and then extended until February 25 or 26. A report was provided on public comments received as referenced in the Explanatory Document.  Member Swae reported that the majority of the comments were in support of the plan.  He provided a high level summary of recommendations and key themes from public comments received.  The final draft is scheduled for release in April or early May at which point hearings would be scheduled at the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.  It was suggested that the Urban Forestry Council schedule a meeting to endorse the final draft of the plan at its May meeting.  Member Swae discussed elements of Phases 2 and 3 of the Plan noting that funding would be required for Phase 2 and work is in process for Phase 3.

Public Comment:

Mr. Frank Mason inquired about the number of comments that were provided by the due date and how many additional comments were made in the ensuing week.  He reported on his concern that there is not an adequate financing element included in the Plan and the magnitude of financing that would be required for its implementation.  Mr. Mason reported on his concern that the finance document states that the City would be absolved of costs from sewage pipe breakage from tree roots, and that home owners would be responsible for repair.   He stated that there are disconnects in the Plan that should be addressed such as responsibility for maintenance of privately-planted street trees.  Member Swae reported that the majority of comments received were by the due date and four or five comments were received by the extension date.

Ms. Robin Sherrer commended Phase 1 of the Plan that she believes to be well considered and encompasses many aspects.  She reported on her concern that many San Franciscans use the areas referenced in the Plan, but are not able to attend meetings and provide input into decisions being made because of their work schedules.  Ms. Sherrer expressed her concern that the Plan is natural areas centric and should not be included in the Plan.  She provided recommendations for revisions and inclusions.

8. Urban Forestry Council Review and Approval of Draft Resolution 2014-05-UFC Supporting/Endorsing the Green Connections Plan. (Explanatory Document:  Approved Resolution 005-14-UFC) Sponsor/Speaker:  Member Jon Swae (Discussion and Action)

Member Swae reported that The Planning Department presented to the Council at its February meeting on the Green Connections Plan.    He stated that the Green Connections Plan is to create a network of green streets throughout San Francisco to connect people, pedestrians, bicycle and transit between parks and open spaces in the City and would support habitat supportive streetscape planting, community planting activities, and trees and understory.  The Plan would be implemented in the next twenty years with a variety of capital projects carried out by the City or communities.  A website called SFPlantfinder would include a list of plants that neighborhoods and residents can plant in the community and the Recommended Street Tree List.

Public Comment:

Mr. Frank Mason inquired about implementation costs for the planned Green Connections projects in the next twenty years and methods for acquiring funding.  He asked that there be full transparency of costs and that it be included in the Plan.  Mr. Mason discussed the increase in transportation project costs and decrease in available government funding for implementation of projects.  He spoke of his concern that property owners would assume responsibility for project costs.

Ms. Robin Sherrer commended the Green Connections Project.  She suggested that the Council remove the reference to the Recreation and Open Space Element (ROSE) in the Resolution because it has not yet been finalized.  She stated that there are many policies in the ROSE that the Council may not support and that may not be urban-forest friendly. 

Upon Motion by Chair Flanagan, second by Member Hillan, Resolution 005-14-UFC was approved with an amendment to add the cost to the building demonstration-level projects over the next twenty years.  Member Swae would provide the cost figure.  (AYES:  Members Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Kida, Most, Short, Swae, and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Leffingwell and Sherwin.)
  

9. Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Policy Committee. Chair’s Report.  Committee Chair Sullivan reported on March 4 Planning and Policy Committee discussions on Mt. Sutro and request to UCSF for a presentation at the May full Council meeting.  It was reported that UCSF’s schedule has been revised and delayed.  Additional discussions were on scheduling an Earth Day street tree tour and Member Hillson’s proposal on the Mayoral Tree walk.  Member Hillson reported that an opinion is being requested from the Mayor’s Office on the feasibility of a tour. 

Funding Committee.  Chair’s Report.  Member Most reported that there has not been a response to forming an interagency grant group from agencies that were contacted.  Additional ideas for forming a group were discussed. Coordinator Hui reported that development officers are working together on grant opportunities.  

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Chair’s Report.  Member Hillson reported on current Committee membership.  She reported that Supervisor Weiner introduced a nomination for a landmark tree at 3066 Market Street, Block 2656, Lot 020.  A Landmark Tree Committee meeting may be scheduled on May 1 after the Board votes on approval of the tree at its April 2 meeting.  Committee member site visits to evaluate the tree were held.

10. Staff Report. (Informational Report and Discussion)  Council Coordinator Hui asked Council Members for their ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day on April 19 that would be discussed at the April 1 Planning and Policy Committee meeting.

11. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion) Chairperson Flanagan announced that he would like to schedule a review of the Council’s Strategic Plan and prepare an agenda for the next six meetings at the April 1, 2014 Planning and Policy Committee meeting.

12. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)  Member Hillson reported that she is working with Chester Fung of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority on the Mayor George Christopher Tree.    Member Short reported on the success of the Arbor Day event and planting of the tree in commemoration of Nelson Mandela.

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

Public Comment:  Mr. Charles Cunningham distributed an information sheet regarding a eucalyptus tree located on the hill at the intersection of Oakhurst Lane and Oak Park Drive on the west side of Mt. Sutro, which he believes to be a hazardous tree.  He asked for Council involvement.  Department of Public Works representative Short reported that an investigation would be made.  (Explanatory Document:  Informational Sheet)

14. 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 an open tree well at the corner of 14th and Church at Market in the walkway that he believes poses a hazard to the public and especially for seniors and the disabled.  Member Short reported that concerns could also be relayed to the City’s 311 call center that would route work orders to the appropriate City agency. 

15. Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 9:44 a.m.

The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, May 23, 2014 at 8:30 a.m., Room 416, San Francisco City Hall.

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 415-355-3709 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.

Urban Forestry Council
San Francisco Department of the Environment
City and County of San Francisco
1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94103

Approved:  May 23, 2014