September 20, 2007 Commission Meeting Minutes
Approved Minutes of September 20, 2007 Commission Meeting
1.Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the Metro Center Auditorium in Oakland, California at 1:12 p.m.
2.Roll Call. Present were Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Bates, Bourgart, Fernekes, Gibbs, Gioia, Goldzband, Gordon, Hicks, Jordan Hallinan, Kniss (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Kondylis, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom (represented by Alternate Messina), McGlashan, Mossar, Moy, Peskin (represented by Alternate Owen), Thayer (represented by Alternate Kato), and Waldeck. Also in attendance Legislative member Charles Taylor.
Not Present were: Governor’s Appointee (Randolph), Resources Agency (Baird), Sonoma County (Brown), Department of Finance (Finn), Senate Rules Committee (Nelson), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Schwinn), and Association of Bay Area Governments (Wagenknecht).
3.Public Comment Period. Commisioner Carruthers noted that Florence and Phil LaRiviere received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters. This is a wonderful acclaim for all of their efforts over the past 30 years.
4.Approval of Minutes of September 6, 2007 Meeting. Vice Chair Halsted entertained a motion to adopt the minutes.
MOTION: Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Commissioner Fernekes to approve the September 6, 2007 minutes. The motion passed.
5.Report of the Chair. Vice Chair Halsted provided the following information:
a.Today’s Agenda. There is one change in the final agenda for today’s meeting. Item #13, a closed session to discuss an enforcement case, has been postponed until the November 1, 2007 meeting.
Also, because Steve Heminger, the Executive Director of MTC, has another commitment later this afternoon, if the Commission does not get to his briefing, which is Item #11, by 2:30 the Commission will break away from whatever matter it is considering and hear from Steve at that time.
b.Next BCDC Meeting. The next meeting will be held on October 4, 2007 in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. At that meeting the following matters will be taken up:
(1)A vote on proposed revisions to the sections of the BCDC Bay Plan and Suisun Marsh Plan dealing with managed wetlands. A public hearing was held at the last BCDC meeting on these proposed revisions.
(2)A vote on proposed revisions to BCDC regulations that specify the information needed to complete a BCDC permit application. A public hearing on this matter is being held at today’s meeting.
(3)A public hearing and vote on an application for a wetland restoration project at the site of a closed salt-making plant along the shoreline of the Napa River.
(4)A public hearing and vote on an appeal of a permit Solano County issue for work within the secondary management area of the Suisun Marsh.
(5)A public hearing and vote on whether to support the Save the Bay’s wetland restoration funding strategy on which the Commission was briefed on at its last meeting.
(6)Consider whether BCDC wants to extend the contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission which provides funding to BCDC to assist MTC in transportation planning.
c.Bill Davoren. Bill Davoren, one of the great champions of Bay protection passed away last week. Bill was involved in the early efforts to save the Bay and later went on to establish The Bay Institute, which has become one of BCDC’s most trusted partners. With the Commission’s concurrence, today’s meeting will adjourn in memory of Bill Davoren.
d.Ex-Parte Communications. If any commissioners have inadvertently forgotten to provide the staff with a report on any written or oral ex-parte communications they were invited to report them at this time. There were no ex-parte communications to report.
Commissioner McGlashan reported that he had a meeting with Tom Mosley regarding Paradise Cay.
6.Report of the Executive Director. Mr. Travis provided the following report:
a.Coro Fellow. Kirsten Konti is the fellow who has been assigned to study the issues involved in putting a dam at the Golden Gate with tidal generation capacity.
b.Chief Counsel. After interviewing a number of outstanding attorneys, Tim Eichenberg was selected to replace Jonathan Smith as BCDC’s Chief Counsel. If the Board concurs in his appointment, Mr. Eichenberg will join BCDC staff on November 1, 2007.
c.Paradise Cay. As Vice Chair Halsted mentioned, the Commission will not be taking up Item #13, the closed session to discuss the Paradise Cay enforcement issue at today’s meeting. Mr. Travis explained that at the last meeting he informed the Commission that he had issued a non-material amendment to the BCDC permit which authorizes the construction of the Paradise Cay marina. The permit, and a cease and desist order, required the construction to be completed by August 31, 2007. When the project was not completed by this deadline the case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office for enforcement of the cease and desist order. The amendment that was issued extended the construction deadline one month to facilitate the Attorney General’s efforts to reach a suitable resolution of this case. The negotiations with the permittee are progressing well, but it is clear that this matter will not be ready for the Commission’s approval of a settlement until November 1, 2007.
Mr. Travis has issued another non-material amendment to extend the construction completion deadline until the end of October.
This will allow construction to continue and keep all the other permit conditions in place. Mr. Travis will keep the Commission apprised of the status of this case.
d.Caltrans Matters. Mr. Travis said there are three matters dealing with Caltrans:
The first involves a permit to Caltrans which BCDC issued in 1994 for the construction of a number of overpasses, roads and other highway improvements at the eastern approach to the Bay Bridge. To mitigate the environmental impacts of this construction, Caltrans agreed to restore wildlife habitat in the adjacent tidal marsh area, which is commonly called the Emeryville Crescent. Over the years, Caltrans has found it necessary to make alterations to its highway project that cut into the area reserved for habitat enhancement. Also, late last year, without first getting BCDC approval, Caltrans undertook construction that required some of the enhanced habitat area to be removed. Rather than waiting for BCDC to deal with this matter as an enforcement case, Caltrans has instituted new management controls to prevent any repeat of such practices in the future, and has offered to pay $1,292,920 in mitigation fees to cover the cost of additional shoreline habitat creation and enhancement at the East Shore State Park. In making this offer, Caltrans has proven that they are truly a responsible environmental steward and deserves BCDC’s praise for the department’s initiative and cooperation in proactively resolving this problem. Therefore, unless the Commission directs Mr. Travis otherwise, he will settle this matter in the way that Caltrans has proposed.
The second Caltrans matter involves the Carquinez Bridge. When BCDC approved the replacement of the obsolete 1927 Carquinez Bridge in 1998, BCDC required the old bridge to be removed. BCDC later approved an amendment allowing the southern footing of the old bridge to remain in place, but it also required Caltrans to provide on-site mitigation and make $500,000 available for the removal of a comparable amount of fill nearby. BCDC then solicited fill removal proposals from local governments in Solano and Contra Costa Counties, and received two proposals.
The City of Benicia has proposed spending $500,000 to remove three sunken barges along its waterfront. The removal would open 5,430 square feet of Bay surface by removing 997 cubic yards of material. Benicia would not add any of its own funds to support this clean-up effort.
The City of Martinez has proposed spending $553,000 to remove a dilapidated wooden ferry pier, made of creosote-coated piles, from its municipal marina. This project would uncover 33,580 square feet of Bay surface and remove 1,054 cubic yards of material from the Bay. Martinez will provide the additional $53,000 needed to complete the pier removal and will use city funds to pay for other shoreline improvements as part of an overall rehabilitation of its marina.
Because the Martinez proposal will recover six times more Bay surface than would Benicia’s proposal, and because the City of Martinez has agreed to spend a substantial amount of its own funds on other shoreline enhancement work, unless the Commission directs Mr. Travis otherwise, he will provide the entire $500,000 in mitigation funds to the City of Martinez.
Commissioner Kondylis asked if the City of Vallejo responded to this matter. Mr. McAdam said there were preliminary discussions, but BCDC had not received anything in writing from them.
The final Caltrans matter deals with a contract BCDC has with the Department under which Caltrans has provided BCDC with $551,000 over the past three fiscal years to assign one full-time staff member to process Caltrans permit applications and assist their staff in meeting the Commission’s laws and policies. This arrangement has been successful to Caltrans and they have doubled the amount of the contract over the next three years in order that BCDC can assign two staff members to the Caltrans work.
When the Commission approved the initial contract in 2004, it authorized Mr. Travis to extend and augment the contract without the Commission’s approval. He informed the Commission of his plans to execute an agreement of the contract that increases the reimbursement amount to $1,102,000 over the next three years and unless the Commission directs him otherwise, he will execute the agreement.
d.Documentary Video. For some time BCDC staff has been working on the production of a documentary video about San Francisco Bay. The Commission approved a $50,000 grant to assist in underwriting the costs of the production. Mr. Travis pointed out the following milestones that have been reached in making this documentary:
Although not all of the funding needed to complete the project has been raised, there is enough money in hand that Northern California Public Television is certain the documentary will be completed. There is a link to the project on BCDC’s website if anyone is interested in participating in the underwriting campaign.
Virtually all of the filming has been completed and the final editing is well underway.
Last week, through the generosity of George Lucas, the narration was completed at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. The narrator kindly donated his services. His name is Robert Redford.
The entire four-hour series will premier in High Definition TV on Northern California public television stations next April. Efforts to show the series nationally are also well underway.
Commissioner Kondylis explained that the map included in the Commissioner’s packet was because she thought the Suisun Marsh issue was on today’s agenda but it will not be agendized until the October 4th meeting. She asked that Commissioners hold on to the maps until the next Commission meeting in October 4th.
7.Commission Consideration of Administrative Matter. There were no questions in regards to the listing of administrative matters.
8.Public Hearing and vote on Permit Application No. 10-06 from San Rafael Marina, LLC to construct a mixed use development and a public shoreline area at Loch Lomond Marina in the City of San Rafael, Marin County. Vice Chair Halsted explained that Item #8 is a public hearing and vote on an application to build a residential development along the shoreline and renovate the Loch Lomond Marina in Marin County. Karen Wolowicz will provide background information on this project.
Karen Wolowicz presented the staff’s report and recommendation as follows:
This project would result in approximately 118,000 square feet of new public access and 12,000 square feet of improved public access in the Commission’s jurisdiction, and approximately 24,000 square feet of public access outside of the Commission’s jurisdiction. In total this project will result in approximately 153,000 square feet of public access and 4 view corridors at the project site.
This project will result in 22,000 square feet of fill in the Bay for shoreline stabilization and boat launch access.
The Commission should consider, if as proposed, the project would be consistent with its laws and policies regarding fill in the Bay including impacts to natural resources, public access, water quality, and safety of fills.
A potential sea level rise map is included in the Commission’s packet. It identifies the areas of the project site that are vulnerable to inundation and flooding. It represents the California Climate Action Team’s report on climate change, and the highest sea level rise rate scenario over a period of 50 years. The project, as proposed, raise many of these elevations likely to be inundated due to climate change.
Four letters from the public have been received regarding the proposed project. Some of the main issues of concern are inundation of the site by sea level rise, view corridors and view impacts by the new residential development, and the connecting to the west end of the site to the existing open space.
Ms. Wolowicz introduced Keith Bloom, Partner of the Thompson/Dorfman Urban Residential Development, who provided the following information on the Loch Lomond Marina Project:
This project has been a 6 year process. His team has been working through two processes concurrently; (1) with BCDC and (2) with the City of San Rafael.
The City of San Rafael process has included hundreds of meetings with public and private stakeholders. At the public City Council hearing in August 2007 the City approved this project unanimously.
The BCDC process has included, in large part, meetings with BCDC staff over the last few years who have been guiding him through the process and making sure his plans are consistent with the goals of BCDC and, in particular, public access.
His team appeared in front of the BCDC Design Review Board in January 2005 and again in June of 2007. The Design Review Board was pleased with this project and made recommendations for certain modifications, which have been incorporated into the project before the Commission today.
His team believes that the Village of Loch Lomond Marina Project greatly improves the existing property shoreline by making it much more inviting, enjoyable, and usable, not only to the residents of the project, but also the public in general.
David Israel, Architect Landscaper; Paul Lettieri, Architect; and Jim Grossi, Civil Engineer provided a detailed presentation of the project.
The project, as it is proposed today, includes a variety of waterfront amenities. A long breakwater provides access to a lookout, fishing stations, kayak launch ramps, public recreation areas, and restrooms.
In addition to the shoreline, the project has will be removing the commercial from the northeastern corner of the site, and relocating and co-locating all of the commercial amenities along the western edge of the site. The market will be moved near the waterfront, and a mixed use building that provides both commercial spaces as well as residential and a variety of residential products, including townhouses and single family homes will be located at the North west corner of the project site entrance.
The main entrance will provide visual and physical access to the site, as well as view corridors that have been set up through the site to provide views out to the Bay in a number of locations.
A 3-D animated tour was shown to the Commission.
The village circle includes the market, outdoor dining, marina facilities, harbor master’s office, restrooms, laundry, showers, an existing café to be relocated adjacent to the Yacht Club, and expansion of the boardwalk along the waterfront.
Mr. Grossi, with CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group, Inc., said all of the areas, including the public open space areas and residential areas will be raised above the worst case situations.
In conclusion, this project has been a long process, but through this process a plan has been put together to support the goals of all of the agencies that have been involved in this process.
Vice Chair Halsted opened the meeting to the public:
Craig Thomas Yates said he is a member of the public, as well as President of ISC. Members of ISC are all physically disabled. He sees this project as being a quality livable community that has full accessibility that the present conditions do not have. This will be an educational site for children because of the landscaping and the way the wildlife will be present, as well as the ability to get out on the spits.
Albert Barr said he lives in the Loch Lomond area of San Rafael and this project has created a great deal of controversy in the local neighborhoods. Many opponents have refused to acknowledge the benefits for the community, such as, a re-located full service grocery store with an entrance and patio on the Bay Front Plaza, a rebuilt modest restaurant on the Bay Front, a new Marina green along the marina frontage, a children’s park on the eastern spit with a picnic area and nearby restrooms. He believes what is important is a rebuilt breakwater, with a 6 foot wide walkway, with benches and fishing stations.
He said that the sculpture to be placed in the roundabout at the end of Loch Lomond Drive should be reconsidered.
This project is exciting and will enhance the community and he asked the Commission consider approving this project.
Sal Mantegna said he is a Loch Lomond Yacht Club member and a live aboard. He is excited about the project and believes this project is needed for the marina. The marina, in its current condition, is a jewel in the rough.
Andy Bachich said he is a grocer and he and his partner are very enthused over this project. He is very tied to this area because he has grown up here. The market, once moved, will be an area for people to gather and socialize. The market will have a marina theme and people will be proud of it.
Sara Jensen said she is speaking on behalf of the Loch Lomond Neighborhood HOA Board. Undeniably there will be some improvements with this project, but there are some details that the Board has strong concerns about, some of which are:
Visual access is very important to the Bay and there is a great deal of visual access from her neighborhood. The view checks of the visual impact of this project, however, are basically from Point San Pedro Road. People do not gather there to exercise or socialize because there is too much noise and too many fumes from the traffic. It would be desirable to have the view impact checks include the impact from the area where those views are actually enjoyed.
She is concerned that placing the tallest most massive residential units in the eastern location will greatly impair existing views. She would like to see the heights and locations of the buildings adjusted in order to best preserve the views that now exist.
Parking is a concern because it is being greatly reduced. The access to the west side, both visual and physical, is also a concern.
Vasu Narayanan said he is the current owner and operator of the Loch Lomond Market. He has lived in this neighborhood for 10 years. This project has evolved and has taken a form that he believes everyone will be proud of. This undeveloped site has been an eyesore and a drag to all the tenants, both commercial and the marina. This proposed project will greatly enhance the marina and the public facility amenities and will surely be an asset to the community. The consolidation of the retail will ensure a thriving future for the community. He wholeheartedly supports this project.
Kris Kimball chose not to speak but disseminated a paper which shared his/her views.
MOTION: Commissioner Kondylis moved; seconded by Commissioner Mossar to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner McGlashan asked staff to address the view corridor issue that has been raised, the material stockpiling during construction, and the fill issue.
Ms. Wolowicz said regarding the stockpiling on the west spit, there will be up to 2,000 cubic yards of fill per day. This will be moved each day in order to raise the elevation at the site for the residential area, which is outside of BCDC’s jurisdiction. Stockpiling will only occur during construction. Regarding the fill on the East and West spit, fill will only be occurring in the Commission’s shoreline band jurisdiction.
Mr. McAdam said there are two view issues: one is public views from existing public spaces and the other is private views. The site plan itself has been re-designed as it went through the Design Review Process and the City process to strengthen the view corridors to Point San Pedro Road, which is the primary public view area. In this regards the view connections have been much improved. There will be view impacts to the private residential areas north of San Pedro Road, but BCDC does not have the authority to deal with views other than public views.
Commissioner Waldeck said if the Commission approves this project will the public access pathways stay where they are or can homeowners later, down the road have them moved. Ms. Wolowicz said the special conditions stipulate that the pathway through the three view corridors will be permanently guaranteed as public access.
Commissioner Waldeck asked if there will be two grocery stores. Mr. Bloom said the current grocery store will continue to operate for the next couple of years while the new grocery store building is constructed, at which time the new grocery store operator will take over.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker asked what the controversy is regarding the piece of art. Mr. Bloom said during the city process, at the public hearings, there were those in the public who expressed concerns about the sculpture being at the end of the entry corridor because it might block the views.
Commissioner Bates asked what percentage of the project will be affordable housing. Mr. Bloom said the City of San Rafael’s affordable housing requirement is that 20 percent of the total units shall be affordable for low and moderate income households. This project is providing 21 percent of the total units to be affordable housing.
Commissioner Kondylis said she is concerned about the sea level rise and she believes that 16 inches over 50 years is very conservative. She believes the first thing that would go would be the public access.
Commissioner Taylor asked if the profile of the marina will have the same access as it currently has. Mr. Bloom said the marina will have the same access.
Ms. Wolowicz said staff recommends that the Commission authorize the proposed project. In addition, the recommendation should be revised to reflect revisions noted in the attached errata sheet. The essence of the revisions include: (1) authorizing the placement of fill in the shoreline band on the east spit, west spit and east end turnaround to raise site elevations to avoid inundation to the site; (2) expanding the required public access areas to include the parking area on the west spit, connections to the neighboring site to the west at both the north end and south end of the site; (3) a path between the marina drive parking areas and the residential units; and (4) the changes, include providing four view corridors, three measuring at approximately 25 feet wide and one measuring from 100 to 150 feet wide which would total 82,000 square feet of view corridors.
The staff recommendation contains some special conditions that require the permittee to take on a variety of measures. One of those conditions requires the permittee to maintain public access areas or improvements that are damaged by future flooding by raising land elevations or to re-design public access features to protect and ensure the usability of public access areas and improvements where appropriate.
Other conditions include, specific plan and plan review by BCDC staff, a permit guarantee and maintenance of public access improvements and view corridors, construction and removal activities to minimize impacts on natural resources, and best management policies from water quality protection.
As conditioned, the staff believes that the project is consistent with BCDC’s law and Bay plan policies regarding Bay fill, public access, water quality, and sea level rise and safety of fills. Staff recommends that the Commission adopt the recommendation.
MOTION: Commissioner McGlashan moved, seconded by Commissioner Waldeck to approve staff’s recommendation including the revisions as noted by Ms. Wolowicz.
VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 18-0-0 with Commissioners Bates, Bourgart, Fernekes, Gibbs, Gioia, Goldzband, Gordon, Jordan Hallinan, Carruthers, Kondylis, Lai-Bitker, Messina, McGlashan, Moy, Owen, Kato, Waldeck, and Vice Chair Halsted voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
9.Briefing on Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Steve Heminger, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, provided the following briefing:
MTC is three agencies in one governed by one board. The first is as the planner and banker for the Bay Area. The second is as the service authority for freeways and expressways. One of the most significant responsibilities was given to MTC by the Legislature as the Bay Area toll authority.
In the early ‘70’s MTC adopted a regional transportation plan. The plan involves over $100 billion through the year 2030. Most of this money is generated in the Bay Area and the federal and state shares are small.
MTC spends most of its money on public transit in the region. Over 80 percent of the money going forward is to take care of the system that has already been built. The major challenge is that the region is experiencing both aging and growing pains.
MTC’s marquee transit-oriented development project in the Bay Area is the Fruitvale Transit Village. One of the ways MTC expresses its commitment to forging the link between transportation and land use is through grant programs (the Transportation for Livable Communities Program and the Housing Incentive Program). The Housing Incentive Program is an incentive to local government that if they will permit additional housing near public transit MTC it will give them some extra transportation money.
MTC has a very strong commitment to the transit expansion program which includes rail, bus and ferry and comes to about $13 million; 80 percent is state and local funding and not federal. To reinforce their commitment, MTC conditioned the release of $3 billion through several projects to a transit oriented development policy. The policy states that along the corridor, for a new transit expansion project, there needs to be agreement for higher density at very specific levees; BART at the highest, other kinds of rail less, bus less, ferry less. Discretionary funds will not be released until the commitments have been made. This is a way to link regional transportation investment with local land use decisions.
The focus project, which is being led by ABAG, will announce the initial map of the priority areas.
Worldwide transportation is 14 percent of the source for greenhouse gas emissions. In the Bay area transportation is approximately half of the source for greenhouse gas emissions.
The Pavley Bill, which is the new vehicle standards on automobiles, will provide a significant reduction in trying to get to the state target in 2020, but it does not get us to the target.
Technology is being pioneered, such as plug in hybrid automobiles which will get 100 plus miles a gallon, and the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. MTC is pioneering zero emission bus vehicles in the Bay area.
Regional Measure 1, approved by voters in 1988, is about bridge construction and is almost complete. The newest bridge across the Bay is the Congressman George Miller Bridge which features major innovation at the toll plaza called open road tolling.
Regional Measure 2 is about transit improvements in the bridge corridor, and some major projects are transit capacity, improvements, and rehabilitation. Ultimately, the most important program on the toll program is the one that will make the bridges earthquake safe and this is in progress and some of the bridges are nearing completion.
Other programs are the call box system, tow truck program, the synchronization of traffic signals around the Bay area, FasTrack, TransLink, and 511.org.
Commissioner Kondylis said she noticed that ferries are not part of the Smartcard. Mr. Heminger said that Smartcards are being rolled out in phases and ferries will be a part of Smartcard.
Commissioner Kondylis asked for an explanation between the tolls on the bridges, support for the ferry system, and the proposed takeover of the ferry system. Mr. Heminger said the ferry services in the region are supported in large part with bridge tolls. The Golden Gate subsidizes its own services and is unaffected by the Legislation that is on the Governor’s desk.
There are the Alameda ferries, and the Vallejo ferries which receive significant bridge toll allocations from MTC. These two services would be affected by this Legislation, but he does not expect to see a significant change in the level of service provided.
Regional Measure 2 does have both capital and operating money for service expansion. Irrespective of the new bill, Mr. Heminger believes that there will be some expansion of ferry service.
BCDC and MTC are working together on an activity which has to do with the sea level rise. Funds from Caltrans are being secured for this purpose.
Vice Chair Halsted asked Mr. Heminger to address the Doyle Drive issue. Mr. Heminger said Doyle Drive is the southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge and it has been in the news for a couple of reasons. One of them is due to the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis. Secondly, the bridges in California and nationally are rated by the federal government on a 100 point scale: 100 is good and 0 is bad. Doyle Drive is rated as a 2. San Francisco has designed a replacement structure but the price is $900 million. MTC has secured a commitment from the state of $400 million for this project but there is still a shortfall of funds.
The Federal government launched a program, called the Urban Partnership Program, with the idea of raising tolls during peak hours and lowering them during the off-peak. They have awarded MTC a grant of $160 million (not all for Doyle Drive) but MTC, by March 2008, will have to secure legislative authority to implement the peak toll.
Commissioner Bourgart acknowledged that MTC, together with ABAG has been a real leader and model in the regional planning programs.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker asked if MTC’s plan is to work on the retrofit of all bridges. Mr. Heminger said MTC’s jurisdiction is over the toll bridges. The regular bridges are under the jurisdiction of Caltrans. There is a special federal bridge program that is subdivided between state highway bridges and local bridges so there are sources of funds that are available. He would be happy to provide the information to Commissioner Lai-Bitker.
Mr. Travis said it is an inspiration to work with Mr. Heminger. MTC thinks outside the box, for example, MTC has secured a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to study the use of high speed rail as a substitute for air transportation in California.
Commissioner McGlashan said, with respect to the Regional Transportation Plan, there is a potential conflict between reducing congestion and making roadways work better and reducing VMT. He is very proud that as a region 60 percent of funding is put into transit because we must re-invent the way we enjoy our mobility as a society if we are to avoid the kind of sea level rise that is being predicted.
Commissioner Goldzband said the Flex Your Power State Campaign has said publicly that if every Californian replaced 5 incandescent bulbs with 5 CFLs it would be the equivalent of taking 400,000 cars off the road which means the number of CFLs needed is five times the population of California.
Commissioner Kondylis said schools used to provide bussing for children, but because of cutbacks many schools do not provide bussing. This means that parents have to take their children to and from school, which means more cars on the road. She asked if there is any effort being made to coordinate this problem. Mr. Heminger said 40 percent of the trips made during peak hours around the U.S. are not work related, and a lot of it is school travel.
Commissioner Gioia said in Contra Costa MTC helped fund a pilot program where money was put into their sales tax measure to support bus transportation for low income children. It also helps subsidize increased bus service with the provider, for instance supplement free or reduced bus fare service on existing bus systems for travel to and from school.
There was no public comment.
10.Public Hearing and vote on amendments to Dredging Regionwide Permit No. RWP-10. Vice Chair Halsted explained that Item #9 is a public hearing and vote to revise BCDC’s regionwide permit that authorizes small dredging projects. Brenda Goeden will present the staff recommendation on this matter.
Brenda Goeden presented the staff recommendation. Amendment to Regionwide Permit No. 10 will authorize small dredging projects to: (1) Increase the authorization period from 30 months to five years; (2) Increase the volume of authorized maintenance dredging from 100,000 cubic yards over thirty months to 200,000 cubic yards over five years; (3) authorize up to 2,500 cubic yards of shoal “knockdowns: within the dredging footprint over five years; (4) allow disposal of the dredged sediment at authorized upland sites or the San Francisco Deep Ocean Disposal Site, outside of the Commission’s jurisdiction, or if upland or ocean disposal is infeasible, at the state and federally authorized in-Bay disposal sites; (5) require dredging to occur within the environmental work window for the location or require consultation with the appropriate resource agencies; and (6) update the special conditions, findings and standard condition sections of the permit.
In 1994, the Commission originally authorized Regionwide Permit No. 10 for small routine maintenance dredging projects over thirty months. Since that time, several of the permit conditions have become outdated. In 2000, environmental work windows were developed to respond to programmatic biological opinions issued by NOAA Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Game for the LTMS Program. Because of these and other changes to the dredging permit conditions, Commission staff was no longer able to issue Regionwide Permit No. 10.
In 2004, the Bay Planning Coalition made several recommendations to the Commission regarding its policies and practices. Over the next 15 months Commission staff met with stakeholders to discuss areas of concern and to identify efficiencies in the Commission’s practices. In 2006, 19 consensus items were agreed to by the Commission; including amending Regionwide Permit No. 10, as described in the staff report. The Commission staff has completed this task and recommends Commission approval, including Exhibit A found in the Commission packet.
Ellen Johnck asked Vice Chair Halsted to enter her comments into the record since she had to leave the meeting early. Vice Chair Halsted provided Ms. Johnck’s comments as follows: The Bay Planning Coalition supports the amendment to RWP #10 which increases authorization period for dredging projects from 30 months to 5 years.
The Coalition wants to add and highlight their support for the new provision which would authorize up to 2,500 cubic yards of shoal knockdowns. From time to time dredgers have requested to carry a very simple procedure to knock down speed bumps in the channel and harbor areas so this provision is very helpful.
The Coalition’s goal on the subject of maintenance dredging is that all DMMO agencies have a common set of regulations so this amendment to lengthen the period for authorization will bring BCDC almost consistent with the other agencies.
And finally, with these changes to the RWP, applicants would use RWP’s more frequently and this would achieve the dual goal of reducing costs to the permittee as well as reducing staff workload.
MOTION: Commissioner Kondylis moved, seconded by Commissioner Fernekes to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Kondylis said if more sediment is needed for replenishment of marshes and wetlands why are we not letting it suspend again. She also asked if sand dredging is being addressed in this scenario. Ms. Goeden said dredged material is being used as a resource to restore marshes and staff continues to work to identify additional locations where dredge material can be placed and actually be kept in the system. Staff continues to keep up to speed with all the scientists who are working on the erosion issues and are continuing to look at other potential options to prevent erosion.
Commissioner Messina complemented staff on their efforts and he believes the direction and the proposed changes are positive ones and he fully supports it.
The staff recommends that the Commission amend Regionwide Permit No. 10 as described in the staff recommendation, including Exhibit A, changes to Special Condition II-C, and correction of non-substantive typographical errors.
MOTION: Commissioner Messina moved; seconded by Commissioner Lai-Bitker to approve staff’s recommendation.
VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 16-0-0 with Commissioners Bourgart, Fernekes, Gibbs, Gioia, Goldzband, Gordon, Jordan Hallinan, Kondylis, Lai-Bitker, Messina, McGlashan, Mossar, Moy, Kato, Waldeck, and Vice Chair Halsted voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
MOTION: Commissioner Kondylis moved; seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to move into Committee. Motion carried unanimously.
11.Public Hearing on proposed amendments to the Commission’s Application Form and other filing requirements. Vice Chair Halsted said Item #10 is a public hearing on proposed revisions to BCDC regulations that specify the information needed to complete a BCDC permit application. The vote on these revisions will take place at the next BCDC meeting. Ellen Sampson will present the staff report on these proposed revisions.
Ms. Sampson said the BCDC permit application form, and a small handful of related regulations, specify the information and documents that an applicant must provide to complete and file their application.
There are 4 changes being proposed in the text: one kind of change reflects updates to policies since the last application amendment; second, the Commission agreed to make some changes as a result of stakeholder meetings, primarily with Bay Planning Coalition and those changes are incorporated; and thirdly, there are changes that clarify and supplement the questions.
The close of the public comment period is today and she has not received any comments.
Vice Chair Halsted opened the public meeting. There were no public comments.
MOTION: Commissioner Messina moved; seconded by Commissioner Carruthers to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Mossar asked if people can complete the form on line. Ms. Sampson said the form is on line and it can be completed on line, but it would have to be printed, signed, and mailed in. Commissioner Mossar asked if it was possible to ask them to provide sea level rise maps for their project. Mr. McAdam said BCDC could ask for this information, but to many applicants it is out of their range.
Commissioner Carruthers said he would like to testify to the reality of storm surge. This is something that Santa Clara has experienced several times. He said he was impressed with the permit that BCDC had before it today with the mapping of the potential affects of sea level rise. He assumed that when applications come in that they have elevation and information that they submit with their application showing the elevation lines on the property. He is concerned that BCDC approve permits where, in some cases, it would be highly apparent that the public access will be gone. He is not sure how to address this in a permit design/approval.
Commissioner Kondylis asked how staff measures sea level rise. Mr. Travis said staff uses data that is established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He said sea level means sea level is established on a 19 year epic basis which is based on a relationship between the sun and the moon.
12.Consideration of Regional Airport Planning Committee Phase 1 Status Report. Vice Chair Halsted said Item #12 is an update on the first phase of the Regional Airport System Planning Analysis. Joe LaClair will present this report.
Mr. LaClair presented an update of the work of the Regional Airport Planning Committee. He summarized the staff’s draft phase 1 conclusions and recommendations as follows:
The Regional Airport Planning Committee is made up of elected officials from ABAG, MTC and BCDC and representatives of the commercial and general aviation airports, the FAA and Caltrans division of Aeronautics. RAPC has just completed its phase 1 work program which involved a review of the 2000 update of the Regional Airport System Plan Analysis and a series of expert panels covering the topics of aviation trends, technological advances, demand management strategies, and institutional arrangements.
The first panel focused on airport trends and compared the projected growth in passenger demand to actual growth and noted that due to the response to the 9/11 disaster, the Dot.Com bust, SARS and other factors, demand fell quite dramatically. The Bay Area has been slower to recover than have other areas of the country. The distribution of passengers in the Bay Area has shifted slightly, with considerable growth in Oakland, and fewer passengers at SFO.
The FAA recently released a report that projects by 2015 several airports in the country will have capacity problems including Oakland. And by 20205 many more airports will be experiencing capacity problems, including SFO.
Aviation trends conclusions are that (1) the 2000 forecasts were not accurate but demand in air travel has grown nonetheless; (2) the Bay Area has been slower to recover than the rest of the U.S but demand is likely to grow causing capacity problems; (3) price drives air travel demand and over time air travel has gotten cheaper in real terms; (4) air cargo and business aviation will grow; and (5) airline competition and strategies are key determinants of demand growth so these factors need to be investigated in Phase 2.
Aviation trends recommendations: (1) address the projected changes in aviation trends; (2) RAPC should oversee the preparation of a new aviation demand forecast for the region that covers passenger demand, air cargo, and general aviation demand; (3) the forecast should reflect informed assumptions about key market trends, such as changes in route and market strategies by airlines, trends in the price of travel, and the cost conditions confronted by the airlines.
It is proposed that the forecast project potential demand for commercial aviation at alternative airports, including regional general aviation and military or federal airports and even inter-regional commercial airports.
Staff also proposes that RAPC oversee development of an ongoing tracking system of key demand indicators.
Staff will be looking at airports outside of the Bay Area region, such as Stockton, Sacramento, and Monterey for their potential to absorb some demand form the Bay Area region.
The next panel that RAPC heard from focused on advances in aviation technology that could be used to increase runway throughput capacity. The FAA has launched an effort to develop the next generation of aviation technology, including a new nationwide air traffic control network that uses global positioning system satellites, a variety of on board aviation software technologies, and new ground based and satellite based technologies that would work together to dramatically increase the accuracy of the information available to pilots and would increase the precision of flight paths. There are many promising technologies to be looked at.
Staff recommends that RAPC work with SFO and the FAA to further investigate the Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach/Precision Runway Monitor Approach System in Phase 2.
Staff recommends that RAPC consult with NASA on its progress in developing the Cockpit Synthetic Vision System during Phase 2.
Other technology benefits that could help with capacity constraints are greater all-weather capacity for general aviation at reliever airports; enable continuous descent approaches for commercial airports during low traffic periods; and increase safety and reduce controller workload.
Some key technology issues are: (1) industry acceptance (safety, training, etc.); (2) cost and who pays; (3) need for further system integration/engineering work; (4) mixed airline equipage (some aircraft will have it, some will not); and (5) pace of development - when will technologies be ready?
Findings and recommendations to RAPC are that there are many promising technologies to increase capacity, but few are undergoing necessary system engineering to make a reality; RAPC needs periodic updates by the FAA; RAPC should continue to examine these technologies in Phase 2 and determine which ones could be most promising for the Bay Area; RAPC, airports, and local communities need to be proactive and push the FAA, NASA and elected representatives to advance these technologies; and RAPC should look into the potential for use of Continuous Descent Approaches.
The next panel that RAPC heard from covered demand management. Demand management strategies generally are used to manage aircraft operations to better match runway capacity by: (1) requiring airlines to use aircraft which carry more passengers; (2) limiting number of flights in peak hour; and (3) limiting types of aircraft using an airport.
Federal rules and regulations make demand management strategies difficult to implement. There are only a few examples where demand strategies have been used in this country. At JFK, LaGuardia, Washington National and O’Hare where Congress mandated hourly limits. Boston Logan tried a congestion management fee in 1988. They have peak period pricing approved, but it has not been put into place because their demand is too low to trigger it. SFO has undertaken and is continuing to study a demand management pricing system, but they are not at a point where it is necessary to manage demand at this point.
Ways that airports can implement demand management are through minimum landing fees instead of weight based fees; airline leases; and congestion pricing with FAA approval.
Findings and recommendations with regard to demand management are that given existing federal legislation there is no clear path to implementing demand management, but RAPC should continue to engage SFO on its demand management study and should request that Oakland examine demand management prior to the onset of projected runway congestion. RAPC should also consider supporting a pilot congestion pricing program at SFO and if needed at Oakland in the FAA reauthorization legislation.
The last panel that RAPC convened explored governance strategies that RAPC could investigate for improving regional aviation planning and implementation.
Recommendations with regard to governance in Phase 2 is that RAPC should examine the strengths and weaknesses of all three types of potential authority (a new authority, a Joint Powers Agreement, or a Memorandum of Understanding). This examination would be relative to the vision and functional needs to implement the new vision for regional aviation planning.
Phase 2 Work Plan – Staff proposes that Phase 2 include evaluation of some of the work started in Phase 1 on demand management, new air traffic control technologies, alternative institutional arrangements, as well as the potential for alternative airports to help address the Bay Area’s long-term aviation needs.
Phase 2 would include a visioning process for providing aviation services and infrastructure and an ongoing public process. Staff also recommends that tracking systems be developed for demand and capacity indicators. Also in Phase 2, staff recommends that RAPC conduct a mid-point evaluation, further exploration of promising strategies, exploring alternative institutional arrangements and wrap up and recommendations for Phase 3.
Next steps are that RAPC will review the draft findings and conclusions that will be re-tooled based on some of the feedback received. They will consider this at their October 15 meeting.
There were no public comments.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker asked if there was representation from the Commission on RAPC. Commissioner Waldeck represents BCDC as the Chair of RAPC.
Commissioner Bourgart asked for an elaboration of the high speed rail. It was noted that MTC has recently completed a study of the high speed rail network and what types of benefits would be derived. It will be published shortly and posted on the MTC website. Commissioner Bates said this is the kind of information the public needs to have in order to make an informed decision.
Caltrans is organizing an effort to take a state look at this and review how it can be done, what the benefits would be what the cost would be, and what are some alternative methods of financing it.
Mr. Travis said MTC is funding BCDC staff to do the management of the overall RAPC work. The funding that comes in from FAA and others does not come to BCDC but to MTC. It is better for BCDC to manage the funds with money from MTC to pay for the management and to leave the money at MTC.
Studies have been done to look at the emissions contribution that aviation makes and it has been determined that it is a small percentage overall. The continuous descent approach is one way to reduce emissions. There is also a new generation of engines that are being developed that are much more efficient.
13.New Business. There was no new business.
14.Old Business. Commissioner Kondylis suggested that the Commissioners look for the September 12th forum on California’s water crisis which is on public radio.
15.Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Bourgart, seconded by Commissioner McGlashan, the meeting adjourned in memory of Bill Davoran at 4:07 p.m.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of October 4, 2007
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair