Minutes of January 20, 2011 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the MetroCenter Auditorium, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California at 1:12 p.m.
2.Roll Call. Present were: Chair Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted (Represented by Alternate Chappell), Commissioners, Baird (Represented by Alternate Vierra), Bates, Chiu, Fossum (Represented by Alternate Kato), Gibbs, Gioia, Groom, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks, Lundstrom, McGrath, Moy, Nelson, Sartipi (Represented by Alternate Richards), Spering (Represented by Alterate Vasquez), Shirakawa, Wagenknecht, and Ziegler. Legislative member Charles Taylor was also present.
Not Present were: Association of Bay Area Governments South Bay (Vacant), Association of Bay Area Governments West Bay (Vacant), Alameda County (Vacant), Sonoma County (Brown), Department of Finance (Finn), Governors Appointee (Goldzband) and Marin County (McGlashan).
3. Public Comment Period. Chair Randolph called for public comment. The speakers were as follows:
Ms. Naomi Schiff representing the Oakland Heritage Alliance commented that they thanked everyone for contemplating putting the Bay Trail on the trestle portion of the Oak to Ninth Project.
We are, again, requesting that a larger portion of the historic Ninth Avenue Terminal be preserved than is shown in the proposal given to you.
Mr. Steve Lowe reiterated that San Francisco isn’t the only place with a history. Oakland’s waterfront has been a great part of the development of the Bay area and to tear down the Ninth Avenue Terminal is pretty creepy for those of us that live on this uglier side of the Bay.
I have submitted a letter talking about BCDC’s responsibility to West Oakland in the planning process of the Gateway Park. It seems like all the plans that the West Oakland community has been making regarding the pollution and port-related traffic has been pushed aside by BCDC.
All the community groups are united in trying to mitigate this problem and it can’t happen without the Base having an industrial re-use that is maritime-related.
Ms. Joyce Roy, a member of the Oakland Heritage Alliance, submitted to the Commission an artist’s rendition of the Ford Plant in Richmond and commented that this is what we could have by the Ninth Avenue Terminal. She opined that if San Francisco and Richmond can have this kind of space then Oakland also deserves it.
It is peculiarly sad to think of the possibility of losing that because there was a developer with a feasible proposal for the reuse of the entire 1930s portion that would have brought life and good jobs to the waterfront.
Mr. John Sutter, a member of the Board of the East Bay Regional Park District, reiterated the comments made by Ms. Naomi Schiff with respect to the trestle. The preservation of this is an important step forward.
There is a need to retain the apron in reference to the dock which is on the water side of the Ninth Avenue Terminal.
There is still going to be a long wait for the Bay Trail. The proposal before the Commission now calls for two cul-de-sacs and it is not a continuous trail.
Ms. April Wooden representing the city of Suisun City thanked staff for all their effort and time that they have spent in coming out to Suisun City for one of your regional meetings.
I encourage you to continue reaching out as you look at amendments to the Bay Plan, especially to those areas that are really going to be affected and keep this regional dialogue going.
Ms. Sandy Threlfall, Executive Director of Waterfront Action, spoke to the Oakland issue of the Bay Trail.
The 800 feet of the Bay Trail that is not completed due to the Oak to Ninth development is the largest parcel or biggest gap that we have on our shoreline.
There seem to be extenuating circumstances regarding the completion of an interim Bay Trail within 18 months of your permit so that this is not part of the staff recommendations. But I would like you to consider the fact that the voters of Oakland in 2002 passed the funds to build the Bay Trail there and that’s going to be 10 years before the first construction begins on this development which was then replaced by the original plan.
I do hope that we can revisit this Commission with a Ninth Avenue Terminal proposal.Chair Randolph commented that the Commission and the staff appreciated the very kind remarks about the staff’s performance and we all recognize the good work that staff does.
4.Approval of Minutes of December 16, 2010 Meeting. Chair Randolph entertained a motion and a second to adopt the Minutes of December 16, 2010.
MOTION: Commissioner Lundstrom moved, seconded by Commissioner McGrath, to approve the December 16, 2010 Minutes. The motion carried by voice vote with Commissioner Vierra abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair.Chair Randolph reported on the following:
a. Kay Kerr. As our staff has informed us, Kay Kerr, one of the three women who founded Save San Francisco Bay Association, passed away at the age of 99 last month.
In addition to adjourning today’s meeting in her memory our staff has recommended that we dedicate our 2010 Annual Report to her, an idea I fully endorse.
Commissioner Nelson will make some comments regarding this later in our meeting today.
b. New and Departing Commissioners. The Solano County Board of Supervisors has appointed Supervisor Jim Spering to serve as the County’s new representative on BCDC and has appointed Supervisor John Vasquez to serve as the County’s new alternate.
They will replace Mike Reagan, who is now the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and Barbara Kondylis.
Also, we’ve lost two other members of our Commission. Alice Lai-Bitker’s term on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has ended.
And Ed Balico, who served as Tom Bates’ alternate representing East Bay cities, has resigned from his position as the Mayor of Hercules and therefore is no longer eligible to serve on BCDC.
Santa Clara County has reappointed Commissioner Shirakawa to serve on BCDC.
MOTION: Commissioner Wagenknecht moved to approve the draft resolutions of appreciation for the departing Commissioners prepared by staff, seconded by Commissioner Vierra. The motion passed by voice vote with no abstentions.
c. Joint Policy Committee. The state legislation enacted in 2008 to allow BCDC to become a voting member of the Joint Policy Committee stipulates that beginning this year a majority of BCDC's representatives on the JPC must be locally elected officials.
We have five representatives on the Joint Policy Committee. Our delegation is currently composed of three non-elected officials––Commissioner Geoffrey Gibbs, Vice Chair Anne Halstead and me––along with one elected official, Charles McGlashan of Marin County.
Former San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon, who was the fifth member, has been elected to the California Assembly so he no longer serves on the Commission or the JPC.
To bring our delegation into consistency with the requirements of state law Vice Chair Halsted has graciously decided to give up her seat on the Joint Policy Committee so she can be replaced with a local elected official.
Commissioners John Gioia of Contra Costa County and Brad Wagenknecht of Napa County have agreed to serve on the JPC as our two new representatives.
I believe they will be excellent advocates for the Bay and for regional issues. Therefore, I would appreciate a motion, second and affirmative vote to concur in my appointment of Commissioners Gioia and Wagenknecht to the Joint Policy Committee.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved to approve Commissioners Gioia and Wagenknecht’s appointments to the Joint Policy Committee, seconded by Commissioner Gibbs. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
d. Next BCDC Meeting. We are going to cancel our next two regularly-scheduled meetings which fall on February 3rd and 17th.
In lieu of our February 17th meeting there will be a briefing for new Commission members at our office. I urge all members who have not attended one of these briefings in the past to make every effort to do so on February 17th.
This means our next regular business meeting will be six weeks from today on March 3rd. At that meeting, which will be held at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, we will take up the following matters:
(1) We will consider language options for the Bay Plan amendments dealing with climate change.
(2) We will have three briefings, the first on planning for the San Francisco waterfront, the second on increasing accessibility in public access areas and the final briefing will be on our Local Government Assistance Program.
(3) We will consider a status report on the progress we are making in carrying out our Strategic Plan.
e. Ex-Parte Communications. In case you have inadvertently forgotten to provide our staff with a report on any written or oral ex-parte communications, I invite Commissioners who have engaged in any such communications to report on them at this point.
Commissioner McGrath mentioned that he had been talking with people about what the Regional Board might want to do about sea level rise, if anything. I did report those to the staff in a way that could be available to anybody who had an interest in that.
Chair Randolph then moved on to the Report of the Executive Director.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Travis reported:
a. Budget. We’ve provided you with a copy of the budget Governor Brown has proposed for BCDC for the fiscal year beginning on July 1st.
The budget is essentially the same as the budget we have this fiscal year.
We have already begun implementing the Governor’s Executive Order that calls for a reduction of at least 50 percent of the cell phones provided by the state. We’ve determined that we can get rid of eight of our 15 cell phones which should save us about $5,000 a year. We have done this.
We’re also assessing whether we can get rid of one of the two state vehicles that are assigned to us.
This will be difficult because when we don’t use our state car we’re supposed to use a state-pool car. Unfortunately, the Department of General Services has relocated the State Garage to Oakland, at a location which is not accessible by public transit. So the only way to get to the State Garage to get a car is to drive a car to there to get a car.
b. Personnel. Nadia Kayyali and John Prager have joined our staff as legal interns.
Both are second year law students at UC Hastings College of Law and both are editors of the West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law.
Nadia has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and John has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Economics from UC Santa Cruz.
c. Emergency Permit. Just before Christmas we issued an emergency permit to the Sonoma County Water Agency for minor repairs to a leaking levee along Hudeman Slough in Sonoma County.
d. Delta Stewardship Council MOU. I want to call to your attention a report we sent you last week regarding a Memorandum of Understanding our staff has negotiated with the staff of the Delta Stewardship Council.
The purpose of the MOU is to establish how our two staffs will work together to achieve coordinated management of the Bay-Delta estuary.
As noted, the MOU does not affect the authority or legal responsibilities of either the Council or the Commission.
The Delta Protection Commission has concurred that it is acceptable for its Executive Officer to sign the MOU. I would appreciate a motion, second, and affirmative vote that you have no objection to my signing the MOU.
MOTION: Commissioner Lundstrom moved that Executive Director Travis be authorized to sign on behalf of BCDC a MOU with the Delta Stewardship Council, seconded by Commissioner Chiu. The motion passed with no objections or abstentions.
e. Lawsuit. On December 17, 2010, an individual named David Tam and an organization named SPRAWLDEF, which is the acronym for Sustainability, Parks, Recycling and Wildlife Legal Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court challenging BCDC’s October 21, 2010 approval of the expansion of the Potrero Hills Landfill in the secondary management area of the Suisun Marsh.
Solano County and Waste Connections, the operator of the landfill, were also named in the lawsuit.
At present, we’re generating the administrative record for this case. The California Attorney General’s Office will be representing the Commission in the suit. We’ll keep you apprised of the status of this litigation as it proceeds.
f. Bay Plan Climate Change Amendments. To meet your goal that the Commission vote on amendments to the Bay Plan to address climate change in April, you directed our staff to develop further refinements in the language under consideration and schedule a public hearing in March so you can vote on the amendments in April.
To meet this schedule, we will have to release a revised staff recommendation in mid-February. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to accomplish this. We’re still getting input from local governments at the meetings our staff has been attending.
Since your last Commission meeting we’ve traveled to Suisun City, met with the Redwood City Chamber of Commerce and participated in a meeting of the Santa Clara County Cities Association. Next week, we’ll be going to Napa County.
These meetings have been quite helpful, and as you directed, we intend to incorporate all the input we receive at these meetings when we revise our staff recommendation.
Even though the public comment period closed in December, last week we received additional thoughtful suggestions for revisions in the Bay Plan language.
Next week we intend to send you a summary of the suggestions we’ve received for specific revisions to the language under consideration.
You’ll find that there a great variety of ideas, all of which will take some time to consider and reconcile with the direction you’ve already provided to us.
We also plan to meet with the key stakeholders to discuss ideas for dealing with the issues raised. It will take more than a month to do all this.
Therefore, rather than establish revised dates for a hearing and vote on the amendments now, we ask that you allow us to report back to you on the status of our work at your next meeting and then determine the best schedule for moving forward.
g. King Tide Photo Initiative and Adapting to Rising Tides Meeting. Last week we sent you two notices of opportunities to directly engage in some of the climate change work we’re doing.
The first deals with the Bay Area King Tide Photo Initiative, which is documenting the effects of the extremely high tides we’re facing yesterday, today and in mid-February.
These photos will provide a preview of what we will experience more regularly in the future as a result of rising sea levels. Our NOAA Fellow Heidi Nutters initiated this project for us. We’re also using this project to test the effectiveness of social media in advancing our public outreach capacity.
The second opportunity is on January 26th when we’re holding a meeting at Hayward City Hall to kick off the next phase of the ART Project, our partnership with local governments to increase their capacity to deal with climate change.
As you know, at your last meeting you selected the portion of Alameda County between Emeryville and Union City as the sub-region where we will focus our work on the ART Project.
h. Strategic Planning Workshop. As I informed all of you by e-mail, we’ve settled on Thursday, July 21st, as the best day for our annual strategic planning workshop. This all-day workshop will be held in Oakland and both Commissioners and their alternates are encouraged to attend.
i. America’s Cup. We’re very pleased that San Francisco’s bid to host the America’s Cup races in San Francisco Bay has been successful and we are proud to have played a small role in helping reach that goal.
We are already working with our colleagues at the Port of San Francisco and the Mayor’s Office on the planning, environmental review and permitting of the facilities needed for the races in 2012 and 2013.
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Executive Director Travis stated that on January 7th we sent you a listing of the administrative matters our staff is prepared to act upon. Bob Batha is available to respond to any questions you may have about the matters on the listings.
8. Vote on Brooklyn Basin Project. Chair Randolph mentioned that a public hearing on this application was held at the meeting of December 16th. Mr. Brad McCrea presented the following:
The staff recommends that the Commission approve BCDC Permit Application 7-06, the application of Oakland Harbor Partners, LLC, the city of Oakland and the Port of Oakland to construct a mixed-use waterfront development to be constructed over approximately 15 years on about 65 acres near the mouth of Lake Merritt Channel.
The project will construct up to 3,100 homes, up to 200,000 square feet of ground floor retail and commercial space, approximately 22 acres of parks and open space.
It will protect the shoreline and it will create nearly an acre of high marsh habitat to offset the impacts of new solid fill and it will retain a portion of the Ninth Avenue Bulkhead Building for public trust uses.
Approximately 17 acres of this project are within BCDC’s jurisdiction and within that, approximately 11 and a half or 67 percent is dedicated for public access purposes.
There are special conditions that have been included in the staff recommendation to ensure that the project complies with the Commission’s laws and policies particularly regarding fill and public access.
There are five items on the errata sheet we have prepared for you.
First, in the original area calculations, the quantities were incorrect. None of the public access areas have changed, however the numbers have been corrected.
Second, we would like you to make the following addition to clarify that the dedicated public access areas will not be open and available to the public until the public access improvements are constructed.
Third, on the top of page 11, Item II-B-4a, the Interim Public access, we’d like to clarify that the required improvements to the wooden train trestle shall be modest improvements and such access will not be provided if a complete rehabilitation and seismic upgrade of the trestle is necessary to provide safe access.
Fourth, on page 11, Item II-B-4c, we’d like to add a new paragraph to Special Condition II-B-4 that requires the permittees to enter into good-faith negotiations with the East Bay Regional Park District to explore providing interim public access within 60 days of expiration or termination of leases at the project site.
And finally, on page 15, Item II-C, Estuary Park, we’ve added language that makes the timing of completing estuary park improvements consistent with the phasing requirements for other public access areas.
The issue of interim public access and the preservation of more of the Ninth Avenue terminal was raised in the staff report that was mailed out last month and discussed at the public hearing on December 16th.
As we discussed then, the preservation of the Ninth Avenue Terminal Building with the exception of the 20,000 square-foot bulkhead building is not part of the application before you and further, there are no applicable policies in the McAteer-Petris Act or the San Francisco Bay Plan that require the retention of historic structures. Therefore, we recommend that you authorize its demolition as proposed.
A question arose of where exactly the interim public access is and so I’d like to show you so that there will be no questions about that.
On the screen you can see the existing site as of 2010 and there are two areas that terminate that will be provided within 12 months of the close of escrow. You can see both of these areas on the screen.
At Channel Park, the interim public access within the 12 months of the close of escrow will run along the shoreline and continue all the way to the out parcel unless the Batch Plant, Berkeley Ready Mix, is still in operation and we expect that it probably will be.
At the other end of the project site you’ve heard about the existing trestle and it is shown on the screen. We’re pleased that it is now part of the dedicated public access area.
In the original proposal, the occupancy of the 550th dwelling unit or home in Phase I would result in the remaining interim public access being built around the site. We have accelerated that to be built with the occupancy of the first unit.
The proposal is to keep the full width of the wharf around the bulkhead building and then, as proposed, it would be cut back slightly along shoreline park.
Commissioner McGrath commented: On page two of your corrections under, Area, we should probably correct the 25.5 to 22.5 because we miscalculated.
Mr. McCrea answered: Correct. The last thing that we were going to ask is that there are a number of typos and inconsistencies that we’d like your permission to fix.
Commissioner McGrath concurred and added: In regards to the Transit Shed, I find the width of the access way an important issue. Is there any place beyond where the wharf is kept as you go through the park where the concern that the path is narrowed or the public area is narrowed from 30 to 12 feet would actually obtain?
Mr. McCrea responded: It would be best if I had the proposed plan on the screen and I don’t. I can’t show that to you without some technical gymnastics, including flash drives.
There are a variety of paths through Shoreline Park and we think that the spaces, the Bay Trail, the widths that are proposed along the shoreline and through the park, are adequate and are very consistent with what the Commission has approved over the years.
Please remember that there is also a requirement in this permit that each phase come back to the Design Review Board for review of the preliminary concepts and revisit that.
Commissioner McGrath added: So in comparison to something like the Ford Plant where there is about a 30 or 40 foot wharf apron, it has a whole bunch of uses there and it would be possible in the context of a park to split those uses up so you wouldn’t need the entire width in one area. Is that correct?
Mr. McCrea agreed and Commissioner McGrath added: And that could be addressed in the subsequent review by the Design Review Board.
Commissioner Groom asked: What did you mean when you said the Petris Act does not include historic preservation?
Mr. McCrea answered: That is right. We have a regulation that allows some fill in the Bay to enable historic preservation but there are no applicable policies in our law or our Bay Plan.
Commissioner Groom responded: That precludes us from saying, it should be considered historic and then remain in the plan?
Mr. McCrea responded: Ultimately that decision lies with you.
Commissioner Bates addressed the following: Regarding the change that you’ve committed today in number four about the interim public access terminal lease hold with the East Bay Regional Park District, is this a revision that the Park District, could in fact, connect the entire Bay Trail? Is that the objective of that?
Mr. McCrea answered: It’s my understanding that the permittees, the city of Oakland, the Port of Oakland and Oakland Harbor Partners, LLC; the maintenance of this would be handled through a community facilities district that is developed over time.
I believe the Park District’s role in this is as a good-faith negotiator, someone who cares about open space along the shoreline and would be available to spend their time to ensure public access along the waterfront.
Jim Townsend commented: I manage the Trails Development Program for the East Bay Regional Park District. The Park District envisions its role as a partner and a facilitator in this project.
We are not committing to take the lead in the development or the operation of any of the proposed public access but the District has a strong interest in seeing both the interim and permanent public access completed through this project and we’re certainly committed to bringing whatever resources we have to bear to make that happen at the earliest possible time.
Commissioner Bates added: One of the people testified that there was money available from the city of Oakland through the bonds that were passed. Is that money available for that purpose?
Mr. Townsend answered: I can’t speak to funding that is available through Measure DD. The Park District’s Measure WW does contain a significant allocation of funding to complete the Bay Trail as well as other additional funding for the Oakland shoreline.
That funding is subject to the approval and disbursement by the District’s Board of Directors.
Chair Randolph asked the applicant’s representative if he agreed with the staff recommendation.
Mr. Patrick Van Ness, Vice President with Signature Development Group responded: We agree with the staff recommendation.
Deputy Attorney Reynolds added: Chair Randolph could you have the Commissioners that did not attend the public hearing indicate that they have reviewed the minutes and the staff summary and that they are prepared to vote.
Chair Randolph asked that any Commissioners that were not at the public hearing acknowledge such. Commissioners Wagenknecht, Vierra, Chappell and Richards did so.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved to approve the staff recommendation, seconded by Commissioner Kato.
VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 16-0-2 with Commissioners Vierra, Bates, Chiu, Kato, Gioia, Groom, Jordan Hallinan, Lundstrom, McGrath, Moy, Nelson, Richards, Shirakawa, Wagenknecht, Chappell and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and Commissioner Gibbs and Vasquez abstaining.
Commissioner Nelson then made a presentation about his experience in working with Kay Kerr.
His comments: I was fortunate to work with Kay Kerr for many years; she was one of the three founding ladies. Kay was not as visible at times as other board members and founders but she was an enormously influential person.
She was very active at Save the Bay for many years. In 1961 the modern urban environmental movement didn’t exist. The Sierra Club was doing wilderness preservation, the Audubon Society was doing wildlife preservation work but the urban environmental movement didn’t exist.
The creation of BCDC, the stopping of Bay fill was the first coastal protection victory in the country.
Kay was particularly passionate about public access so the conversation we just had about public access is a direct result of Kay’s passionate work for many years advocating access for the public to this remarkable resource.
Kay tended not to speak at public hearings, Sylvia did that. Instead Kay would summon people to her home and explain what their job was and she was a particularly forceful advocate.
I think it’s particularly appropriate that we acknowledge her at BCDC, given that this organization was so close to her heart and the fact that we have a Bay that’s a little bit larger than it was in 1961 and that we now have hundreds of miles of access around the Bay shoreline.
Kay is really in many ways the founder of the modern urban environmental movement and that’s often been overlooked.
It’s easy to forget how much vision it took and how different the world was in 1961 for these ladies to help bring us to where we are today and how different the world is because of their tireless efforts.
Executive Director Travis added: The first office for Save the Bay was in Kay’s house. We were told the story about how Kay’s husband Clark Kerr, who was the President of the University of California, and Gene McAteer the Senator of the McAteer-Petris Act would be invited by Clark and Kay to go the Cal football games. And Clark would sit on one side of Senator McAteer and tell him what he had to do for the University of California and Kay would sit on the other side and tell him what he had to do about legislation to save the Bay. And Senator McAteer said, look I’ll give you both what you want just let me watch the game.
Chair Randolph added: It’s not that often that people with that kind of vision come along especially in such a void and change the world so much.
9. Public Hearing and Vote on Initiating a Plan Amendment Process. Chair Randolph explained: Item 9 is a public hearing and vote on whether to initiate the process of considering proposed amendments of the San Francisco Bay Plan and Suisun Marsh Protection Plan to delete a water-related industry priority use designation on the Collinsville area of Solano County. Tim Doherty will present the staff report on this item.
Mr. Doherty presented the following: Staff recommends that the Commission:
One, adopt the attached proposed descriptive notice to initiate the process of considering a possible amendment to the San Francisco Bay Plan, Map 3, the Suisun Marsh Protection Plan findings and policies for water-related industry and the Marsh Plan Maps.
Two, revise the Resolution 16 boundaries of the water-related industrial priority use area at Collinsville located in Solano County.
Three, schedule a public hearing for April 21, 2011 to consider the proposed amendment.
On August 5, 2010 the Commission authorized the Executive Director to execute a contract with Solano County to provide funds to the Commission to amend the San Francisco Bay Plan, the Suisun Marsh Plan and the Solano County component of the local protection program.
On October 13, 2010 the County of Solano submitted an application for Bay Plan 1-10 to amend the Bay Plan, the Marsh Plan and Resolution 16.
This amendment if adopted by the Commission would potentially reconcile the Bay Plan and the Marsh Plan with the county’s 2008 General Plan and would facilitate a future Commission certification of the Solano County component of the local protection program.
The Collinsville site is located within the secondary management area of the Suisun Marsh in Solano County. The site was originally designated for port and water-related industry uses in 1969 by the Commission and has since been amended numerous times.
In 2008 the Solano County Board of Supervisors adopted a General Plan update that changed the land use designation in the Collinsville area.
The proposed change to the water-related industrial site would significantly decrease the size of the priority use area but would continue to allow for the development of industrial facilities on the 268 acres lying along the deep water channel.
If the Commission adopts the proposed descriptive notice a public hearing will be held on the 21st of April of this year and the staff will distribute a report containing a preliminary recommendation based upon the analysis of the change in this land use designation along with an environmental assessment.
This will be provided to all Commissioners, alternates and interested parties at least 30 days prior to the initial public hearing as required by the Commission’s regulations.
Chair Randolph then opened the public hearing and noted that he didn’t have any cards from people wishing to comment on this item. He then asked for a motion and second to close the public hearing.
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Commissioner Nelson. The motion passed by voice vote with no abstentions or objections.
Commissioner McGrath commented: In moving forward there are some issues about flood hazards that weren’t on our regular agenda both in terms of existing condition of the levees and sea level rise changes.
We would have an opportunity to examine those as this moves forward, would we not?
Mr. Doherty responded: Absolutely, yes.
Commissioner McGrath added: And I would expect to see that analysis and with that I am very comfortable with this.
Mr. Doherty added: That’s definitely an issue that we will be looking at in this period between now and the 21st of April.
Commissioner McGrath replied: Implicit here is a question as to which would be subjected to more risk, an industrial use as opposed to alternatives. I think that just deserves a fair discussion.
Mr. Doherty responded: Absolutely.
Commissioner Nelson commented: Two points regarding the second recommendation to revise Resolution 16.
Could you walk us through Resolution 16.
Mr. Doherty replied: First, let me give a brief overview of Resolution 16. That is the document that speaks to all 86 of the Commission’s priority use areas. There are five priority use areas, wildlife, waterfront, park and beach, airports, ports, water-related industry.
Resolution 16 identifies each of the 86 areas and puts them into one of those five classes and then there’s language about two landmarks along the shoreline that are perpendicular to the shoreline.
For this amendment because there’s been a decrease in the site we would need to re-visit Resolution 16 and update it accordingly.
MOTION: Commissioner Vierra moved to approve the staff recommendation, seconded by Commissioner Nelson. A vote was taken by a show of hands and the motion passed unanimously.
10. Consideration of 2010 Annual Report. Executive Director Travis presented the following: Once again we’ve drafted a brief Annual Report which does summarize statistically, monetarily, and in some text, what we’ve accomplished in the last year.
Our permit workload popped up. It was 50 higher than it was the year before but the value of the development was half as much. So we are processing more permit applications for smaller projects and a number of them are amendments for existing developments.
I would like your approval of this report. If you see any typos in it, let us know. Once we’ve made any necessary corrections we will send it off to the Governor tomorrow.
MOTION: Commissioner Wagenknecht moved approval of this report, seconded by Commissioner Richards. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
11. Briefing on Sustainable Communities Strategy. Chair Randolph said this item is a briefing on BCDC’s role in preparing the Regional Sustainable Communities Strategy that is required by SB 375. Joe LaClair will present the briefing.
Mr. LaClair presented the following: I’d like to thank my colleagues from the JPC, MTC, ABAG and the Air District who helped me prepare this presentation.
California has enacted two pieces of legislation that affect climate change, AB 32 which establishes a cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions and sets emission standards for each sector and SB 375, which is a companion bill that articulates how the land use component of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements should be met.
If we are to reduce California’s contribution to the climate change problem we have to do something about transportation.
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the Bay area. We have to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.
The California Air Resources Board established per capita vehicle greenhouse gas reduction targets for the Bay area.
The targets that have been established are widely regarded as aggressive.
They do not include reductions that the state will be achieving through vehicle emission standards and alternative fuels. The targets only apply to reductions attributable to regional land use and transportation planning.
SB 375 requires the Bay area and each of the 17 other California metropolitan areas to produce a sustainable communities strategy for inclusion in their federally-mandated regional transportation plans as defined in the statute and this strategy integrates MTC’s regional transportation plan and ABAG’s projections and regional housing needs allocation process to achieve, to the extent practicable, targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from personal vehicles.
In the nine County Bay area, responsibility for preparing the sustainable communities strategy rests jointly with two regional agencies, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments.
The regional transportation plan is required by federal law to be internally consistent; therefore, it cannot contain transportation investments which are inconsistent with the strategy.
The Air District and BCDC staffs are participating in and supporting the development of the SCS, but are not directly responsible for developing the documents.
SB 375 requires ABAG to ensure consistency between the strategy, the regional housing needs allocation, the state requirement that each of the 109 Bay area local governments plan for a fair share of the region’s eight year demand for market rate and affordable housing.
SB 375 provides for some CEQA streamlining for projects consistent with an SCS and that future general plan housing updates be consistent with the SCS.
Our next steps are to develop a draft vision, housing allocations and regional transportation plans based on the targets for consideration by the public and decision makers.
The year 2012 will involve integrating the elements and conducting environmental review culminating in adoption in 2013.
Through its Bay Plan policies the Commission can facilitate implementation of the SCS by clarifying that in-fill can and should be permitted along the shoreline.
The Commission can also provide its expertise on sea level rise vulnerabilities to help frame the issue in the SCS vision that articulates development of housing, jobs and transportation infrastructure consistent with the performance targets.
BCDC can also leverage its partnerships with other agencies to help frame the SCS and facilitate its implementation.
The Commission can encourage an approach that allows infill development to proceed without providing flood protection with the assumption that the high value of in-fill and surrounding development would ultimately be protected because of its regional significance and the protection strategy for the entire area will require a comprehensive planning process involving multiple stakeholders that resolves many competing considerations which are beyond the resources of most projects.
The Commission can support the SCS by clarifying in its policies that priority development areas that comprise a significant portion of the in-fill development opportunity sites in the region are encouraged and that any priority development areas in the Commission’s jurisdiction could be exempted from risk assessments and shoreline protection requirements.
The Commission can ensure that large mixed-use projects get permits in low-lying areas within its Bay, salt pond and managed wetlands jurisdictions, help meet regional goals, such as providing transit service for employees and residents so that they can help us achieve our GHG reduction goals and have a definitive strategy for adapting to sea level rise.
The Commission can work with the JPC to produce guidance as part of an integrated regional adaptation assistance package.
Our policies can also make provisions for innovative or adaptive management approaches to address risks from sea level rise for projects in the Commission’s jurisdiction.
The Conservancy has committed to prioritize funding for the focus program priority conservation areas and is leading the salt pond and shoreline studies in the South Bay that will protect existing development and promote in-fill.
The Regional Board supports brown fields clean up and redevelopment, which can reduce the migration of pollutants to the Bay and also supports in-fill development.
Chair Randolph asked if there was anyone from the public that would like to address this item. There were no comments from the public.
Commissioner Nelson commented: It’s important to highlight as staff has the role for the Commission in that SB 375 didn’t take the additional steps that are necessary to really write an implementable, sustainable communities strategy for the Bay area because it didn’t fully deal with a number of resource issues, shoreline protection, wetlands, Bay fill, sea level rise.
Those issues don’t get nearly as much attention in SB 375 as they do in the Commission’s jurisdiction. This does mean that there’s a particular role for the Commission in making sure that as that strategy is put together, that the issues that we have jurisdiction over are really reflected in that plan.
Commissioner Gibbs asked Mr. LaClair to remind the Commission what the targets are that JPC seems about to adopt for the per capita reduction in CO2 emissions.
Mr. LaClair replied: I just mentioned that the targets that CARB set were minus seven percent by 2020 and minus 15 percent by 2035 but there are some other targets that they’re working on as well.
Commissioner Gibbs added: The sad point is even if Bay area drivers achieve a 15 percent per capita reduction in their greenhouse emissions the absolute level of greenhouse emissions in the Bay area will still rise because of population growth and miles driven.
Commissioner McGrath commented: It seems that making the Regional Transportation Plan consistent with the strategy is a pretty effective hammer because that’s the mechanism by which we both facilitate patterns of growth and serve that growth.
Do you think it is at all possible to believe that there will be a change in investment strategies from those transportation mechanisms that may be less efficient to those that might be more efficient?
Mr. LaClair replied: I think that one of the important things to note about the current investment strategy in the region on transportation is that we spend 80 percent of the funds available to us on maintaining and operating the current system.
So when you look at the 20 percent of discretionary funding that we have now currently a very small portion of that goes towards new streets and roads.
We’re currently moving in that direction as a region towards focusing most of our investments on improvements that will support a more sustainable development pattern.
Chair Randolph moved on to Item 12.
12. Consideration of Strategic Plan Report. Executive Director Travis made the following presentation: In our monthly report there are two deadlines that we would like to have your approval to change.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved approval of the changes, seconded by Commissioner Lundstrom. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Chair Randolph announced that there were two public members that wished to comment.
Ms. Margaret Gordon had a concern with the new park at the end of Seventh Street. She mentioned that it was her understanding that $600,000 was being spent to complete this park and people should know that the Port of Oakland already has two parks that are underutilized. She did not see how this park would benefit the West Oakland community because there’s no public transportation there and the design calls for a bike pathway.
If anybody has been through the Port of Oakland already you take your life in your hands even trying to drive in the area let alone taking a bike through there.
This is a poor design and is not attractive enough for people to want to go there. I would really like the staff to have a meeting with a core group of West Oakland residents to look at this bike path because this park does not meet well with the logistics, shipping, trucks, trailer business around that port area.
You also have a children’s lot and that is just not conducive for children to be in that area playing especially during a week day where you have so many trucks that on an average day can number from 12,000 to 22,000 truck trips a day and that’s not including how many ships are coming in and if the Port gets its way for expansion how many rails will be coming through there.
So that park is a nuance. I would not bring any of my 11 grandchildren down in that area during a weekday to play.
Mr. Bill Aboudi commented: I’m with the Oakland Maritime Support Services and I also run a trucking company on the Army Base.
OMSS is very thankful to BCDC because years ago in 1996 BCDC required that the Port and the city allocate 15 acres of truck parking because we were always the last to be thought of for space and we were encroaching on to the residential community.
We entered into an E&A with the city of Oakland back in 2007 after we won the RFP and we’ve been negotiating since.
This map shows the original approved BCDC location that was assigned for that 15 acre parking.
In the last year or so we were asked to look at an alternative site which is the old Baldwin Yard. That was the old BCDC site that was moved there.
So we spent some time and we put the plans together and we’re there now. And now we are actually, because of the miscommunication, the bike path goes right through the project.
So now we’re being told that our project will be delayed for two more years until that’s resolved. For us, on our part, we need better communication from top down, bottom up, bring everybody to the table so we can resolve these issues because the truckers are going to be last and we’ve been trying very hard to get a permanent place for the truckers.
This is causing a bit of a problem and you probably weren’t even aware of it. There’s a lot more detail and I hope that somebody will reach out and we can meet with the truckers, the community and whoever wants to meet so we can resolve that and it could be a win/win for everybody.
Commissioner Bates commented: I appreciate the various comments about Kay Kerr. I wonder if we could do something more special than just having a report for her.
I wonder if we can’t think about how we could do something to honor her in a larger way.
Commissioner McGrath added: On that point coming up this April there is a plan to dedicate some of the areas of the East Shore State Park and there is talk about naming them for Sylvia and Dwight Steele.
It does seem remiss to not recognize all three of the women who had the vision in some way.
Perhaps a call by our Executive Director to the park officials as to the most appropriate way to recognize all the antecedents might be effective.
Commissioner Nelson commented: Both of the two public comments we received regard the implementation of large permits that BCDC issued quite a few years ago and they’re different permits. One is for the Port and one if for bridge but they’re in similar areas.
I thought I would ask if the staff has any reaction to the public testimony we’ve received and whether it makes sense for the staff to spend some time looking into both that trucking issue which raises questions about compliance with an existing BCDC as well as the bridge permit and the public access there.
Executive Director Travis replied: We will look into that and we will report back to you. The planning for the Gateway Park is a joint venture of BCDC, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Bay Area Toll Authority, Port of Oakland, City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Park District.
There have been several public meetings. It’s unfortunate that you weren’t aware of those but there are some issues there that do have to be addressed and we are meeting on a regular basis to try to iron these things out.
We’re aware of that issue that has been discussed today.
The new bridge does have bicycle access on it and the commitment is to allow people to actually get to that public access through a park that would be along the shoreline.
This is a designation within the Port priority use area and there are some options for relocating in a way that would meet the Port’s needs, the city’s needs, the trucker’s needs, the bicyclist’s needs and have a better future for the world.
13. New Business. No new business was discussed.
14 Old Business. No old business was discussed.
15. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Vierra, seconded by Commissioner Ziegler, the meeting adjourned at 2:38 p.m., in memory of Kay Kerr.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of March 3, 2011
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair