May 6 2014 Planning and Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco
Urban Forestry Council
Planning and Policy Committee

Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 4:00 p.m.

Offices of the San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Room 400
San Francisco, CA  94103

Committee Members:  Members Sullivan (Chair), Flanagan, Leffingwell, Ginsburg/Alvarez/Wayne and Swae

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

1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Planning and Policy Committee meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m.  Present:  Committee Members Sullivan, Flanagan, Leffingwell and Wayne

2. Approval of Minutes of the April 1, 2014 Urban Forestry Council Planning and Policy Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: April 1, 2014 Meeting Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Flanagan, second by Member Swae the April 1, 2014 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection.

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

Igor Lacan introduced himself to the Committee as the new regional urban forestry representative for the UC Cooperative Extension.

Caroline Johnson, SF Forest Alliance (SFFA): Asked that the Committee consider allowing the SFFA to participate on the Policy and Planning Committee and also on the Full Council. 

Kathleen Hallinan: Explained her efforts to keep trees on Jefferson Street during the recent streetscape improvement projects.  Stated her concern about maintaining the urban forest as part of improving a healthy environment and to combat climate change.  Expressed concern over plans for potential tree removals and management plans at Mt. Sutro and Mt. Davidson.  Urged the Urban Forestry Council to take climate change into account when reviewing urban forest management plans.  Ms. Hallinan additionally submitted comments to the Urban Forestry Council for review.

4. Review of Urban Forestry Best Management Practices (BMP) Presentations.  Review schedule and proposed content for May/June presentations to the full Council on the BMP related to urban forestry in San Francisco. (Discussion)

Member Leffingwell with assistance from Council Coordinator Mei Ling Hui has begun to create a list of the potential groups from which they will find representatives to present to the full Council. The initial groups being considered include: community members/NGO forestry activists; urban forest researchers, such as from the UC Coop Extension offices; forest managers from a variety of backgrounds, such as municipal, nonprofit, utilities, of known historic tree stands, etc.; urban forest field professionals – arborists, consulting arborists, etc.; land use planners/capital infrastructure planners.

We will focus the hearings on management and rehabilitation of mature and aging tree stands, considering a variety of specific considerations including: public safety, erosion control, fire hazard, native habitat, forest rehabilitation, long range management of forest health, and maintenance standards.  Member Leffingwell and Coordinator Hui to revise list of urban forest groups and topic areas with recommendations of people that will be asked to present to the full Council. 

Public Comment

Caroline Johnson, SF Forest Alliance (SFFA): Recommended that the Council have Joseph McBride present urban forest Best Management Practices to the Cull council. Also asked that San Francisco Forest Alliance present to the full Council on the BMPs.

Kathleen Hallinan: Asked that any presentations of BMPs include discussion of climate change

Robyn Sherrer: Noted that it is nesting season and that UCSF has been removing trees at Mt. Sutro.

5. Review Significant Urban Forest Projects for Inclusion at Future Full Council Meetings. Discuss potential projects, schedule, and Council/Committee champion for significant urban forest-related City projects for review by the full Council. (Discussion)

The following projects were identified as potential projects and Committee member champion for presentation at upcoming full Council meetings: Better Market Street (member Swae to request San Francisco Planning Department present at the July council meeting), Treasure Island Redevelopment (Coordinator Hui and Member Sullivan to reach out to Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) and Treasure Island Community Development (TICD) and request they present to the full Council), Transbay Terminal (Member Swae to research who might best represent the Transbay project for an urban forestry presentation to the full Council). Review or presentation of Recreation and Open Space Element (ROSE) and San Francisco Climate Action Strategy will be considered at a future Committee meeting.


Public Comment

Kathleen Hallinan: Explained that the City of Seattle has a system to tag and track trees during construction projects to assess fees for any damage to trees during construction.  San Francisco needs to have urban forest goals that are commensurate with the city’s prestige. 

Caroline Johnson, SF Forest Alliance (SFFA): Recommend that the Council consider having a presentation on the Sunset Boulevard Median project. Mentioned that there have been ongoing tree removals at Pine Lake and Mt. Sutro, and that it is nesting season. Tree removals (except for health and safety emergencies) should not be done during the bird nesting season.

Robyn Sherrer: Stated that the Council should keep an eye out for Candlestick redevelopment and bring them in to present plans for redevelopment.

6. Urban Forestry Council Letterhead. The Committee will review a draft for new Council letterhead prepared by Member Swae, make recommendations to amend the letterhead, and make recommendations to the full Council on adoption of the letterhead. (Explanatory Document:  Draft Letterhead) (Discussion and Action)

Member Swae presented an updated letterhead for use by the UF Council.  The letterhead, with minor edits to member titles, will be presented at the May full council meeting for approval as new council letterhead.

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

Future agenda to include follow up on significant project presentations and an update on possible tree tour for full council by Joe McBride.

Public Comment

Kathleen Hallinan: Stated that she was involved in coordinating Jefferson Street construction schedule around bird and butterfly nesting season. Tree removals need to take this into account. Expressed concern that current tree removals at Mt. Sutro are not being properly cleaned up and will be used as excuse for future additional removals.

Caroline Johnson, SF Forest Alliance (SFFA): Asked that the Committee consider allowing the SFFA to participate as a full member on the Policy and Planning Committee and also on the Full Council.  Asked that the Council make PG&E aware of issues related to nesting birds when they perform tree maintenance and removals.

8. Public Comments: Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment.

9. Adjournment.   The Planning and Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 4:53 p.m.

The next Planning and Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 4:00 p.m., Offices of the San Francisco Planning Department, 1650 Mission Street, Room 400.

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) or may be available at the Planning and Funding Committee’s meeting website  posted  with each agenda or meeting minutes, or 3) upon request to the Council Secretary 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 website

Approved: July 1, 2014