January 18, 2007 Commission Meeting Minutes
Approved Minutes of January 18, 2007 Commission Meeting
- Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the MetroCenter Auditorium, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California at 1:14 p.m.
- Roll Call. Present were Chair Sean Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Baird (represented by Alternate Potter), Bates, Bourgart, Brown (represented by Alternate Smith), Fernekes, Goldzband, Gordon, Hicks, Jordan, Kniss (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Kondylis, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, McGlashan, Mossar, Moy, Nelson, Peskin, Thayer (represented by Alternate Kato), Wagenknecht, and Waldeck.
Not Present were: Speaker of the Assembly (Gibbs), Contra Costa County (Gioia), Department of Finance (Klass), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Schwinn).
- Public Comment Period. There was no public comment.
- Approval of Minutes of December 7, 2006 Meeting. Chair Randolph entertained a motion to adopt the minutes.
MOTION: Commissioner Kondylis moved, seconded by Commissioner Lundstrom to approve the December 7, 2006 minutes. The motion passed unanimously.
- Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph provided the following update:
There is one change to the agenda for today’s meeting. On Item 8, John Kriken was scheduled to provide a briefing on BCDC’s Design Review Board; however he was unable to be at today’s meeting. This item will be on the agenda for the next Commission meeting.
Commissioner Geoffrey Gibbs’ alternate, Mark McClure, has resigned from BCDC to take a position on the Board of the Port of Oakland. In addition, Commissioner Dena Mossar’s alternate, Nicholas Jellins, did not run for re-election to the Menlo Park City Council so he is no longer eligible to serve on BCDC. Also, Commissioner Tom Bates’ alternate, Irma Anderson, lost her race for re-election as Richmond’s mayor so she too is no longer eligible to serve on BCDC. Commissioners Mossar and Bates are in the process of selecting their new alternates.
There is a vacancy on BCDC’s Engineering Criteria Review Board as a result of Dr. Bruce Bolt’s death a few months ago. The vacancy must be filled by a civil and geotechnical engineer. With the Commission’s concurrence, Chair Randolph would like to appoint Maurice S. Power to fill this vacancy.
Jeff Blanchfield is retiring from his position as BCDC’s Chief Planner. Staff prepared a draft resolution of appreciation for Jeff Blanchfield and Chair Randolph welcomed a motion to adopt the draft resolution.
MOTION: Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Commissioner Kondylis to adopt the Resolution for Jeff Blanchfield as presented by staff. The motion passed unanimously.
It will not be necessary to hold the regularly-scheduled meetings on February 1 and February 15. The next meeting will be held on March 1, 2007 at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The following matters will be taken up.
A public hearing and vote may be held on a case that is being taken up by BCDC’s Enforcement Committee at its February 8th meeting. The case involves placing material dredged from the Port of Stockton by the Army Corps of Engineers on a duck club property in the Suisun Marsh.
The Commission will consider approving the text of the 2006 annual report.
John Kriken, the Chair of the Design Review Board, will provide ideas on how to improve the quality of pubic access areas around the Bay.
A briefing will be provided by Dr. John Landis, the Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, explaining what can be learned from Sydney, Australia about waterfront development and public access.
The Commission will consider a report on the progress it is making in carrying out the strategic plan.
An orientation briefing for new members of the Commission will be held the afternoon of Thursday, February 15 at the BCDC office in San Francisco.
Barbara Eastman, who was one of the founders of Save the Bay and who, along with Commissioner Carruthers, was largely responsible for gaining the support of the South Bay communities for passage of the McAteer-Petris Act, passed away on December 23rd. She served on the Regional Water Quality Control Board for 11 years as an appointee of Governors Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown. For most of those years, she was the Water Board’s representative on BCDC. To honor her contributions to BCDC, with the Commission’s concurrence, today’s meeting will be adjourned in memory of Barbara Eastman.
Commissioner Carruthers noted that Ms. Eastman was one of the people who helped get this Commission started. He noted that in Santa Clara County, she was able to get the Santa Clara County Planning Department to help her in putting on a conference at Foothill College that brought together 650 people of Santa Clara County to discuss the competition for the Bay. When the McAteer-Petris Bill came before the Legislature all 15 cities of Santa Clara County actively supported the bill. She was a remarkable woman.
Ex-Parte Communications. In case any members of the Commission inadvertently forgot to provide staff with a report on any written or oral ex-parte communications, they were invited to report on them at this point.
Commissioner McGlashan stated that he has conversations with Bill Foss, the owner of Fish Restaurant, on the Shoreline in Sausalito that was engaged in some enforcement activity with BCDC relative to the public access walkway.
Commissioner Kato said that in her position with State Lands Commission, she has had communications with various truckers and trucking associations for the Port of Oakland and City of Oakland.
- Report of the Executive Director. Mr. Travis provided the following report:
- Personnel. Mr. Travis introduced Tim Doherty, the new planner on BCDC’s staff.
Two more highly qualified individuals have been selected to fill some of the positions that were added to BCDC’s staff last year. They are:
Jessica Hamburger will be the new dredging analyst. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in East Asian Studies and a focus on environmental studies. She has a Masters of Environmental Science from Yale with a focus on watershed management. She was awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship and a Switzer Leadership Grant. Most recently, she has been working as a watershed planner with the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District.
Erin Bomkamp has accepted BCDC’s offer to become an enforcement analyst. She received a BS in biological sciences from Cal State, Fullerton and an MA in evolution and ecology with an emphasis on coastal marine habitats from UC Santa Barbara. She has worked as a biologist and a regulatory specialist at an environmental consulting firm.
Because staff has not been able to find anyone qualified to fill the Senior Engineer position, Tom Tobin has agreed to help by working part time on an interim basis. Tom was the first BCDC engineer in the 1970’s. After leaving his position at BCDC he was in an executive management position at the Coastal Commission, served as Executive Director of the Seismic Safety Commission, and is now an international consulting engineer.
Kerri Davis has been selected to fill a one-year, limited-term position to backfill for Michelle Levenson who is on leave from the permit section. Kerri has a BS in wildlife and fisheries biology and an MS in wildlife and fisheries conservation, both from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is currently a data analyst in student housing at Stanford. She has been a lead planner, GIS specialist and biologist at private consulting firms and has spent a year working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implementing the Endangered Species Act in southern California.
Using the funds BCDC received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Mr. Travis proposed to hire Sahrye Cohen on a one-year limited-term basis in the planning section in order to take on some of Lindy Lowe’s responsibilities while she is on family leave. Sahrye holds a BS in biology and environmental studies from Tufts University and an MS in marine biology from San Francisco State. Her most recent job has been at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Response and Restoration in Maryland. While she was a graduate research assistant at San Francisco State she conducted food-web sampling in the Bay. She has also been an enforcement intern at the Coastal Commission, a habitat restoration intern at the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and served for one year as an Americorps volunteer with the Marin Conservation Corps and the national Park Service.
To keep track of the overall personnel situation the following is where BCDC stands today with the exception of BCDC’s Senior Engineer, there is now permanent staff in all eleven of the new positions. With the two limited-term appointments there is only one limited term opening as a result of permanent staff that is on leave, but Mr. Travis believes it is unlikely that position can be filled because of its short-term nature. Therefore, overall only one of the 45 staff positions is currently vacant.
- Cease and Desist Order. On December 19, 2006, Mr. Travis issued an Executive Director’s Cease and Desist Order to Mr. Eben Gossage, the owner of Zack’s Inc., which is operating under the name of Sausalito Marine, at 225 Locust Street in Sausalito. Mr. Gossage constructed a gravel parking lot that interferes with BCDC-required public access on an adjacent property, installed a pathway around part of the parking area and used the area as a parking lot, all without obtaining a BCDC permit. To prevent further violations the order was issued to direct Mr. Gossage to stop all work and uses, including parking and the placement of any more unauthorized fill in BCDC’s jurisdiction. If this violation cannot be resolved by the time the order expires in mid-March, the matter will be referred to the Enforcement Committee.
c.Emergency Permit. On December 29, 2006, an emergency permit was issued to the Union Pacific Railroad to replace a railroad bridge across Pinole Creek in the City of Pinole, Contra Costa County, and within BCDC’s shoreline band jurisdiction. There was some likelihood the old bridge would collapse before the normal application process could be completed so staff concluded that issuing an emergency permit was appropriate.
d.Permit Statistics. Staff will provide the Commissioners with a draft 2006 annual report at its next meeting. The report will include some interesting statistical information on permit workload last year. In particular, for the first time in BCDC’s history, no major permits were issued last year. However, just before the end of the year 9 applications were received for major permits. Overall, BCDC received a total of 207 applications last year. On average it took staff 22 days to complete the initial review and an average of 91 days to complete the processing of the application once it was filed. Thus, BCDC completed a process the law gives 120 days to carry out in only 43 days.
Commissioner Waldeck asked where the line is drawn between a minor permit and a major permit. Mr. Travis said in the regulations which the Commission has adopted the exact specifications are listed as far as what kind of activities qualify for processing as an administrative or minor permit. Any permit which requires action by the Commission is a major permit.
- Personnel. Mr. Travis introduced Tim Doherty, the new planner on BCDC’s staff.
- Commission Consideration of Administrative Matters. Mr. McAdam was available to respond to any questions. There were no questions posed.
- Briefing on BCDC’s Design Review Board. This was postponed until March 1, 2007.
- Public Hearing and Possible Vote on Proposed Amendment of the San Francisco Bay Plan and the San Francisco Bay Area Seaport Plan to Relocate a 15-Acre Port Priority Use Area Designation at Oakland. Sara Polgar provided the following information:
The Commission is holding a public hearing, and possibly voting on Bay Plan Amendment 3-06, an application from the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Oakland to amend the San Francisco Bay Area Seaport Plan and the San Francisco Bay Plan maps to relocate 15 acres of Oakland port priority use area that is designated for Ancillary Maritime Use for truck parking to serve the Port of Oakland.
A descriptive notice of the possible plan amendment was mailed to interested parties on December 8th, 2006. The staff mailed its report and preliminary recommendation on December 15, 2006, and the final recommendation on January 12, 2007.
As shown on the map in the staff report, the proposed amendment would delete port priority use designation from the Baldwin Property, a 15-acre parcel north of West Grand Avenue and relocate the designation to 15 acres of land in the East Gate Yard of the former Oakland Army Base. This parcel is closer to the Port of Oakland’s marine terminals.
In 2001, the Commission approved an application from the Port of Oakland and the Oakland Base Reuse Authority to modify the port priority use area designation on the closed Oakland Army Base. At the public hearing for this amendment, members of the trucking community requested that additional land be reserved for port-related trucking use. The Port and the Reuse Authority agreed to each provide 15 acres of land adjacent to the Port for trucking and port ancillary uses. The trucking representatives felt that this amount of land would be sufficient to meet their needs.
The Reuse Authority studied three possible 15-acre parcels for maritime ancillary uses as part of the development of the Final Reuse Plan for the Oakland Army Base, including the two properties affected in this amendment application. At the time of the amendment public hearing process, the Final Reuse Plan was not complete. The Commission and the Reuse Authority agreed to identify the Baldwin Property as a port priority use area but that if, upon completion of the Final Reuse Plan, the Reuse Authority determined that one of the alternate sites would be more appropriate for port ancillary uses, it could apply to the Commission to make this substitution and the Commission would expedite the amendment application consistent with its law, policies and regulations. The Final Reuse Plan was completed in April 2001.
The Redevelopment Agency has determined that the East Gate Yard property is better suited for port ancillary uses and the relocation of the port priority use area to that site would be more consistent with the comprehensive redevelopment plans for the former Army Base.
The specific proposed changes are shown in Figure 1 on page 3 of the proposed resolution. The changes would affect Bay Plan maps 4 and 5, the Seaport Plan map I Figure 4 and the Oakland Priority Use Area North Boundary description, as well as Resolution 16.
The proposed amendment would maintain 15 acres of land designated for port ancillary uses for port-related trucking as identified by the 2001 amendment to the Seaport Plan and Bay Plan and would not lead to the future need to fill the Bay to create new sites for these uses. Also, these changes to the port priority use area designations would not detract from the regional capability to meet the Seaport Plan projected Bay Area and Port of Oakland cargo forecast because land designated for ancillary maritime support for port-related trucking is not used in the calculation of the Port’s container cargo for throughput. Thus the changes to these designations are consistent with the Seaport Plan Cargo Forecast Policy 4.
The current heavy-industrial-use zoning at the new 15-acre site in the East Gate Yard is consistent with Bay Plan port use designation. Furthermore, the relocation creates no net change in acreage designated for ancillary maritime use and it moves the truck parking area closer to the Port and adjacent to the existing port priority use area.
The staff’s environmental assessment of the relocation of the 15-acre designation concludes that the change will not have significant adverse impacts on the environment. The assessment is based on a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report prepared by the City of Oakland for the Auto Mall Project. This report supplements the environmental impact report prepared for the Redevelopment and Reuse Plan for the former Oakland Army Base.
Prior to Commission consideration of proposed Seaport Plan amendments, the Seaport Planning Advisory Committee reviews the changes and provides comments. This amendment is minor in nature, so rather than schedule a meeting of the Committee, the staff report was mailed to each member for review. The staff did not receive comments from the Committee.
Staff also did not receive comments from the public on the proposed amendment. However, it was brought to staff’s attention that in the December 15th mailing, the Figure 1 on page 3 of the proposed resolution did not reflect the current Oakland Port Priority Use Area.
Even though the discrepancy does not affect the proposed Bay Plan Amendment, the map was corrected in the final recommendation that was sent out January 12, 2007.
In conclusion, the staff recommends that the Commission approve the application of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency to amend the San Francisco Bay Plan and the San Francisco Bay Area Seaport Plan by adopting Resolution No. 07-07.
John Monetta, with the City of Oakland, thanked Ms. Polgar for her report. He offered to answer any questions the Commission may have, and to make three points. (1) The 2001 application was put in by the Oakland Bay Reuse Authority. In 2006 the property was transferred to the City of Oakland’s Redevelopment Agency. He clarified that he is the applicant putting forth this request. (2) His request to move the 15-acres adjacent to the Port’s property is an effort for the Port and the City to try to create a 30-acre truck parking lot as opposed to two separate 15-acres. (3) Pursuant to 2001 action by BCDC, upon his acquisition of the property in 2006, he did enter into a lease with Oakland Maritime Support Services for 15-acres of truck parking. This will be in place until such time that the development is completed.
Bill Aboudi, a truck operator at the Army Base, said he supports the amendment before the Commission.
MOTION: Commissioner Peskin moved, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Kondylis said it is known that some trucks have a tendency to leak oil and asked what plans are in place to make sure that these kinds of environmental problems will not occur. Mr. Monetta said the consolidation of the 15-acres with the Ports 15 acres will create a site that is contained. Regulatory controls are in place. Mr. Clough said there is a remedial action plan in place at the Army Base and the 15-acres does not have any Remedial Action Sites that need to be cleaned at the present time. There are institutional controls in place that will address any issues that arise during development.
MOTION: Commissioner Lai-Bitker moved, seconded by Commissioner Bourgart to adopt the staff recommendation to adopt Resolution No. 07-07. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Carruthers said the Commission is not being asked to approve how good the 30-acres are in terms of their pollution programs. Mr. McAdam said that neither site is in BCDC’s permit jurisdiction. BCDC is assessing them for their ability to carry out the policy goals of the Seaport Plan and the Bay Plan.
VOTE: The motion carried by a roll call vote of 23-0-0 with Commissioners Potter, Bates, Bourgart, Smith, Fernekes, Goldzband, Gordon, Hicks, Jordan, Carruthers, Kondylis, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, McGlashan, Mossar, Moy, Nelson, Peskin, Kato, Wagenknecht, Waldeck, Vice Chair Halsted and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
- Briefing on Climate Change. Leslie Lacko provided the following presentation:
Twenty years ago BCDC became concerned about the impacts of climate change and undertook a planning study and then developed policies to account for sea level rise on all fill projects in the Bay.
Maps were shown illustrating the area of land that would be inundated under the 100-year highest estimated tide with a one-meter sea level rise. The second section of the map showed the northern regions of the Bay and Suisun Marsh.
The estimated costs were $1 billion when the report was first issued, but would far exceed this amount now.
There are three major Bay related impacts from climate change. The first is the accelerated rate of sea level rise, the second is increased severity and frequency of storm events, and lastly is the changes in fresh water inflow, which would come from change in precipitation and early mountain snow-melt patterns that affect the Bay Delta.
In March of 2006 the California Climate Change Center published a report on changing climate and assessed the risks for California. In the State’s report they rely on three emission scenarios: a lower emission scenario, a medium-high emission scenario and then a higher emission scenario. The lower emission scenario would result if there is success in curbing emissions, the medium-high reflects maintaining current emission levels, and the higher projects resulting temperatures if we continue to increase our emissions.
During the next few decades, all three scenarios project the same temperature increase between one and one point three degrees Fahrenheit. By the end of the century the temperatures rise between three degrees Fahrenheit to ten and a half degrees Fahrenheit depending on the scenario.
Sea level rise projections parallel these emissions scenarios. The historic rate of sea level rise in San Francisco Bay is 18 to 20 centimeters over the past 100 years.
The IPCC estimates that the global sea level will rise between 10 and 90 centimeters by the year 2100. Consistent with this prediction, the California Climate Action Team predicts about three feet as the maximum by 2100, in the highest emissions scenarios.
The second major impact is increased storm activity. As temperatures and sea level rise, the Bay Area will be exposed to effects of increased storm activity. Similar to New Orleans, many of the areas along the shoreline sit below mean sea level, and while San Francisco Bay would not experience a hurricane like New Orleans, the climate change Sonar Modeling indicates that a 30 centimeter, or 11.8 inch increase in sea level rise, would shift the 100-year storm surge induced flood event to once every ten years. Under this scenario, it is likely that storm surge-induced flooding along the heavily urbanized shoreline would occur much sooner than 2100.
Illustrative maps were presented showing at-risk areas for one of the more extreme events (one-meter sea level rise). Digital elevations models were used to show the low lying areas on the shoreline. These are areas that are at risk of flooding.
The third major impact is changes in precipitation and early mountain snowmelt that would cause changes in fresh water inflow into the Bay.
An illustrative map was shown depicting the locations of highly saline and mid-saline waters in the estuary. If the state experiences changes in precipitation patterns and earlier snow melt from the Sierra Nevada, which is essentially the State’s primary water reservoir, the salinity patterns of the Bay, particularly the Suisun Marsh would change. The major change that would happen in the Suisun Marsh was shown.
Other associated impacts with sea level rise and changes in fresh water inflow are changes to species composition for both plants and animals and changes in habitats.
BCDC spent 40 years providing public access to the shoreline and many of these areas would be inundated under the one-meter sea level rise scenario.
How do we deal with uncertainty? Why do some publications project a 6-meter rise in the seal level while the State of California’s upper limit is only 1 meter of sea level rise? California and the IPCC projections are based on the historic rates of sea level rise and the
projected thermal expansion from ocean warming. Where the uncertainty is introduced into sea level rise projections is with the rate of deglaciation. Scientists have a difficult time modeling rates which glaciers are melting so the projections are based on mountain glacier melts and the thermal expansion, which are conservative estimates.
Some of the primary challenges in planning for sea level rise are: (1) planning amid the high-level of uncertainty; (2) and to ensure that outreach and planning methods complement and build on the existing state efforts, as well as the local efforts for climate change.
The way BCDC has approached this is to define objectives, identify the existing efforts, determine at information needs are, build partnerships and start developing a flexible planning process.
In addressing some of the uncertainty, some sources of information have been very helpful. Susanne Moser, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, recently completed a survey of local governments in the State of California that are located in the coastal zone, including the Bay shoreline. She found that local governments want vulnerability assessments and specific projections of climate variables, which are two things that BCDC is attempting to deliver.
Dr. Moser also found that local governments want help translating climate change into actionable information. An example would be the model implementing an emissions reduction plan. There are key steps for local governments to follow for coastal protection the way that there are for emissions reduction at this point.
Local governments also expressed that they want opportunities to learn more. They want hands-on training, user manual and web clearing houses.
BCDC participated in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Climate Summit in November. During the Summit there was a local government break-out session. Some of the findings from that session are helpful to BCDC. The local governments expressed a need for climate information clearing house, greater coordination regionally and statewide, more public outreach, and guidelines for implementation such as sample ordinances.
Local governments identified barriers as well, such as confusion over jurisdiction, competing priorities, lack of resources and lack of knowledge.
In response to the issues identified, BCDC is collaborating regionally to clarify jurisdiction issues and coordinate its response, to work with local governments to identify viable adaptation strategies, and to develop new Bay Plan policies.
Commissioner Kondylis asked what will happen to BCDC’s jurisdiction. Mr. Travis said BCDC’s jurisdiction would move inland. The maps that have been shown are illustrative and it is hoped that they will inspire the public to prevent this in the future. There will be a massive investment in infrastructure to protect those assets that have high economic value. The Bay may change from being an estuarine system to being a very large and beautiful reflecting pool. It will change its value entirely.
The maps show where there are areas at risk so that the region can make strategic investment decisions. It is hoped that people will be inspired to reduce emissions and therefore reduce the impact.
Commissioner Kondylis said the maps show a conservative estimate and she is concerned about it being underestimated. She said as Greenland is melting, new islands are being revealed and she asked if this had been factored into the estimates. Global dimming, the air pollution caused by particulate matter, is the number one thing keeping global warming from accelerating. So, the pollution we create is actually helping to stem the tide of the greenhouse gases. She said that perhaps a map depicting worse case scenario should be created as well.
Mr. Travis said BCDC was created to help San Francisco Bay from getting smaller. There are laws that have been extraordinarily effective. The challenges BCDC will be facing over the next half century is that the Bay is going to get bigger.
Commissioner Nelson said IPCC’s estimates are old but they will be coming out with a new estimate in 2007. He would like to see a new briefing when this report becomes available.
Local jurisdictions are turning to this issue and BCDC is well positioned as the agency most clearly responsible for looking to the future of the Bay to work with these agencies on how they should be preparing for climate change.
BCDC needs to pay attention to urban areas and to look at opportunities with regard to wildlife. Commissioner Nelson suggested to begin looking at the urban bay and the natural bay. It is clearly going to take the response of different agencies with different jurisdictions and BCDC can play a role in making sure these conversations take place.
Commissioner Mossar said she doesn’t believe there is enough money in the system to achieve the goals and she feels the most important thing to do is to begin a dialogue on the realities.
Commissioner Lundstrom said she sat on a Flood Control Board for 12 years. She said the statement of “we’ll see more storms” is already happening. The future is now. She feels BCDC needs to take a look at the levee issues. The most helpful component to local government is to look at the engineering criteria for how high the levees are raised.
Commissioner McGlashan said BCDC could be helpful by inserting into the regional dialogue the notion of full cost accounting as a means for comparison for economic value.
Commissioner Goldzband said while PG&E is seen as the leader of all utilities in working on climate change, it represents only 18 percent of the total load in the United States.
Commissioner Goldzband asked if there is an effort on the part of the California League of Cities, or CSAC to put together a statewide team/program of local elected officials and their public works departments and environmental departments to find a policy/strategy with regard to climate change.
Commissioner Mossar said at her council meeting it was reported by the League of Cities Environmental Quality Committee that the Committee was barely able to agree to form a subcommittee to study climate change because there is so much disagreement. The League of Cities is struggling with disbelief at this point.
Commissioner Goldzband said he believes that it would be worthwhile for the coastal and bay cities to get together to try to figure this out.
Commissioner Waldeck said the Green Business Certification process is the best tool available to us for combating global warming. He asked the elected officials to stipulate that unless contractors are doing business with Certified Green businesses, contracts will not be issued.
Commissioner McGlashan said it makes sense for BCDC to be a leading voice and to work in partnership with other groups. A two-tiered response is needed. Prevention is front and forward but we also need to get real in what will be done in response to things such as sea level rise, inundation, etc.
Chair Randolph asked to what extent should there be conversation with State Lands and the Coastal Commission. Mr. Travis said BCDC, along with ABAG, PG&E, the Bay Area Council and the Sierra Club is one of the founding members of the Bay Area Alliance for sustainable communities and they are dealing with this issue.
This issue will also be on the agenda of the Regional Airport Planning Committee (RAPC). The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is providing funding to BCDC for supporting RAPC.
Commissioner Bates said his community voted for the City Council to come up with a plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent over the next 30 years. His community is serious about this issue. The Air Board is going to be convening a leadership group from all sectors in order to look at these issues.
Commissioner Peskin said this is an international problem and the United States is a huge part of the problem. The international debate is whether “underdeveloped countries” will participate. We can and need to do what we can here, but will be swallowed up if China and India are not brought into the framework. So, it is imperative that we plan for the impacts of climate change.
Chair Randolph asked with the limited staff at BCDC, whether at some point there could be a way to convey the things that BCDC takes up on this issue to similar bodies or entities in China and around the world.
Commissioner Lundstrom said that transportation needs to be a part of the equation of costs.
Commissioner Carruthers said the kinds of initiatives that BCDC is discussing can contribute to building a national consensus that will support a national administration to act internationally on these issues. He requested that good minutes be provided regarding this item.
Ms. Lacko said the Coastal Commission’s authority is quite different than BCDC’s and they are struggling with this issue in their permit applications. They have an on-staff engineer and currently have the authority to deal with this through their permit applications. BCDC will develop policies to supplement its existing policies in order to address this.
Ms. Lacko said the Coastal Commission’s jurisdiction is much broader because geographically it goes inland and they don’t just regulate fill in water, and public access on the shoreline.
Mr. Travis said while the Coastal Commission deals with, and has in its jurisdiction, a series of bays, the major problem that they are facing from global climate change is far more significant coastal erosion.
Commissioner Halsted asked if BCDC could begin to define its areas of authority in order to be effective at “saving the Bay”.
Commissioner Nelson said when BCDC has a briefing from the IPCC’s next recommendations, this Commission should then think about how to address issues with regard to its jurisdiction. He said no one has mentioned Coastal Conservancy. Many local jurisdictions look to the Conservancy as a resource to help them deal with issues and there might be an opportunity there as a step towards developing statewide policies.
Commissioner Carruthers asked if the association in the Bay of the local flood control and Santa Clara County are participating in any kind of regional dialogue and have they been invited to the table? Commissioner Mossar said they are all talking but no one is really talking about the future. Commissioner Carruthers asked if BCDC can do something about this. Ms. Lacko said she is targeting them for interviews and surveys in order to get feedback from them.
Commissioner Goldzband moved to direct the Executive Director of BCDC to come back to the Commission in the spring with a first draft of some type of action plan which covers much of what has been discussed today, i.e., coordination with other regional and local governments, how to think about McAteer-Petris in the future, how to think about the Coastal Act in the future, etc. Mr. Travis said he has clearly heard the Commission’s direction and it will be done.
Commissioner Bates said there also needs to be an economic analysis performed because there will be opportunities available for new products, new innovations, solar, etc.
Commissioner Potter said the Coastal Commission has begun a series of public hearings and workshops on sea level change relative to the coast. He encouraged everyone to keep a watch on the Coastal Commission’s website where it lists its monthly meetings.
Dr. Richard Bailey, Executive Director of the Lake Merritt Institute, said he is trying to get some support for establishment of a regional, perhaps international global warming education center that could be located in Oakland. The city has a huge building currently vacant and there are requests for proposals out for this. It has a 90,000 square foot roof for solar, it is in close access to ferry terminals, BART, Amtrak, I-80 and companies could pay to exhibit solar panels, among various other things for reducing energy load. This could perhaps be self-sustaining with the combination of a museum, theater for showing global warming movies, perhaps a lecture hall for international speakers. He said if there is any support for this, to contact the City of Oakland.
Secondly, he said perhaps BCDC should consider a study as to what level between 1 and 21 feet of sea level rise it would become economically, politically and emotionally feasible to put up a sea level barrier, not around the entire Bay, but at the Golden Gate.
Chair Randolph said he has been reading about the plans to re-develop Fort Baker, which may fall into BCDC’s jurisdiction in the future. One of the plans is to put an Aspen Institute equivalent research institute in Fort Baker that would primarily have an environmental focus, so down the road there may be an opportunity
- Consideration of Strategic Plan Status Report. Mr. Travis said staff is moving ahead on all of the objectives, including all those dealing with climate change. There are no changes needed in the plan for this month.
Commissioner Kondylis said she was quite alarmed at a Water Board meeting in Solano County about the level of interest and the amount of peripheral canal talk and how it is scientifically wonderful. She believes BCDC should look at this, especially in light of the conversations today. Mr. Travis said that the slides that Ms. Lacko presented showing how salinity would be moving into the Delta, to the point where it is going to be at the source of the pumps for the water that goes to central and southern California, is one of the things that will be driving the notion of getting the water to southern California and central California without getting into the saline area and the peripheral canal is one such thing for doing this.
Mr. Travis said climate change will force these to be wholesale changes in the California water storage and delivery system.
- New Business. There was no new business.
- Old Business. There was no old new business.
- Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Peskin, seconded by Commissioner Waldeck, the meeting adjourned in memory of Barbara Eastman at 3:12 p.m.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of March 15, 2007
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair