Minutes of July 21, 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 1:05 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Chair Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Addiego, Apodaca, Baird (represented by Alternate Vierra), Bates (represented by Alternate Butt), Chan (represented by Alternate Gilmore), Fossum (represented by Alternate Kato), Gibbs, Groom, Hicks (represented by Alternate Johnson), Lundstrom (represented by Alternate Sanchez), McGrath, Nelson, Sears, Shirakawa (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Wagenknecht and Ziegler. Legislative member William C. Taylor was also present.
Not Present were: Sonoma County (Brown), San Francisco County (Chiu), Department of Finance (Finn), Contra Costa County (Gioia), Governor Appointee’s (Goldzband, Jordan Hallinan & Moy), Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (Sartipi) and Solano County (Spering).
3. Public Comment Period. Chair Randolph called for public comment on subjects that were not on the agenda. Comments would be restricted to three minutes per speaker. No public comment was made.
Seeing no speakers, Chair Randolph moved on to Item four, approval of the minutes.
4. Approval of Minutes of the July 7, 2011 Meeting. Chair Randolph entertained a motion and a second to adopt the minutes of July 7, 2011.
Chair Randolph noted that the date on the Minutes read May 19th and it should have been June 2nd.
MOTION: Commissioner Nelson moved, seconded by Vice Chair Halsted, to approve the July 7, 2011 Minutes. The motion carried by voice vote with Commissioners Apodaca and Ziegler abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph reported on the following:
a. Next BCDC Meeting. Our next meeting will be two weeks from today on August 4th. At that meeting, which will be held at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, we will take up the following matters:
(1) We will vote on a proposed amendment of the San Francisco Bay Plan map dealing with Candlestick Point in San Francisco. We’re holding a public hearing on this matter today.
(2) We’ll have a progress report on implementing the Bay Water Trail and we’ll consider the status of implementing our Strategic Plan.
b. Orientation Briefing. This room will be undergoing remodeling next month so we won’t be able to hold our August 18th meeting here. Therefore, we’ll cancel that meeting and in lieu of it our staff will hold a briefing for new members of the Commission on the afternoon of August 18th.
c. Ex-Parte Communications. That completes my report. 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 Kato reported: I’ve had discussions with Lennar and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency regarding the Hunter’s Point/Candlestick Project.
Vice Chair Halsted announced: I had a brief discussion with the people at Fort Mason about whether or not they required permits for some issues.
Commissioner Vierra reported that she had an ex-parte communication with Stephen Knight of Save the Bay, in regards to the Bay Plan Amendments for Climate Change.
Chair Randolph then moved on to the Report of the Executive Director.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Travis reported:
a. Personnel. We have two new interns on our enforcement staff. They are Greg Mediati and Nicole Noceto.
Greg received a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and policy analysis from UC Davis and has worked for the Sierra Club and for the City of South San Francisco's Department of Parks and Recreation.
Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz. They will be working half time until the end of the year.
There’s also one personnel change in BCDC’s extended family that I would like to call to your attention.
Last week Governor Jerry Brown appointed Matt Rodriquez to serve as the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Some years back Matt was one of the deputy attorney generals assigned to BCDC.
More recently he was both the Chief Deputy Attorney General and the Chief Assistant Attorney General where he was in charge of all the day-to-day operations of the Department of Justice. We know firsthand that the Governor has made a sensational appointment and we will give Matt our complete support in carrying out his important new responsibilities.
b. Office Lease. As I informed you in March, we have to move out of our current office by April 2013. The Department of General Services, the state agency that is in charge of finding office space for us, has begun looking for rental space for us.
However, an exciting possibility is emerging that may result in our having better accommodations than we do now. Our three Joint Policy Committee partners––MTC, ABAG and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are actively attempting to co-locate all their staff into a single building.
The three agencies have invited us to join them as a tenant in any building they purchase. Buildings in both Oakland and San Francisco were considered but the only option under active consideration now is a building at 390 Main Street, San Francisco, about five blocks south of our current office.
Since BCDC must, by law, have our office in San Francisco, this location would work for us. The three agencies plan on making their decision on whether to purchase this building within the next week.
The building is large enough to provide space we could rent and the office should be available by the end of 2012.
Therefore, unless you object, we’ll inform the Department of General Services that our preferred alternative is to co-locate with our regional Joint Policy Committee partners within the same headquarters building in San Francisco.
c. Enforcement Program Management. I want to call to your attention a report we sent you on July 8th describing the approach we are taking to better manage our enforcement workload.
;We have only three staff members on our enforcement team. They have to balance their time so they can most effectively reduce our backlog of cases, monitor permit compliance, resolve long-standing and often complex enforcement cases and respond to complaints from the public about new alleged violations along hundreds of miles of Bay shoreline.
;At the urging of our Enforcement Committee and working in consultation with the committee members we’ve developed a systematic approach to ensure that we allocate time to all of these responsibilities and so that we focus our attention on the highest priority matters. If you have any questions about this report, please direct them to Adrienne Klein.
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Executive Director Travis stated that on July 8th we sent you a listing of the administrative matters our staff is prepared to act upon. Jaime Michaels is available to respond to any questions you may have about the matters on the listing.
8. Public Hearing on Proposed Bay Plan Amendment No. 1-11, Concerning a Bay Plan Map Change to Reconfigure the Waterfront Park Priority Use Area Designation at Candlestick Point Recreation Area in the City of San Francisco. Ms. Linda Scourtis will present the staff report on this item:
Item #8 is a public hearing on proposed revisions of the San Francisco Bay Plan waterfront park priority use designations at Candlestick Point in San Francisco. As I mentioned, we will vote on this amendment at our next meeting. Linda Scourtis will present the staff report on this item.
Ms. Scourtis reported: The staff preliminarily recommends that the Commission amend the San Francisco Bay Plan Map 5 by modifying the waterfront park priority use area designation at the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area in San Francisco as follows:
(1) Remove the part priority use area designation from a 9.5-acre area near the eastern inland boundary of Candlestick Point.
(2) Add a 1.5-acre area to the southern portion of the park priority use area designation near Candlestick Cove
(3) Make necessary findings regarding environmental impacts as outlined in the Environmental Assessment.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency have applied to the Commission to amend Bay Plan Map 5 by modifying the waterfront park priority use area designation at the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area.
This amendment would allow the park priority use area designation to match the boundary of the State Recreation Area as it has recently been modified in that portion of Candlestick Point.
Following the reconfiguration, this area would be outside the State Recreation Area and would be used for mixed-income residential development, neighborhood and regional park uses and new access roads under the City’s Redevelopment Program.
The proposed change to the inland boundary of the priority use area is part of a larger reconfiguration of the State Recreation Area resulting from SB 792.
The land transfers also facilitate the larger Candlestick Point/Hunters Point Shipyard Phase II Development Plan Project.
The land that would be added to the park priority use designation area will allow for development of a segment of the Bay Trail and day-use beach facilities along the south shoreline of the park.
Additionally, State Parks is engaged in a General Plan Amendment process to determine the future improvements and specific uses within Candlestick Point.
Ms. Bohee reported: My name is Tiffany Bohee and I am with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
On behalf of the City and its Redevelopment Agency we urge your approval of the proposed park priority use map modification.
We’ve had over 300 public meetings regarding this matter with overwhelming voter support.
The actions before the Commission today are necessary in order to deliver the project’s tremendous public benefits to the City and the state.
This project will invest over one billion dollars in new transit and sustainable infrastructure.
State Parks will receive a total of $50 million additionally, for park improvements, operations and maintenance as well as expanded access at the shoreline.
The project cannot deliver these public benefits without the minor map change to conform to the Park Agreement and the legislation.
Mr. Herms presented the following: My name is Bill Herms and I’m the Deputy Director of California State Parks.
Candlestick Point Park is underutilized and underdeveloped. State Parks is poised to receive tens of millions of dollars to develop Candlestick Point Park.
This project is incredibly important to State Parks in order to keep Candlestick Point Park open and to further develop the site.
Commissioner McGrath commented: What is the current annual operational budget for the Park?
Mr. Herms replied: I don’t have that number with me. Parks has seen its budget reduced significantly over the past 15 years.
We have had to abandon our ability to staff each park with specific individuals that take care of just that park.
We’ve had to go to a sectorized model for efficiency.
Commissioner McGrath continued: The heart of my question is, what number of years does the $10 million in operational funds guarantee that the Park will be safe from closure?
Mr. Herms answered: We all believe at State Parks that once we begin receiving operations and maintenance monies as a result of this project, that will keep the Park open as far as we can see.
The Park is currently listed for closure. It is an expensive park to keep open. It is the intention of the California State Parks Foundation to work closely with State Parks to do whatever is required to maintain public access at Candlestick.
Commissioner Carruthers asked: What is the status of the proposal dealing with the 57 acres in north Candlestick?
Mr. Herms replied: You’re referring to the slough area in the north. There is a significant plan underway of restoration of the slough.
Commissioner Carruthers queried: Who owns the land?
Mr. Herms answered: State Parks currently owns the land around the slough.
Commissioner Vierra asked: What are the prospects that this area in the blue hatched area will eventually come under park priority use area?
And, conversely, what are the prospects that this might not become part of park priority use area?
Mr. Herms replied: The short answer to your second question that is, that the prospects are almost nil because we are State Parks. We are going to continue to move forward through this process and it is our mission and our goal that this area be included in the Park Priority Use Area Designation.
Commissioner Vierra added: It sounds like we’re just kind of going through a bureaucratic process that has to work itself out before we can add these other acres to the park priority use area and if everything goes as planned, it will come back to us.
Mr. Herms replied: That is correct.
Chair Randolph opened the public hearing on this matter. There were three requests to speak on this item.
Ms. Richardson commented: I am a former member of BCDC appointed to this Commission by former Governor Gray Davis.
I have over three decades of working with the City of San Francisco on redevelopment issues.
This project is a very significant project that the people in Bayview-Hunters Point have been working on for over 30 years.
This project is a win/win situation given the state of the economy.
I am asking for your endorsement of this important project.
Ms. Hunnicutt commented: My name is Doctor Veronica Hunnicutt and I’m the Chair of one of the two citizens advisory groups that have been participating in and overseeing the development of the Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point.
The organization I represent is the Hunters Point Shipyard Citizens Advisory Committee.
Our top priority has been the creation of affordable housing, jobs, economic development opportunities and the creation and expansion of public parks, opens space and access to the water.
This project will create more than 300 acres of public parks and open space.
These improvements will enable new residents and residents of the surrounding communities to access the shoreline and enjoy the Bay.
I am asking you to support these amendments.
Mr. Townsend commented: My name is Reverend Arnold Townsend and I am here as the first Vice President of the San Francisco NAACP.
The Bay can be wonderful, but if you’re living at the edge of poverty, unemployed, without basics; the Bay doesn’t really exist for you.
You have an opportunity to make the Bay more physically accessible but to make it more economically accessible to the people that live in the Hunters Point area.
This development will improve the lives and the living situations and conditions of people in that community.
We’re asking that you support your staff’s recommendations.
Chair Randolph asked for a motion and a second to close the public hearing on this matter.
MOTION: Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Vice Chair Halsted, to close the public hearing.
Commissioner Carruthers commented: I’m very eager for this project. And I am also very eager for the time when we will have before us an amendment to apply the park priority use to the remainder of the shoreline.
What has to be done before such an amendment can be brought before us?
Mr. Herms replied: I think the two most significant things that need to be done are:
(1) State Parks needs to continue through and complete its General Plan process and
(2) The planning around the slough area needs to be completed.
As far as when this will be completed I can say that my hope is we hope to see this within a year, certainly a year and a half for our General Plan process.
We’re going to push hard for the design of the slough to be completed in approximately the same period of time.
Commissioner Nelson commented: Could you give us a sense of the schedule for capital improvements regarding Yosemite Slough?
Mr. Herms replied: The specific timing I cannot give you any guarantee on. State Parks, State Lands and the City have entered into agreements for how we will move forward with the project.
The agreements that we have signed set up a sequential transferring of land to the developer and money to State Parks.
Our General Plan process lays out the development on how we’re going to be using those dollars.
When you look at our General Plan, it will contain more than the resources from just this project.
Commissioner McGrath commented: I would hope to be in a position to support this project. In an under-served community development should run a higher priority than preservation.
It’s important to know how long a project like this is going to keep the park open. This is a very critical component of where we’re considering.
Commissioner Johnson commented: As a matter of full disclosure, the Army Corps of Engineers is handling an application on this project from the City.
I am curious as to whether or not there are any constraints on the funding as to how it can be spent.
And I am also concerned that there may not be some kind of long term funding other than reliance on the state budget.
Mr. Herms responded: Your points are very well taken. The agreement that State Parks worked out with regard to transfer of lands sets in stone along with SB 792 the monies that State Parks will receive.
As we move forward in the next year and a half, I feel optimistic that we’re going to be able to maintain public access to this park through our partnership with the Foundation as well as a number of other options that we are pursuing.
Once we begin receiving money for maintenance and operations, that park will remain open for a significant number of years; certainly more than enough years for us to begin receiving dollars to develop the park.
Once we begin to receive dollars to develop the park, for us and this Executive Director, this is one of our highest priority parks.
The agreements that have been signed along with legislation will allow this park to remain open into the distant future.
Even if the Legislature completely defunds state parks, this project will allow us to develop this park and keep it open.
Commissioner Johnson added: Is there any discussion regarding funding through tax revenues?
Mr. Herms answered: It is useful and it is legal and it is an option that we are
Commissioner Johnson continued: This question is for the City. Is there anything in the development agreement that would provide any kind of perpetual funding?
Ms. Bohee replied: The agreement does provide for a mix of financing to get this land and prepare that land for development.
This amounts to approximately three billion dollars. We have upfront private equity from the developer; the breakdown is about a third, a third, and a third.
We are relying on tax increment and we do believe we can continue to do that. Also, there are special taxes to pay for this infrastructure.
Commissioner McGrath stated: I would hope that you would sharpen your pencils and look at the feasibility issues.
I’d like you to make your best judgment to ensure that this park remains open at some level of access for existing users.
Chairman Randolph stated: We will vote on this at our next meeting.
9. Briefing Status of Bay Plan Climate Change Amendment Progress. Chair Randolph said, Item #9 is a briefing on the status of the staff’s efforts to respond to the public input that has been received regarding Bay Plan Amendment No. 1-08 dealing with climate change.
As we requested, our staff has also drafted a preamble, which explains the purpose of the amendments. After the staff’s presentation we will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on both the draft preamble as well as the latest draft language of the Bay Plan amendments. Joe LaClair will present the briefing.
Chief Planner LaClair: I am before you to present an update on staff's continuing work on Bay Plan Amendment 1-08 concerning climate change.
Since your June 2nd, 2011 workshop staff has met with elected officials in the counties throughout the region to describe how the proposed Bay Plan Amendments have changed to address the concerns they have raised at your public hearings and workshops and in the many letters you have received.
We answered questions, we addressed concerns and local government officials appreciated the opportunity for direct communication. The schedule of the meetings we attended is in the staff report mailed to you on July the 8th.
The staff report also included a preamble or background section that Chair Randolph mentioned and the staff intends to incorporate this into the staff report and reference it in the resolution to be adopted by the Commission when it votes on the amendments in October.
This background section, or preamble, describes the Commission's reasons for undertaking the amendments, the process it followed in developing the amendments and how it intends to implement the amendments once adopted. The background section will not be incorporated into the Bay Plan. But as I mentioned, it will be part of the staff report and referenced in the resolution.
The staff has also made minor refinements to the amendment language based on input from the Commission workshop and from the subsequent meetings that staff had with local governments and stakeholders.
The staff distributed a letter to the Commission in your packets today from three land use attorneys who have been engaged with the Commission's proposed amendments since last fall requesting some additional minor modifications to propose Climate Change Finding W and Policy 7. Staff is amenable to these proposed changes provided the Commission agrees.
Currently, staff is engaged in preparing its fourth revised preliminary recommendation, a revised environmental assessment and responses to the many comments the Commission received during the 137-day public hearing and comment period that extended from October 1st through December 17th, 2010. Staff plans to mail this recommendation next Friday, July 29th, consistent with the schedule approved by the Commission.
Because the collection of documents is so large, the staff plans to mail compact discs or CDs to Commissioners and interested parties. A hard copy of the amendments will be available for viewing at the Commission's offices.
Most people and agencies on the Commission's interested parties list for this amendment receive the materials electronically, and will be provided with a notice that the documents are available for downloading on the Commission's website. The 150-or-so recipients of hard copy documents will get CDs and copies of the CDs will be mailed to each local government within the Commission's jurisdiction. Extra copies of the CDs will be available on request.
Thank you. That concludes my presentation and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
Chair Randolph opened this item for public comment.
Mr. Wren commented: I am Ian Wren with San Francisco Baykeeper. I was trying to review the latest changes and I couldn't really discern what they were, since all the changes were compared based upon the September 10th of last year draft instead of the last iteration of the amendment. So I was hoping staff might be able to provide an updated version that reflects the latest changes.
The State is about to release a statewide sea level rise adaptation document. There is a bill, AB 752, that would require all public trust lands to consider sea level rise within their jurisdictions. And I've heard the Coastal Commission is requiring consideration of three feet of sea level rise on all their projects.
In light of these, I am wondering if any of this will influence this amendment, or if subsequent amendments could be required as a result of any of these policy-type documents or legislation? And I was wondering if staff could provide a summary of that, or at the final vote, or at the next meeting, either in written or verbal format. Thank you.
Mr. Campos commented: I am Paul Campos with the BIA of the Bay area.
I just have a quick comment today and that is on a suggestion for where to put the preamble, which our organization and our coalition partners all support. And we'd like you to consider placing that in the ultimate resolution that adopts the Bay Plan Amendments. Perhaps in the section of whereases and wherefores. We think that would be a good spot, rather than an entirely separate document and rather than in the Bay Plan itself. That way it would be there with the resolution itself and that very good description of the background would be there and very easy to find.
Chair Randolph stated: It has been a long road. So with that let's open it up for questions or comments from the Commission on either the draft language as it stands or the suggested preamble language.
Commissioner Vierra asked: Is there a suggestion by staff where the preamble language would go?
Chief Planner LaClair replied: Yes. The staff has suggested that the preamble would be named not a preamble but would be named the background section, and it would go in the staff report. And it would lay out the history of the Commission's grappling with the issue of climate change, much of the information that's in this background section will be captured in the whereases that Mr. Campos referred to in terms of crafting a resolution. We proposed that we would reference that in toto in the resolution as well. So that's our recommendation at this point.
Commissioner Gibbs commented: Could you just repeat that and how does that differ from what Mr. Campos has proposed? The location of the Background section.
Chief Planner LaClair answered: We would not recommend including all the text of the Background section in the whereases in the resolution because we think some of it is unnecessary and that it would be redundant to write this section and then quote from it verbatim in the resolution.
We will take from it that which is necessary to convey the Commission's intention in the resolution and we will reference it as a document in the resolution.
Executive Director Travis: We would also have a whereas for the reasons explained in the Background section of the staff report.
From a legal perspective the preamble is not something that the Commission should adopt because it has stuff in it that talks about what we're going to do and what we've done and it's kind of irrelevant.
But it has now encapsulated why we're doing this and why it's so important and nobody wants to lose that. So the thought that we had is, if we have the resolution that the Commission adopts officially which says, we are amending the Bay Plan and for these reasons. And in there we explicitly reference the background section in the staff report, it won't then get lost in history. It will be by reference a part of the official document.
Commissioner Gibbs stated: I think it can stand as evidence of our legislative intent. It ought to be set forth as fully as possible and as permanently as possible.
Executive Director Travis stated: The letter from the three land use attorneys is in your packet. We're going to have a Background section in the staff report that goes out next week. We're then going to have a recommendation. In that recommendation I think we can put the Background section in there again and then we will put the language of the resolution in there.
And in the language of the resolution we will refer back to the Background section so it has a little bit different status. It's not part of the resolution but it's all there in one package. I think that will achieve your objective.
Mr. Campos added: Our reason for asking for what we have is that the preamble is very well done and it does encapsulate very well the history and the intent for this.
I think that prominently mentioning it and referring to it expressly in the resolution, and perhaps even as an attachment to the resolution, I think would probably be a good trick.
Chair Randolph added: I think we're on the right track here that we would want to make sure also that not just for the purposes of these hearings and the Commission's process but when the Plan is on the website and anybody else finds it over time that the whole package is available then.
Commissioner McGrath commented: I think we're in a circumstance where there is a legislative history. Where we had recommendations for a moratorium, we had reasoning that BCDC's jurisdiction was going to get greater, and we're not going there. So to that degree there is a legislative history that I think should give people concerned about clarity comfort. And I want to make sure that that's done in a way, in consultation with the Attorney General's Office, so there is a very clear legislative history that these ideas were not selected. And I believe that's very important to give comfort.
But I would also like to echo the Chair's comments about the great effort by the staff. And at the end of the day, the great effort by those who were concerned and made an effort to make sure that we were involved in clarity, not just concession. I think that's been very important.
Commissioner Groom commented: I would prefer the prologue to be the opening document, the opening paragraphs of the document so that we lay immediately out what the intentions were, what we felt the consequences were and why we did some of the things we did. It just seems to me that's a logical place to put something in a document that is going to be referred to for a long time.
Commissioner Carruthers commented: I think we all share the desire to have clarity and to have the public be able to understand what we're doing certainly and why. I do understand the concern about including such material within the Amendment.
But this is actually just one part of the overall plan. There is a desire to have the format of this section be consistent with the formats of the other sections so that's the challenge.
Vice Chair Halsted commented: I agree with you, Commissioner Carruthers. I would look to the staff for final advice on this.
I would like to make sure, though, that on our website this is a very prominent piece that people can look to for how we got here, why we're doing that.
10. New Business. No new business was discussed.
11. Old Business. No old business was discussed.
12. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner McGrath, seconded by Commissioner Sanchez the meeting adjourned at 2:24 p.m.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of August 4, 2011
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair