July 20 , 2006 Commission Meeting Minutes
Approved Minutes of July 20, 2006 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the Metro Center Auditorium in Oakland, California at 1:10 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Chair Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Bates, Bourgart (represented by Alternate Sartipi), Cutler, Fernekes, Gioia, Goldzband, Kniss (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Kondylis, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom (represented by Alternate Messina), McGlashan, Mossar, Moy, Peskin Thayer (represented by Alernate Kato), Wagenknecht and Waldeck (represented by Alternate Warren).
Not Present were: Resources Agency (Baird), Sonoma County (Brown), Speaker of the Assembly (Gibbs), San Mateo County (Gordon), U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers (Hicks), Governors Appointee (Jordan) Department of Finance (Klass), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Schwinn).
3. Public Comment Period. There was no public comment.
Commissioner Kondylis said she would like to publicly thank Larry Goldzband for putting the live web camera up showing the peregrine falcon’s nest atop the PG&E building in downtown San Francisco. You can follow the falcons live online at the PG&E website.
4. Approval of Minutes of June 15, 2006 Meeting. Chair Randolph entertained a motion to adopt the minutes.
MOTION: Commissioner Gioia moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted to approve the June 15, 2006 minutes. The motion passed with six abstentions.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph provided the following update:
a. Next BCDC Meeting. It will not be necessary to hold a meeting on August 3rd. The next meeting will be held on August 17, 2006 at the MetroCenter in Oakland.
Chair Randolph reviewed the agenda as follows:
b. Today’s Meeting. There will be a public hearing and a vote on amending a permit and issuing a cease and desist order to resolve an enforcement problem at the Paradise Cay in Marin County.
A public hearing will be held on revising the provisions in the Bay Plan dealing with recreation.
The Commission will be considering a report on the progress of the strategic plan.
c. Ex-Parte Communications. If any of our commissioners may have inadvertently forgotten to report ex-parte communications whether written or oral, they are invited to report on such communications now.
Commissioner Fernekes said he met with Genentech on a planning issue and they also have an application with BCDC.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Mr. Travis provided the following report:
a. Budget for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2006. Governor Schwarzenegger sustained the Legislature’s $1 million augmentation in BCDC’s budget. As a result, BCDC’s budget for fiscal year is $5,103,000. If the Commission approves the contract with MTC the budget will increase by another $200,000 which will be approximately 30 percent higher than last year’s budget. Many people contributed to the success in getting this augmentation.
This augmentation will allow BCDC to hire 11 additional staff members. It is expected that all of the new staff will be on board by the end of the calendar year.
The Legislature decided not to include budget language to direct BCDC to increase its permit fees. BCDC’s current fee schedule is not effective in generating the amount of revenue in its targets. In addition, there are some inequities in the schedule that can result in the permit fees for very small projects actually exceeding the cost of the projects themselves while the fees for very large projects can be proportionately lower than the fees for smaller projects.
In order to make BCDC’s fee schedule more equitable and efficient in reaching revenue targets, the schedule will be revised. A public workshop will be scheduled to discuss this issue and see if a consensus can be reached on the revised fee schedule. Thereafter a formal process of amending BCDC’s regulations will be put into place.
b. Personnel. Michelle Levenson will be starting a one-year maternity leave on August 1st and Ming Yeung will be moving from her enforcement position to backfill for Michelle and someone will be hired to fill in for Ming Yeung.
Tim Doherty has joined BCDC as a planning intern where he is developing GIS data that can be used to evaluate the impacts of global climate change on the Bay. He will be with BCDC through September 2006.
Bob Batha, Chief of permits, has been diagnosed with cancer. His long-term prognosis is excellent, but he will not be able to work for at least nine months. Bob’s workload will be handled through internal re-assignments.
c. Three documents were brought to the Commission’s attention:
(1) A notice that BCDC is starting the process of amending regulations to make them fully consistent with the current provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act. The notice indicates that the hearing will be held on September 21, however, the date will be changed to October 5 and a new notice will be sent out;
(2) A background report and preliminary recommendation on amendments to the provisions in the Bay Plan dealing with recreation. The law requires that BCDC release this information at least 30 days before the scheduled public hearing which will be on August 17. Mr. Travis asked the Commissioners to bring this report with them to the August 17 meeting.
(3) The final document is a reminder that California Law requires all Commissioners to complete ethics training within six months of assuming office and every two years thereafter. Staff will be hosting an ethics training session in BCDC’s office on the afternoon of Thursday, August 3, 2006. Anyone interested in attending this session, please contact Jonathan Smith. In addition, ABAG will be offering a similar session on December 11 at a cost of $75 per participant. It was pointed out by Jon Smith that the state training is required for those members who are elected officials. Videos and DVDs are available for the state training.
d. Permit Statistics. In 2005, 221 permit applications were processed in an average of only 39 days each. In the first four months of 2006 the processing time was reduced to 21 days. Through the middle of July over 100 applications for permits, amendments and other administrative actions were received and staff is continuing to process them in an average of only 23 days.
e. Vacation. On Tuesday, July 25, Mr. Travis will be leaving on a three-week vacation. He will be returning on August 16. While he is away, Steve McAdam will be serving as acting executive director.
7. Commission Consideration of Administrative Matters. 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 California Recreation Trends. Ruth Coleman, Director of the California Department of Parks provided a presentation on trends in recreation demands and how the State is responding to these trends.
a. The Governor and Legislature realized that the California Parks are a valuable resource and have added $255 million to the budget for rebuilding and staffing.
b. California is exploding in growth and what is interesting is that baby boomers are having greater interest in RVs and the more amenity rich kind of outdoor activities. In addition 40 percent of the youth population is offspring of immigrants and so signs and literature are printed in five different languages in order to relate to the new population.
c. An issue that is being looked into is how to balance congestion needs against the needs for the public to have sanctuaries to get away from it all.
d. The best cure for diabetes and obesity is walking. In order to help with this, California State Parks has created maps for cities that identify walks that show how many miles you have gone and it will be available on the website.
e. Youth are more comfortable indoors than outdoors and they do not connect to their environment and this is a challenge.
f. IPods provide a new chance to provide information about parks, trails, and what can be seen at each of the sites. This is a great opportunity for public education.
g.Some people want extreme sports experiences at the parks and others want a quiet sanctuary, and very often they are trying to do it at the same place. These are some of the cultural issues that are being dealt with.
h. State parks in the Bay Area were discussed: Angel Island, Benicia, Candlestick, China Camp, East Bay Shoreline State Park, and Mt. Tamalpais.
i. The Department has interpretive signs that can be purchased
j. Opportunities for outreach: Fan Camp Trailer takes urban children and their parents to a park for camping; Beach Play Day; and Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students.
Commissioner Carruthers shared a project that the State Parks is participating in with Santa Clara County. This project is the creation of an agricultural park where active agriculture will be ongoing and people can see how food is grown. This will also bring to urban people the awareness of the contribution of local food producers and of ways to increase the income of regional farmers through direct marketing and selling to the concessionaires in the state parks.
Commissioner Bates asked Ms. Coleman to talk about an initiative that is on the ballot. Ms. Coleman said the initiative is Proposition 84. Four hundred million dollars would be allocated to state parks, subject to appropriation by the Legislature, for the development, acquisition and restoration of the State Park System. This money would be used to build new improvements and new campgrounds.
Chair Randolph asked what mechanisms or conversation does the California Department of State Parks have with landowners in adjacent areas regarding acquisition and transition of land into state ownership. Ms. Coleman said she works within the State Public Works forum. The challenge for her is working with land trusts and reminding them that we all have an obligation not only to look at what it is going to cost to buy the lands, and how to preserve them, but also taking the next step of stewardship of those lands once you own them. She is looking for creative ways to formulate endowment funds to fund ongoing operations and maintenance. For every decision that is made you must see how it will affect the generations of the future.
9. Commission Consideration of a Contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Jeff Blanchfield presented the following summary and staff recommendation:
Vice Chair Halsted suggested that MTC and BCDC staff get together and talk about common areas of interest on shoreline transportation planning. The staffs have met several times and MTC has indicated that it would like to focus on water-related-transit-oriented development along the shoreline, as well as airport and seaport planning.
The staffs feel that they are at a point where they can test working on a project and MTC would use transportation money that it has available to enter into a contract with BCDC to pay BCDC for its services. Staff is recommending that the Commission authorize the Executive Director to execute such an agreement on behalf of the Commission.
Commissioner Halsted said this is an important step because the issues around transit- oriented development on the water’s edge are complicated and it will require a fair amount of cooperation between the two agencies.
Chair Randolph said this takes the Commission in the direction, along with MTC and the Water Transit Authority, of working more closely together and integrating the planning processes.
MOTION: Commissioner McGlashan moved approval for the Executive Director to execute a one-year agreement with MTC not to exceed $200,000, seconded by Commissioner Goldzband. The motion passed unanimously.
10. Consideration of Strategic Plan Status Report. Mr. Travis reported that the preferred date for the strategic planning workshop is September 21. This will be an all day workshop. Marilyn Snider will facilitate the workshop. It will be held in Oakland’s Preservation Park.
Commissioner Kondylis asked if there can be discussion regarding permit application decline. Mr. Travis said the real estate business is not sure what it wants to do, there is a shortage of federal funds and unless the bond acts pass, there is not that much state funding for state project development (how to respond to a drop in permit applications). He will put some thought into this subject for discussion at the workshop.
In the status report, staff has recommended a few changes to some of the deadlines and Mr. Travis entertained a motion to extend the deadlines.
MOTION: Commissioner McGlashan moved approval to extend the dates, seconded by Commissioner Peskin. The motion passed unanimously.
11. New Business. There was no new business.
12. Old Business. There was no old business.
13. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Fernekes, seconded by Commissioner Mossar, the meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of August 17, 2006
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair