May 4, 2006 Commission Meeting Minutes
Approved Minutes of May 4, 2006 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the Port of San Francisco Board Room, Ferry Building, San Francisco, California at 1:15 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Chair Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Baird (represented by Potter), Bates, Cutler, Goldzband, Gordon (represented by Alternate Hill), Hicks, Jordan, Kniss (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Lai-Bitker (represented by Alterntate Johnson), Lundstrom, McGlashan, Mossar, Moy, Peskin, and Waldeck.
Not Present were: Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (Barna), Sonoma County (Brown), Association of Bay Area Governments (Fernekes), Speaker of the Assembly (Gibbs), Contra Costa County (Gioia), Department of Finance (Klass), Solano County (Kondylis), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Schwinn), State Lands Commission (Thayer) and Napa County (Wagenknecht).
3. Public Comment Period. There was no public comment.
4. Approval of Minutes of February 16, 2006. Chair Randolph entertained a motion to adopt the minutes.
MOTION: Commissioner Mossar moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted to approve the February 16, 2006 minutes. The motion passed with two abstentions.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph provided the following update:
Sevag Sarkissian will no longer be serving on BCDC. Staff has prepared a draft resolution of appreciation for the Commission’s approval.
MOTION: Commissioner Goldzband moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to approve the resolution for Sevag Sarkissian as drafted by staff. The motion passed.
Chair Randolph extended his congratulations to Commissioner Waldeck who has been elected to serve as chair of the Regional Airport Planning Committee (RAPC).
The next meeting of BCDC’s Enforcement Committee will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 2:30 p.m. in the BCDC office. This meeting is open to the public.
Chair Randolph said that today’s meeting is only the second meeting for the year. He expressed his concern that by meeting so infrequently the Commission’s effectiveness may be hampered. He has asked staff to not rely exclusively on the Commission’s permit workload when scheduling meetings, but also to use the meeting time for the Commission to receive briefings on important policy issues and background information. In the coming months staff will work into the agenda some of these issues for discussion.
a. The next BCDC meeting. Will be held on June 15, 2006, and it will be held at the MetroCenter in Oakland. Prior to the meeting the Port of Oakland will host the Commission on a cruise of the southeastern section of the Oakland waterfront.
At the regular meeting in the afternoon of June 15 the following matters will be discussed:
(1) A public meeting will be held and a vote on issuing a cease and desist order and amending a permit to resolve violations at the Paradise Cay Yacht Club in Marin County.
(2) There will be a public hearing and vote on an application to install a gas drilling well and extraction facilities in the Suisun Marsh.
(3) There will be a briefing on the most current information on the global climate change predictions and the implications of these predictions on the Bay.
(4) There will be a briefing from the Public Policy Institute of California on the public’s views on environmental issues.
(5) The Commission will consider a report on the progress being made in carrying out the strategic plan.
b. Ex-Parte Communications. If any of our commissioners may have inadvertently forgotten to report ex-parte communications whether written or oral, you are invited to report on such communications now.
Chair Randolph said he received a phone call from Fritz Arco regarding the concession for the service to Alcatraz.
Commissioner Peskin said he has had numerous contacts with numerous people regarding lease issues with Hornblower and he has had contact with an attorney for Blue and Gold regarding the possibility that a BCDC permit might be needed.
Commissioner McGlashan said he has had contact with Annette Rose, who is working as a consultant on behalf of Waldo Point Harbor, and Scott Hockstrausser, a planner working on their behalf as well.
Commissioner Carruthers said he had communication regarding the likely relocation of the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building associated with the BART retrofit.
Commissioner Halsted said she had a call from an attorney regarding the same issue that Commissioner Carruthers mentioned, but she did not have a conversation with him.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Mr. Travis provided the following report:
a. Budget – The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #2 approved a one million dollar augmentation to the FY 06-07 budget for BCDC. The additional funds will come from the State General Fund, and to partially offset this expenditure, the subcommittee adopted budget bill language requesting that BCDC augment its permit fees to recover 50 percent of its regulatory program costs. The Senate subcommittee anticipates this will generate approximately $600,000 in additional revenue for the General Fund. BCDC’s current fee structure is set up to recover 20 percent of its regulatory costs.
BCDC staff believes that by using the fee structure that has been proposed by the Senate Committee that twice as much money will be generated over what the Senate Committee staff estimates.
In addition, BCDC staff continues to believe that drastic fee increases run counter to the Commission’s goal of encouraging Bay restoration projects and promoting quality development along the shoreline. It is possible that the fee increases that BCDC has already imposed may be part of the reason it has not received any applications for major permits in the first quarter of the year.
The next step in the budget process will be later in May when Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 will again consider BCDC’s budget, along with the Governor’s May 12 revision. The Bay Area Assembly Caucus has decided to wait and see what the Governor proposes in his May revision before deciding how to express their support for BCDC’s proposal. Mr. Travis will keep the Commission apprised of the status of the continued deliberations on the budget.
b. MTC Funding – Two elements in the BCDC strategic plan call for staff to pursue funding partnerships with other organizations and to work more closely with other regional agencies on issues of common concern. Vice Chair Halsted, who represents BCDC on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, has encouraged MTC to consider providing financial support for BCDC to carry out its activities. As a result MTC staff will be recommending that when the MTC Commission approves its budget for fiscal year 06-07, it includes $170,000 for BCDC to add a staff position and establish a Bayshore transportation planning coordination program that would focus on transit-oriented development along the waterfront.
c.Permit Statistics – There were no major permit applications in the first quarter of this year, however 64 applications were received for minor permits, amendments, and other administrative actions. BCDC has 30 days to determine whether each of these applications is complete. On average this initial review was completed within 23 days. Once the application is complete, the law requires that it be processed in 90 days. On average BCDC staff processed this in 21 days. In 2005 the average for processing was 39 days.
There are three things that led to this accomplishment. First is the fact that the data do not include the larger, more complex projects because those applications have not been received to date. Secondly, some procedural changes have been implemented and the process is more efficient, but by far the biggest factor is the dedication and hard work of the permit staff.
d. Emergency Permits – Three emergency permits, dealing with the impacts of global climate change, have been issued since the last BCDC meeting.
The first emergency permit was issued to the Union Pacific Railroad to place 3,200 cubic yards of material along 5,600 feet of shoreline to repair erosion. This was done at four locations where the UP, Amtrak and Capital Corridor main line runs along the shoreline between Hercules and Port Costa in Contra Costa Count.
The second emergency permit was for an in-kind replacement of a deteriorating 857 square foot boat dock attached to a residence in Tiburon. The repairs were needed to prevent the collapsing boat dock from damaging the house and pulling it into the Bay.
The final permit dealt with a levee failure at the West Contra Cost landfill in Richmond. Twenty four cubic yards of material was placed along 18 feet of the levee to prevent the shoreline trail from collapsing into the Bay.
e. Alviso Update – At the last meeting the Commission was updated on an enforcement case involving a number of vessels, structures and assorted debris, all moored or constructed without authorization in Alviso Slough in Santa Clara County. A court order was obtained requiring Robert Childers to remove three vessels from BCDC’s jurisdiction. Mr. Childers did not comply with the order and he filed a lawsuit against BCDC claiming he could not remove the boats because BCDC damaged them. The Judge agreed with BCDC and dismissed his case, and in cooperation with staff from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the United States Coast Guard, and on March 29 the Court Order was executed and the three vessels were removed. Mr. Travis acknowledged Ande Bennett, of BCDC’s enforcement staff, for handling this politically difficult case in a diplomatic and compassionate way.
f. Aquarium of the Bay. Last December the Commission received a briefing on the possible sale of the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39 in San Francisco. The Bay Institute hoped to be able to acquire the Aquarium so that the facility could continue to advance its commitment to public outreach and education about the Bay and serve as a focal point for the many organizations, including BCDC, that are involved in the use, management and protection of the Bay. The Bay Institute has formed an innovative partnership with a private company, Kenwood Investments, which has purchased the Aquarium. The official announcement of this purchase will be made at a press conference at the Aquarium on May 9 at noon and all Commissioners are invited to attend the press conference on May 9.
Over the next few years, John Frawley, the outstanding general manager of the Aquarium, will continue to run the facility while The Bay Institute carries out a capital campaign to raise the funds so it can purchase the aquarium from Kenwood. Darius Anderson and Jay Wallace of Kenwood Investments brought their own private capital to the table to advance a public objective. They are also hosting a reception at the Aquarium on the evening of Thursday, May 18 and all Commissioners are invited to attend.
g. Office Space. BCDC moved into its office space six years ago. It was designed to accommodate a staff of 50, but the current number of staff is 33. While it is hoped to get funds to increase staff, until that happens staff is trying to make some productive and appropriate use of vacant space. Over the past few years we have had arrangements with San Francisco State University, the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Coastal Conservancy to accommodate their staff working on projects that advance BCDC’s interests. More recently, Mr. Travis has agreed to accommodate the executive director of the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities, an organization of which BCDC has long been a partner.
Mr. Travis is also working on a separate agreement with the Greenbelt Alliance to provide cubicle space for personnel working on a Bay Area watershed project. These arrangements do not interfere with BCDC’s office operations and do not expose it to any security or liability problems. This does allow BCDC to support important partnership ventures without expenditure or gift of public funds.
h. Sylvia McLaughlin. At the request of Ellen Johnck, Mr. Travis provided the Commission some information about a project at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library aimed at collecting an oral history from Sylvia McLaughlin, one of the founders of Save the Bay. This worthy project needs to raise funds to accomplish its goals. The material that has been provided to the Commission members explains how to make a donation. He urged Commission members to give consideration to this project.
Commissioner Mossar asked for an update on the Potrero Landfill. Mr. Travis said that at the last meeting the Commission approved an agreement with them to establish a science panel to review the mitigation planning. The panel is proceeding and he believes this will be on the Commission’s calendar in August or September.
Commissioner Carruthers asked about the meeting notice regarding the sub-tidal habitat goals project and asked if this is related to Commission policies. Mr. Travis said this is profoundly important and there will be a public workshop jointly sponsored by NOAA, BCDC, and the Coastal Conservancy. Ms. Sweeney said this is a kick-off meeting for the project which will take two years to complete. Meeting notices will be posted on the website.
Mr. Travis said in regards to Alviso, staff will be dealing with this project for a long time.
Chair Randolph extended congratulations to Mr. Travis and Ande Bennett on resolving the Alviso situation.
7. Commission Consideration of Administrative Matter. Mr. McAdam was available to answer any questions on the administrative listing that was provided to the Commissioners. There were no administrative matters.
8. Briefing on BCDC’s Design Review Board. Chair Randolph introduced John Kriken, an internationally known urban designer and the Chair of BCDC’s Design Review Board and Brad McCrea, who serves as the Secretary of the Design Review Board.
Mr. McCrea provided the following background information on the Design Review Board. The Design Review Board was formed in 1970, and for the past 36 years has been made up of preeminent professionals that advise the Commission on the design of shoreline developments. Appointments to the Design Review Board are made by the Chair of the Commission, following a process that involves nominations, interviews by the Design Review Board members, and ultimately a recommendation by the Design Review Board to the Commission.
The Board’s authority comes from the San Francisco Bay Plan. The Design Review Board consists of 7 members and regulations require that the Board have at least one architect, one landscape architect, and one engineer sitting on the Board.
In order to achieve a high level of design quality in shoreline development projects, the Design Review Board reviews, evaluates and provides advice on two things: (1) the adequacy of public access proposals; and (2) the proposed design of developments that affect the appearance of the Bay. These goals are somewhat different than the determination of providing maximum feasible public access which is the Commission’s responsibility. However, when making the determination, the Commission has relied in part on the design recommendations of the Design Review Board.
Mr. McCrea introduced John Kriken, whose work has won twenty national design awards and many other awards.
Mr. Kriken said the Design Review Board has always had very strong leaders both nationally and internationally. He provided a biography of the seven Board members.
Every project has a six step process that the Design Review Board goes through. The project is introduced to the Board by staff outlining the principal questions they need answers to. Next the applicant makes a presentation of the project, and questions are asked by Board members, and public comments are received. The Board deliberates and recommendations are made for the project. The applicant must respond to the recommendations. Sometimes the Board will have staff review the recommendations it made, and when there is a serious matter, the Board will ask the project to come back to be reviewed once again.
Mr. Kriken said the Board has been working with staff on several projects, i.e. wetlands and ferry building and plaza. He said there is a mismatch with some of the projects if we are going to save some of the older parts of the waterfront. The variability and the design quality and vitality on the waterfront areas around the Bay are worth looking into. He invited Commissioners to ask any questions or make comments as needed.
Chair Randolph invited Mr. Kriken to come back to the Commission with further thoughts and suggestions on how to approach the issues.
Commissioner Waldeck asked what the length of the Board members’ term is. Mr. Kriken said members serve on the Board as long the Chair wishes them to serve.
Commissioner Mossar said that for the restaurant project, the Board didn’t have the benefit of the kind of work that was done because it didn’t receive the contextual drawings. She asked if in the future, there are ways to make sure the Commission sees the final design that the Design Review Board approved.
Mr. McCrea said for an applicant to receive authorization to build a project they have to come to the Commission, but there is nothing in the policy that states they have to go to the Design Review Board. He said in regards to the restaurant project, the staff strongly recommended that the applicant not go to the Commission before completing the review process with the Design Review Board. However, the developer made the decision to move the project along to the Commission and go back to the Design Review Board after the Commission had acted on the project.
Commissioner Goldzband asked if there are patterns in which the same kinds of things happen over and over again so that legislation, regulation, and policy might be able to deal with something on more of a macro level and actually reduce the number of outliers. He asked what some of the patterns are that the Design Review Board has seen. Mr. Kriken said he would be happy to present this at another meeting.
Vice Chair Halsted said she felt that the Commission is extremely fortunate to have such a great Design Review Board and that Mr. Kriken has been terrifically helpful to MTC.
Commissioner Carruthers expressed his profound appreciation for this session. He has been on the Commission for over 20 years, and he has always valued the input from the Design Review Board. He asked the Design Review Board to think about what support the Commission might offer in order to aid the Board in doing its work in getting resolution. He also asked if the Design Review Board does not reach a consensus, what the next step is. Mr. Kriken said there are times when there have been differences of opinion, and then there usually is a sidebar with what that opinion is that is different from the majority. He said if it has not been clear to the Commission in the past, he will be sure that it is in the future.
Commissioner Moy asked how Mr. Kriken handles the challenge with the 100 ft. building away from the water. Mr. Kriken said there are still some opportunities to talk about the building, for example, there is the issue of the intrusion of a private use on a public use. You don’t want people walking on the public pathway to feel as though they are intruding on someone’s private yard. There has also been discussion about the scale of the building in relationship to the walk and if the building interrupts view corridors or natural pathways.
Mr. McCrea said when buildings move out of the Commission’s
jurisdiction, the staff is much more careful and the applicant has an understanding of why they have pulled the buildings out of the BCDC’s jurisdiction. Whether a building is outside or inside of the Commission’s jurisdiction, the design and the comments about the building have to be about public access. However the argument that the building is having an adverse impact on public access gets a little more difficult as it moves across the line.
Mr. Travis said the Design Review Board is effective and powerful beyond its limited advisory capacity to the Commission with 100 feet of shoreline board jurisdiction. The Board is comprised of people who bring a perspective that understands that public access can not be approached from the perspective of what works well for the public. It has to be what works well for the developer and the private users, as well as the public, and how this interplay is designed. Because of the caliber of people on the Board, applicants listen to them and realize that they are getting the benefit of wisdom and advice that they would be foolish not to listen to and abide by.
Commissioner Carruthers said he thought the Attorney General’s staff person said that this Commission could concern itself with the aspects of those projects that have substantial impact on its area of jurisdiction. Mr. Travis said there are some who believe that if an ugly building is put up, it will adversely impact public access to the shoreline. Aesthetics is the highest form of communication, and even though it may not rise to that legal standard, it is very important in how the Commission carries out its work.
Mr. Kriken said there are ways, in the spirit of public access and interest, that the Commission can have an impact for the good on some of the buildings.
9.Public Hearing and Vote on Whether to Amend the San Francisco Bay Plan and the San Francisco Bay Area Seaport Plan by Deleting a Portion of the Oakland Port Priority Use Area East of Interstate 880 in Oakland. Mr. Blanchfield said the Commission has received an application from the firms BUILD West Oakland and Central Station Land to amend the Seaport Plan and the Bay Plan maps, deleting the port priority use area from a six-acre parcel in Oakland east of Interstate 880, south of West Grand Avenue and west of Wood Street. This parcel is approximately 4,000 feet from the Bay shoreline.
Mr. Blanchfield provided some background information by saying that in 2001 the Commission approved the application of the Port of Oakland and the Oakland Base Reuse Authority to modify the port priority use area. The plan approved by the Commission allowed approximately half of the Oakland Army Base to be conveyed to the Port of Oakland for port purposes. The Port of Oakland, by combining the area conveyed from the Army, and in combination with its existing land, allowed it to gain considerable operational efficiencies and to significantly increase its cargo throughput. The Port and the Reuse Authority agreed to identify and secure 30 additional acres of land for trucking purposes.
About the same time as the Bay Plan amendment was being processed, the applicants were purchasing 27.5 acres on the east side of the Interstate. Last year the applicants completed the purchase of the property, including the six acre parcel in Oakland and received entitlements from the City of Oakland to develop the property for residential and commercial uses. That is the subject of the amendment request
Deletion of the six acres will still leave at least 16 acres of land in the area of Interstate 80 and West Grand Avenue designated for port priority use for trucking purposes.
The amendment has been submitted to the Seaport Plan Advisory Committee, and one member of the Committee reported back indicating she had no objection to the deletion of the six acres. The West Oakland Commerce Association supports deletion of the priority use area.
The staff is preliminarily recommending that the Commission approve the plan amendment and delete the six acre site from the Seaport Plan and the Bay Plan. The Staff further recommended that the Commission open the public hearing today, take public testimony, and close the hearing. If the public testimony and Commissioner comments would not significantly change the staff’s recommendation, then after the close of the public hearing the staff would give its final recommendation and the Commission may vote today.
Rick Mariano, a representative of the applicants, said he and his other partners have owned this six acre property for five years. This neighborhood will end up being a large residential area, the largest ever approved in West Oakland. The project is supported by the neighbors and has gone through the City Council unanimously. He is very proud to be moving forward with a new neighborhood.
Chair Randolph opened the public hearing. There was no public comment.
MOTION: Commissioner Goldzband moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted to close the public hearing. The motion passed.
Mr. Blanchfield said the final staff recommendation is to delete the port priority use area was the same as the staff’s preliminary recommendation.
MOTION: Commissioner Moy, seconded by Commissioner McGlashan, moved to approve staff’s recommendation and adopt Resolution No. 06-01. The motion passed unanimously.
10.Public Hearing and Vote to Initiate a Possible Amendment of the San Francisco Bay Plan Recreation Findings and Policies, the Bay Plan Map Notes, Policies and Suggestions and Resolution 16. Joe LaClair said he recommends that the Commission adopt the proposed descriptive notice to initiate the process of considering a possible amendment to the San Francisco Bay Plan Recreation Findings and Policies, and the Bay Plan maps notes, policies and suggestions that relate to recreation and to revise the priority use designations in Resolution 16. He recommends that the Commission schedule a public hearing, to be held on July 20, 2006 to consider the proposed amendment.
The recreation policies were developed nearly 40 years ago. Although the Commission has adopted limited amendments to the recreation policies, it has never undertaken a comprehensive review of the recreation policy section or the Bay Plan Map initiatives regarding recreation, and as a result this policy section and related map designations are out of date and do not address some of the key issues, trends, or recreational pursuits that have emerged. Some of the key issues, trends and changes in water oriented recreation that should be addressed in changes to the Bay Plan include the dramatic growth and population and projections for continued growth in the future; an increasingly diverse population that is changing the demand for recreation activities and services; the current supply of water oriented recreation facilities and the need to augment that supply over time to meet projected demand; challenging management issues that are not addressed in the Bay Plan, such as accessibility, ferry terminals and environmental education; the emergence and dramatically increasing popularity of non-motorized small boating, and the need to address re-use and preservation of historic resources and buildings in waterfront parks, as well as the recreation potential of wildlife refuges, wildlife areas and ecological reserves and the habitat areas that exist in waterfront parks and the need to manage recreation activities to address the potential impacts from human recreation on wildlife. Finally, the proposed amendment would address changes to the Bay Plan maps, policies, notes and suggestions and the priority use designations.
If the attached proposed descriptive notice is approved by the Commission today, a public hearing will be held on July 20, 2006. Staff will publish a report describing the specific proposed changes at least 30 days prior to the initial hearing. Upon conclusion of the public hearings, after the submission of the final recommendation, the Commission can vote upon the proposed changes.
Chair Randolph opened the meeting up for public hearing. There was no public comment.
MOTION: Commissioner Lundstrom moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to close the public hearing. The motion passed.
Commissioner Carruthers said as the Commission proceeds, how is it dealing with the plans of the cities and counties that have jurisdiction around the Bay? Mr. LaClair said as staff has been working on this project over the last year and a half they have been in touch with cities and counties that have existing waterfront park designations, as well as cities and counties that have parks that have been or will be developed. Staff has been coordinating with counties and cities and as a result significant new waterfront acreage will be proposed in the plan when the recommendation is brought forward.
Commissioner Carruthers asked if the Commission is in the position to urge a city or county to consider something that they haven’t yet adopted themselves?
Mr. LaClair said the pattern that staff has followed is to rely on the Commission’s partners, local governments, the regional park districts, and the state parks to acquire and develop these facilities and agree to have them designated in the plan.
Commissioner Carruthers asked if the Commission should consider adopting policies that not every local jurisdiction has adopted themselves locally. Mr. LaClair said the Commission takes a lead in developing the policies for the use and development within the waterfront parks and it will be an integral part of the recommendation that staff brings forward. Mr. McAdam said the answers to Commissioner Carruthers’ questions are yes, the Commission can consider adopting such polices.
Commissioner Mossar asked if this would be done in coordination with the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration project. Mr. LaClair said this would absolutely be done in coordination with not only the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration project, but other restoration projects as well.
Commissioner Cutler asked if coordination was being done with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area because they are embarking on a general management plan that they expect to take several years and part of what they are looking at is recreational opportunities. Mr. LaClair said he has met with Nancy Hornor at GGNRA, early in the project and he is continuing to keep them apprised of the changes and ideas that he is developing. He is also participating in the general management plan update process.
Commissioner Lundstrom said she is pleased that staff did put in navigational safety. Another issue that needs to be considered is the security areas which are a fact of life around the Bay. The security areas, are a no go area for recreational boaters and if these zones are entered and boaters are warned off and they don’t heed the warnings it is a felony. Mr. LaClair said staff will absolutely take this into consideration.
Commissioner Goldzband asked how this can be done in two months and to what extent does the Commission need to notify the public that this is going on. Mr. Travis said BCDC has been working with the public and the interest groups. The reason that it is being brought to the Commission now, is as a way to formally notify the public.
Commissioner Bates said specifically for the water trail, if it can identify areas and move the agenda along by suggesting that this is an appropriate location. Mr. LaClair said recommendations will be made for the improvement of facilities for non-motorized small boating access at different waterfront parks and other sites around the Bay.
Commissioner Halsted said on July 20 there will be people who will show up who might not have had input, and so will it be some time after that when the Commission gets to the Plan. Mr. LaClair said the final recommendation will address the feedback that is received in the public hearing process, in addition to the feedback from Commissioners, and then a recommendation will address the That is the subject of the amendment request be formulated to resolve the issues that arise out of this process. At this point an extensive outreach has been performed in order to get feedback, but more will be heard in July.
Chair Randolph entertained a motion and a second on the staff recommendation.
MOTION: Commissioner McGlashan moved, seconded by Commissioner Mossar to approve staff’s recommendation to adopt the proposed descriptive notice and begin the process to amend the San Francisco Bay Plan Recreation Findings and Policies, the Bay Plan Map notes, policies and suggestions and Resolution 16. The motion passed.
11. Public Hearing and Vote on Revised Guidelines for Access to Public Records. Jonathan Smith presented the staff report and recommendation on revisions to BCDC’s guidelines for access to public records. Governor Schwarzenegger recently issued an Executive Order that requires all state agencies to adopt guidelines if they do not already have them, and also require all state agencies with such guidelines to review them and bring them up-to-date as necessary. The Commission adopted its Public Records Act Guidelines in 1975 and has not amended them since. Staff has reviewed and revised the existing guidelines. The staff recommends that the Commission adopt the revised guidelines.
Chair Randolph opened the meeting for public comment. There was no public comment.
MOTION: Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Commissioner Hill to close the public hearing. The motion passed.
MOTION: Commissioner Mossar moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to approve staff’s recommendation and adopt Resolution No. 06-01. The motion passed unanimoulsy.
Commissioner Goldzband asked how often people come to the office to review BCDC records. Mr. Smith said people come in five to six times a year to review BCDC records for a variety of reasons. Usually people want to look at old permit files and sometimes they are related to litigation and sometimes not. Mr. Smith also stated that the guidelines will be posted on the website.
Commissioner McGlashan asked how will staff answer the question “name, salary for all staff”. Mr. Smith said the names are easy to supply and he hasn’t had anyone request salary information. He believes that the salary information should be made available if people ask for it, but there is some disagreement among public agencies regarding to what degree the PRA requires such disclosure.
Commissioner McGlashan said he would encourage staff to make a decision one way or the other, and then include that in the staff training. Mr. Travis said on the website a staff roster is listed, and it describes the civil service classification, and then you could go into the Governor’s budget where salary ranges are specified for each classification. Mr. Travis said he will talk to staff and see how this should be dealt with.
Commissioner Moy asked where notices of public meetings are posted. Mr. Travis said they are posted on the website and they are mailed widely to interest groups. Commissioner Moy said the office is closed during the time when the public is most likely to show up.
Commissioner Mossar suggested a word change in number 6, “a free copy shall be provided” should be changed to “A free copy of the guidelines shall be provided.” Staff agreed that this proposed change is a good clarification.
Commissioner Carruthers said he would like to understand more about the exemptions. He asked what the general nature of the exemptions are, and if anyone ever asks for material that is exempt. Mr. Smith said there are now pages of exemptions contained in the law. There are really only several exemptions that the Commission deals with on a regular basis; they are: (1) attorney client privilege, and (2) a court recognized exemption which is based on a statutory provision in the Public Records Act that is called the deliberative process exemption.
Mr. Smith stated that a PRA request usually involves someone coming in and asking for documents. Staff will then go through the documents and will withhold anything that they think is privileged. If someone asks for an exempt document, that person will be told which documents are exempt and why they are exempt. If the requesting party disagrees, the requesting party and Staff will attempt to resolve the disagreement.
Commissioner Carruthers commented that cities and counties are required to post their agendas of all committee and commission meetings on the exterior of the building where they can be seen by anybody at anytime.
Commissioner Jordan asked if there was anything in the Act regarding any requirements about anything being posted on the internet. Mr. Smith said he does not believe there is anything in the Public Records Act, but there are a number of State Laws that require that certain documents be posted on the internet.
Chair Randolph asked for a motion and a second on the staff report with the amendment suggested by Commissioner Mossar on the wording.
MOTION: Commissioner Mossar moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to approve the staff’s recommendation and revised guidelines with the amendment with the suggestion by Commissioner Mossar. The motion passed.
12. Consideration of Strategic Plan Status Report. Mr. Travis said there are two recommended changes to deadlines dealing with sand mining.
He also pointed out that staff is already thinking about the next strategic planning workshop to be held in the September time frame. He asked Commission members to be thinking about an all day session to be held on a Thursday sometime in September and if there is a particular venue they would like to propose to let him know.
MOTION: Commissioner Goldzband moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to approve the recommended deadlines as presented by Staff. The motion passed.
13. New Business. There was no new business.
14. Old Business. There was no old business.
15. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 3:24 p.m.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of June 15, 2006
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair