03.25 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco
DEpartment of the ENvironment
 
URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
APPROVED MINUTES

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, 8:30 A.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 400, ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT JR. PLACE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS 

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 8:35 a.m.  Present:  Council Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Buck, Council Members Costello (8:40), Flanagan, Hillson, Sider and Sullivan.  Advisory Members Present: Members Barrow and Muraoka.  Voting Members Absent:  Members Hillan and Vargas; Excused: Member Sherwin.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the January 28, 2011 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  January 28, 2011 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Buck, second by Chair D’Agostino, the January 28, 2011 Urban Forestry Council Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillson, Sider, and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Hillan, Sherwin, Vargas).

 

Agenda Item 4 was heard before Item 3.

 

3.      Introduction of New Urban Forestry Council Members. (Discussion).  Council Coordinator Hui, Council Secretary Fish, Council Members and new Council Members Flanagan and Sullivan introduced themselves.

 

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.

 

Ms. Jade, environmental student at San Francisco State University inquired:

  • Are any trees at San Francisco State University (SFSU) designated with landmark tree status? Coordinator Hui replied that there are no designated landmark trees at San Francisco State.  Vice-Chair Buck suggested contacting Mr. Phil Evans, SFSU Maintenance and Landscape Groundskeeper, who is active in the arboriculture industry.
  • Is there a specific area in San Francisco that needs trees more than others?  Coordinator Hui reported that the most recent reports are not recent enough to answer the question quantitatively. The Street Tree Analysis performed over five years ago found that there were districts that had a lower tree percentage canopy cover than other districts, but a lot of work has been done in those districts so it is unclear at this point.  She stated that she would email Ms. Jade the Street Tree Analysis.
  • What are the best adaptive or heartiest trees for San Francisco?  Chair D’Agostino referred Ms. Jade to the Recommended Street Tree List. Coordinator Hui stated that the different microclimates and the very specific planting locations vary so greatly, that there are no trees that work for every location in San Francisco. You have to pick the right tree for the right spot.
  • How are the decisions to plant trees in San Francisco made? Vice-Chair Buck stated that there is a street tree permit application process through Department of Public Works or Friends of the Urban Forest. There are no rules for private property owners who want to plant a tree. He referred to Article 16 of the Public Works Code and San Francisco’s Urban Forestry Ordinance for additional information.  Department of Public Works will be allowing the public to submit a planting application online in the near future.  There is a Recommended Street Tree Species List that will be discussed in this meeting, and trees are reviewed by Department of Public Works and Friends of the Urban Forest.  Due to the microclimate, every planting site can be different.
  • What are tangible San Francisco urban tree contributions, e.g., less speeding, less crime, overall contentment to neighborhoods?  Chair D’Agostino reported that the number one benefit is an increase in property value, and the second is the capture of stormwater.

 

Ms. Jade stated that she would be looking for a summer internship in the Urban Forestry program.

    

5.      Approval of Draft Resolution File No. 2011-02-UFC amending the Urban Forestry Council Bylaws to change Annual Officer Elections from the April to May meetings.  Sponsor and Speaker: Chair D’Agostino (Explanatory Documents: Notice of Proposed Bylaws Amendment and Draft Resolution File No. 2011-02-UFC) (Discussion and Action)

 

Ms. Fish reported that the Notice of Proposed Bylaws Amendment was published in accordance with Council Bylaws requirements.  Chair D’Agostino reported that the Bylaws call for officer elections in April, and the Council at their December 2010 meeting eliminated the requirement for an April meeting. Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Sider, Resolution File 2011-02-UFC amending the Bylaws to change annual officer elections from the April to May meetings was approved without objection (AYES: Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillson, Sider, and Sullivan; Absent: Members Hillan, Sherwin, Vargas). (Explanatory Documents: Resolution 002-11-UFC and Bylaws as Amended on March 25, 2011).

 

6.      Urban Forestry Council Chair and Vice-Chair Nominations. (Discussion)  Member Costello nominated Member D’Agostino for Chair and Member Buck for Vice-Chair.  Member Buck did not accept the nomination. Member Costello nominated Member Vargas for Vice-Chair.  Member Hillson expressed her interest in the position of Vice Chair. Chair D’Agostino nominated Member Hillson for Vice Chair. A discussion was held about nominating a senior member for office.  Chair D’Agostino discussed the possibility of nominating Member Hillan based on his availability. A discussion was held about Chair and Vice-Chair responsibilities.

 

7.      Review of Draft 2011 San Francisco Recommended Street Tree List and Approval of Draft Resolution File No. 2011-03-UFC Adopting the List.  (Explanatory Documents:  Resolution File No. 2011-03-UFC, Draft 2011 San Francisco Recommended Street Tree List, and Friends of the Urban Forest Tree Planting Data) (Discussion and Action)

 

Council Coordinator Hui reported on changes to the formatting and heading for the 2011 list.  Chair D’Agostino reported that a working group would potentially be formed in the fall to discuss recommendations for revisions to the 2012 list.  A discussion was held on trees not recommended for planting, Ficus microcarpa, due to damage that the tree causes to sidewalks (see explanatory document) and Acacia melanoxylon.  It was suggested that common names be added to the 2012 list.

Upon Motion by Member Sider, second by Member Costello, Resolution File No. 2011-03-UFC adopting the 2011 San Francisco Recommended Street Tree Species List was approved with typographical edits. (AYES: Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillson, Sider, and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Hillan, Sherwin, and Vargas.) (Explanatory Document:  Resolution 003-11-UFC)

 

8.      Tree of the Month Campaign.  The Council will review and consider adopting the Program Plan for the Tree of the Month Campaign. (Draft Program Plan) (Discussion and Action)

 

Coordinator Hui presented a Tree of the Month program plan based on what is feasible with current Department staffing for outreach.  She stated that this plan could meet the Council’s program goals for an educational campaign to improve tree pruning in the city using positive messaging.  The plan would be for Council Members to take one month each to find a tree in each district that is pruned well and supplying Ms. Hui with images of the tree, five to ten sentences about the tree, and location.  All trees should be in public locations so they can serve as examples to the public. If the campaign is successful, it could be incorporated into a gallery in the Department’s website redesign process.

 

This agenda item was referred to the Landmark Tree Committee’s April 12 meeting to discuss process and how to promote the campaign to a wide audience.  Council Members were asked to send Ms. Hui their ideas for the campaign before the Landmark Tree Committee meeting.

 

9.      Annual Pruning Workshop.  The Council will discuss this year’s pruning workshop and make suggestions for improvement. (Discussion)

 

Council Coordinator Hui reported that one of the Council’s annual tasks has been to hold a pruning workshop for City employees on the City’s adopted Pruning Standards in order to improve the pruning that municipal arborists and gardeners are doing for trees in San Francisco. The workshop is typically held in June of each year.  Council Members determined that Article 16 of the Public Works Code and Environment Code Chapter 12 establishing the Urban Forestry Council does not mandate that the Council host the workshop.  Ms. Fish reported that hosting this work shop was part of the Council’s Work Plan priorities.  Coordinator Hui reported that this is one of the activities listed on the work-order that is submitted to agencies that provide funding to the Council, and that she would check whether the workshop is required.

 

This agenda item was referred to the Planning and Funding Committee to discuss whether the Council should be providing the workshop and how it can be restructured in the future to possibly include partnerships with other City agencies with tree care responsibilities such as Recreation and Park Department, Department of Public Works, and Friends of the Urban Forest.  Coordinator Hui would issue a report back to the Council at their May meeting on the requirement for the Council to host the workshop.  A copy of the Urban Forestry Council budget would be distributed to Council Members.

 

10.  Approval of Draft Resolution File No. 2011-04-UFC commending Bonnie Ora Sherk for her service to the Urban Forestry Council. (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File No. 2011-04-UFC) (Discussion and Action)

 

Ms. Fish read the Resolution commending Council Emeritus Bonnie Ora Sherk for her service to the Urban Forestry Council.  Council Emeritus Sherk welcomed new Council Members and discussed the importance of serving on the Council and the opportunity that it provides for planting and maintaining trees, as well as educating the public on the importance of trees.  She stated that more attention should be paid to whole watersheds and the opportunities they afford for expanding and maintaining the urban forest. Ms. Sherk stated that she was happy to have served on this important body which deserves more attention, and that it is up to the Council to make that happen.  She offered to consult with Council Members in the future.

Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Sider, Resolution 2011-04-UFC commending Bonnie Ora Sherk for her service to the Urban Forestry Council was approved without objection (AYES: Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillson, Sider, and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Hillan, Sherwin, and Vargas). (Explanatory Document:  Resolution 004-11-UFC.) 

 

11.  Staff Report.  Staff will provide updates on Urban Forestry Council administrative and programmatic operations relating to research, planning, funding, outreach, and other related activities. (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Council Coordinator Hui provided updates that include:

·         Forty-four trees were planted on Arbor Day earlier this month.  Mr. Charlie Starbuck, a long-time, Friends of the Urban Forest volunteer was honored as this year’s tree honoree.

·         The Recreation and Open Space Element will be moving forward again. 

·         The Department of the Environment grant to CalFire for an education, fruit tree, and gleaning program is pending.

·         Twenty-three fruit trees were planted in Golden Gate Park in February as part of the kickoff planting for the gleaning program.  Funding for that program was received from the San Francisco Foundation.  There is continued funding for trees from the San Francisco Local Carbon Fund.

·         There is an upcoming urban greening grant opportunity from Proposition 84 funds.  The letter of intent to apply is on April 9th and is due by the end of April. 

·         Two new applications for landmark trees have been received.

·         Council Coordinator Hui will be out of the office from May 10 - May 17th.

 

A discussion was held on establishing a process for meeting the requirements of Environment Code Section 1203(a)(2), that the Council make recommendations to relevant agencies on major publicly sponsored developments and civic improvements and changes to the public right of way as these projects may impact trees. Council Members Muraoka and Sider offered to track Redevelopment Agency and Planning Department projects that may have urban forestry consequences.

 

12.  Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 21, 2011, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421.  Planning and Funding Committee Chair Buck reported that the March 17 meeting included a discussion on the Recommended Street Tree Species List.  The 2012 list would be scheduled for a Planning and Funding Committee meeting in October and potentially at a working group before then. The other agenda item was outreach to the Police Department on how to respond to improper pruning and un-permitted removal of public trees.  He distributed an explanatory document on Department of Public Works recommendations on reporting emergency tree issues to the City. This agenda topic would be scheduled for discussion at a future Planning and Funding Committee meeting.  Chair Buck asked to continue his membership as a Planning and Funding Committee member, but stated that he would be unable to act as Chair.

 

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Chair’s Report on the February 8 and March 8, 2011 meetings.  Coordinator Hui reported that the Landmark Tree Committee has been discussing proposed amendments to the Landmark Tree Ordinance to incorporate groves and possibly adding additional items.  A discussion will be held with Department of Public Works and their legal team on proposed language to Article 16. This agenda item is scheduled for discussion at the April 12, 2011 Landmark Tree Committee meeting. 
Items 13 and 14 were heard together.

 

13.  Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion) 

 

Chair D’Agostino reported that Agenda Item 14 is for Council Members to report on recent industry meetings that they have attended.  She reported on her attendance at the Municipal Forestry Institute and discussions that were held on community urban forestry issues. She suggested that the Council consider holding another annual retreat and review their Bylaws, Work Plan, Article 16, Section 803, and Environment Code Section 1203 to establish priorities from today’s discussion and create an updated Work Plan. She provided information to the Council on the Britton Fund.  She announced an upcoming Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture workshop on bugs. Member Costello would be talking about his book Oaks in the Urban Landscape at the next meeting of the Bay Area Landscapers Supervisors Forum.

 

14.  Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)

 

Member Costello reported that he is member of the California Urban Forestry Advisory Council whose mission is to advise CalFire about urban forestry matters. He asked Council members to advise him of issues that the statewide Council should hear and would also inform the Council of relevant statewide decisions.   

 

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

 

Chair D’Agostino suggested a discussion on holding an annual retreat and a review of the Bylaws, Public Works Code Section 803 and Environment Code Section 1203 to develop an updated Work Plan.  Member Sider stated that it is important to discuss development projects sponsored by the city and private developers for the Council to provide direction or input into.  Chair D’Agostino advised that there would be two Planning and Funding Committee meetings before the next Council meeting.

 

16.  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.  Unidentified Speaker stated that she has applied to the Urban Forestry Council’s open seat.

 

17.  Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 11:18 a.m.

 

The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, May 27, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Room 400, City Hall.

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California 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 Monica.Fish@Sfgov.org.  Explanatory documents are also available at the Council’s meeting or agenda website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/urban-forestry-council as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.

 

Urban Forestry Council

San Francisco Department of the Environment

City and County of San Francisco

11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

 

Respectfully submitted by

Monica Fish, Council Secretary

 
Approved:  May 27, 2011      
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