April 9, 2019 Enforcement Committee Meeting Summary

Four members of the Enforcement Committee attended the online only virtual April 9, 2020, BCDC Enforcement Committee meeting.  Public input was provided through written comments submitted by email prior to the meeting, and through calling in or accessing the meeting via a web link posted on the Commission’s website.

The Committee Chair began with an opening statement that addressed the impact that COVID-19 has had on how the Commission does business.  He explained that BCDC is taking a measured approach to enforcement and noted that BCDC recognizes the need for regulated entities to act consistent with Center for Disease Control and local public health official guidelines when handling enforcement cases, including public access closures.  The Chair also acknowledged the economic impact that COVID-19 has had on the already vulnerable Bay area unsheltered homeless population.

At the meeting, the Committee received two briefings. The first briefing informed the Committee of the number of cases that have been opened and resolved in the first quarter of 2020 and the effectiveness of the procedural changes that have been undertaken.  The briefing focused on the new practice of sending Initial Violation Contact Letter and the beneficial effect of this process both in resolving new cases early and determining when a formal violation notice should be sent.  In addition, the Committee was informed of the progress being made on fifteen cases involving the same agency that have been grouped for simultaneous resolution.  Among other issues, the Enforcement Program Manager noted an anticipated year long delay for the resolution of a case linked to the Bay Trail alignment between the Zampa and Martinez-Benicia bridges.
The second briefing addressed the transition plans that BCDC had requested from the City of Sausalito and the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency to transition vessels off Richardson’s Bay.  The Committee was informed of the involvement of Senator Mike McGuire in developing and facilitating a collaborative approach between the City of Sausalito and the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency  that not only considers available options for housing, but also integrates Bay restoration, particularly water quality improvement and eelgrass restoration, while also including enhanced enforcement.  The Committee provided direction to staff to guide further local efforts in restoring Richardson’s Bay to a compliant status.  Among the changes emphasized by the Committee were narrowing the proposed timeline for legacy vessel removal, limiting one-time boat replacements, obtaining detailed information on both how and when eelgrass restoration can be accomplished, as well as the funding requirements for restoration, and obtaining information on marina requirements as they align with proposed safe harbor program requirements.  In sum, the Committee asked staff to work with the local agencies to provide data to inform a practical response that will be feasible for the local governments that will need to implement the provisions of the transition plan.

For details on each briefing, contact Priscilla Njuguna (415-352-3640, priscilla.njuguna@bcdc.ca.gov).

The next Enforcement Committee meeting is scheduled to be held from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM on April 22, 2020 and will be online only with no physical location for attendees and participants to congregate. At that meeting, the Enforcement Committee will discuss the Enforcement Program’s long-range plan for ongoing case resolution and vote on extensions to the uncontested proposed Cease and Desist Order timelines in the Union Point Park enforcement case.