05.27 Approved Minutes

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

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 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 8:42 a.m.  Present:  Council Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Buck, Council Members Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Sherwin, Sider.  Advisory Members Present: Members Barrow and Muraoka.  Voting Members Excused: Members Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the March 25, 2011 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  March 25, 2011 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Hillson, the March 25, 2011 Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Sherwin, Sider; Absent:  Members Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas)

 

3.      Introduction of New Urban Forestry Council Members. (Discussion)  Member Sherwin reported that she is an environmental land use planner and discussed her experience working with viticulture in Napa Valley and Sonoma County and greening efforts with the New Mission Terrace Improvement Association and Excelsior Action Group.

 

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.      Approval of Draft Resolution File No. 2011-05-UFC commending Terry Milne for his service to the Urban Forestry Council. (Explanatory Document:  Draft Resolution File No. 2011-05-UFC) (Discussion and Action)  Council Secretary Fish read the Resolution into the record and presented Mr. Milne with a Mayoral Certificate of Honor. 

 

Mr. Milne discussed his tenure on the Council and acknowledged the importance of previous Council members who were instrumental in the passage and implementation of the Urban Forestry Council and Landmark Tree Ordinances.  He stated that the Council forum serves an important function that may otherwise cost the City a great expense.    Member Buck congratulated Mr. Milne and discussed his work on the Tree Advisory Board, a precursor to the Council.  He stated that he is a great tree advocate in Bernal Heights and looks forward to seeing him in the future.  Mr. Milne thanked the Council for the Resolution.

 

6.      Election of Urban Forestry Council Chair and Vice-Chair. (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Sider, Chair D’Agostino was re-elected as Chair of the Urban Forestry Council without objection (AYES:  Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Sherwin, Sider; Absent:  Members Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas).  Upon Motion by Member Hillan, second by Chair D’Agostino, Member Hillson was elected as Vice Chair of the Urban Forestry Council without objection (AYES:  Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, Sherwin, Sider; Absent:  Members Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas).

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Jeanne Quock spoke in support of Member Hillson’s election as Vice-Chair.

 

7.      Tree of the Month Campaign.  The Council will discuss program planning for the Tree of the Month campaign. (Explanatory Documents: Tree of the Month Program Plan and Tree of the Month Campaign Example) (Discussion)

 

This agenda item was referred to the Planning and Funding Committee’s June 16, 2011 meeting.

 

Item 9 Hearing on Nomination for the Blackwood Acacia located at 2853 Vallejo Street was heard before Item 8.

 

8.      Presentation on the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Plan. Speaker: Rachel Hiatt, Senior Transportation Planner for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. (Explanatory Document:  Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Plan Presentation to Council) (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

 

Ms. Hiatt provided an overview on the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Plan describing the project and its relationship to trees on Van Ness Avenue, next steps, and how Council Members can be involved.  Topics discussed include project background, status and outreach approach for the Draft Environmental Impact Report and Statement (EIR/EIS), BRT Lane alternatives at proposed locations, project benefits, tree survey of existing and alternative proposed conditions, constraints, visual mitigation measures, and transit time performance, reliability, and attracting/retaining transit riders comparisons for proposed alternatives (See Presentation explanatory document). 

 

Council Members and Council Coordinator Hui provided suggestions on the plan and proposed alternatives as it may impact trees on topics such as tree removal, replacement, shading, coordination with other area plans, and other considerations.    Ms. Hiatt reported that public input would be sought later this summer on the proposed alternatives.  Chair D’Agostino requested a schedule of public meetings.  A request was made for Ms. Hiatt to keep the Council informed of developments on the Plan so that it can provide guidance.

 

9.      Hearing on Nominations for Landmark Tree Status. The Urban Forestry Council held a hearing to determine whether the trees nominated at the following locations meet the criteria for designation as landmark trees. (Discussion and Action)

 

Blackwood Acacia (Acacia Melanoxylon) located at 2853 Vallejo Street, Assessor’s Block 0958, Lot 18, San Francisco, CA (Explanatory Documents:  Landmark Tree Committee Written Summary, Nomination Form, Committee and Staff Evaluation Forms, Magazine Article, Tree Images, Opposition Letter, Property Owner Booklet)

 

Landmark Tree Committee Chair Hillan read the written summary summarizing the findings of the Landmark Tree Committee from its meeting on May 10, 2011.  He reported that the Committee voted 3-2 in favor of landmark tree status.  Council Members were presented with additional explanatory documents from the nominator and opposition, heard public comment, and discussed evaluation criteria for this tree.  Council Members stated that more review of explanatory documents was required in order to proceed with an action.  Upon Motion by Member Hillan, second by Member Flanagan, this hearing was continued to the June 28, 2011 Urban Forestry Council meeting (AYES:  Members Buck, Costello, D’Agostino, Flanagan, Hillan, Hillson, and Sherwin; NOES:  Member Sider; Absent:  Members Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas).  

 

Public Comment speaking in support of nomination—Ms. Jane von Bothmer, property owner and nominator, Mr. Roy Leggitt, Consulting Arborist, Julie D. Farrah and Cynthia Soliman, Attorneys at Law.

 

Public Comment speaking in opposition to nomination—Ms. Barri K. Bonaport, Attorney at Law, Bonaport & Associates, Mr. James MacNair, Consulting Arborist, MacNair & Associates; and Mr. Dan McKenna, Consulting Arborist.

 

Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) located at 774 Cayuga Street, Assessor’s Block 3146, Lot 042, San Francisco, CA.  (Explanatory Documents:  Landmark Tree Committee Written Summary, Nomination Form, Committee and Staff Evaluation Forms, Tree Images)

 

Landmark Tree Committee Member Hillson read the written summary summarizing the findings of the Landmark Tree Committee from its meeting on May 10, 2011.  She reported that the Committee voted unanimously against landmark tree status. Upon Motion by Member Sider, second by Member Hillson, the Council voted unanimously against landmark tree status for the Coast Redwood located at 774 Cayuga Street (AYES:  Members D’Agostino, Buck, Flanagan, Hillson, Sherwin, and Sider; Absent:  Members Costello, Hillan, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas). 

 

English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) located at 864 Francisco Street, Assessor’s Block 0045, Lot 006, San Francisco, CA (Explanatory Documents:  Landmark Tree Committee Written Summary, Nomination Form, Arborist Report, Committee and Staff Evaluation Forms, Tree Images)

 

Landmark Tree Committee Member Hillson read the written summary summarizing the findings of the Landmark Tree Committee from its meeting on May 10, 2011.  She reported that the Committee voted unanimously against landmark tree status.  An updated Arborist Report presented to the Landmark Tree Committee at its May 10 meeting was provided to the Council for review.  Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Chair D’Agostino, the Council voted unanimously against landmark tree status for the English Laurel located at 864 Francisco Street (AYES:  Members D’Agostino, Buck, Flanagan, Hillson, Sherwin, and Sider; Absent:  Members Costello, Hillan, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas). 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Jeanne Quock stated that she appreciates the importance of trees to San Francisco but questioned the ability of Council Members to review documents presented at the last minute.  Chair D’Agostino stated that was the reason the Council decided not to move forward on the 2853 Vallejo Street landmark tree nomination. She suggested that a Committee discuss the process for timely review of explanatory documents at a future meeting.

 

10. Urban Forestry Council Review of its Goals and Objectives.  (Explanatory Document:  Urban Forestry Council Goals and Objectives Chart)(Discussion)

 

Council Coordinator Hui provided the Council with a chart listing Council goals as referenced in Environment Code Chapter 12 and Department of Public Works Code, Article 16, and an overview of action items that have been achieved toward those goals.  Chair D’Agostino asked Council Members to review the chart and provide input. Coordinator Hui requested comments on any additional achievements toward goals.  This agenda item was referred to the Planning and Funding Committee meeting of June 16, 2011.

 

11. Staff Report.  Staff provided 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 reported on (1) timelines and process for submitting grant proposals to the Strategic Growth Council for greening projects, (2) collaboration with City agencies on grant proposals and Department of the Environment as a grant partner, (3) Commission on the Environment review of the Department of the Environment’s Strategic Plan at its May 24 meeting as it relates to the Urban Forestry Council, (4) a future report to be provided on Urban Forest Plan work in the new fiscal year, (5) the Department of the Environment’s website redesign process, (6) encouraged Council Members to review the Recreation and Open Space Element that she forwarded an announcement on; and (7) asked Council Members to provide information on area plans they would be interested in reviewing at future meetings.

 

12. Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report on the April 21 and May 19, 2011 meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 16, 2011, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421.

 

Planning and Funding Committee Chair Buck referred Council Members to the Committee’s minutes located on the Council’s website and discussed the focus at the May 19 meeting on the Council’s goals and objectives.

 

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Chair’s Report on the April 12 and May 10, 2011 meetings.  The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

 

Council Coordinator Hui reported that the April 12 meeting included a discussion on amendments to the Landmark Tree Ordinance to include groves or groups of trees.  There would be further discussion on this topic and a plan prepared at the June 14, 2011 meeting. The May 10 meeting focused on landmark tree nominations presented to the Council at this meeting.

 

Items 13 and 14 were heard together.

 

13. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion)  Chair D’Agostino reported that she attended an Urban Forest Products Conference that discussed recycling or reuse of trees and suggested that the Council discuss this topic in the future.  Coordinator Hui reported that the CalFire urban forester sent an email offering equipment to do urban reclaimed wood operations.  Chair D’Agostino reported that she also attended the Western Chapter Conference in San Diego.

 

14. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion) See agenda item 13.

 

15. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)  Council Secretary Fish reported that Room 416 for the August 23 Council meeting is not available because of scheduled replacement of audio equipment.  A discussion was held on rescheduling the meeting or finding an alternate meeting location.

 

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.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

17. Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

 

The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 416, 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:  June 28, 2011

       

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