Minutes of February 2, 2012 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the Ferry Building, Port of San Francisco Board Room, Second Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111 at 1:11 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Chair Randolph and Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Addiego, Apodaca, Bates, Brown (represented by Alternate Carrillo), Chan (represented by Alternate Gilmore), Chiu, Fossum (represented by Alternate Kato), Gibbs, Groom (represented by Alternate Pine), Jordan Hallinan, Hicks, McGrath, Moy, Nelson, Sartipi, Sears, Spering (represented by Alternate Vasquez), Vierra, Wagenknecht and Ziegler.
Chair Randolph announced that a quorum was present.
Not present were: Santa Clara County (Cortese), Department of Finance (Finn), Contra Costa County (Gioia), Governor’s Appointee (Goldzband), and Association of Bay Area Governments – North Bay Cities (Vacant).
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.
Two speakers addressed the Commission.
Mr. David Lewis of Save The Bay addressed the Commission: I would like to repeat a recommendation and an offer that I have made to Chairman Randolph and to several other members of the Commission.
We’ve recommended that you treat the process for selecting a new Executive Director as an opportunity for the Commissioners to look ahead to what BCDC should be and can be in its next phase.
You should craft a position description for the Director that reflects a thorough vetting of BCDC’s objectives and goals in a changing environment.
We recommend that you should get some professional assistance in doing this. I can’t think of anything that is more important for the long term of this Commission than to do this process right.
If there are not resources available to do this, we have offered to help find the resources to get professional assistance or pro bono or something in between.
Chair Randolph announced: I’ll note for members of the Commission that at our next meeting we will have a recommended process for the Commissioners to consider for going into the selection process taking into account Mr. Lewis’ generous offer.
Mr. Cutting addressed the Commission: I am Hunter Cutting and I live and work here in San Francisco and I also sail on the Bay.
I wanted to highlight the issue of proposals for long term development under the America’s Cup Host Agreement.
One of the ironies of the America’s Cup is that despite providing really important benefits to the City and to the Port, the event actually does very little to directly support recreational boating on the Bay.
A finding in the Port CEQA analysis determined that the America’s Cup Agreement generates interest in sailing in the Bay. The problem is that neither the Port nor the City can meet the current interest and demand for recreational sailing facilities.
We also have the additional problem that facilities dedicated to small boats are rapidly being eliminated.
4. Approval of Minutes of the January 19, 2012 Meeting. Chair Randolph entertained a motion and a second to adopt the minutes of January 19, 2012 meeting.
MOTION: Commissioner Wagenknecht moved for approval, seconded by Commissioner Pine. The motion passed by a voice vote with Commissioners Vasquez, Gilmore, Carrillo and Halsted abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph reported on the following:
a. New Commissioners. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has appointed Supervisor David Cortese to serve as the County’s representative from Santa Clara County and appointed Commissioner Shirakawa to serve as the County’s alternate. He will replace Eric Carruthers.
On behalf of the Commission I would like to welcome Supervisor Cortese to the Commission and thank Commissioner Carruthers for his long and illustrious service. The staff will prepare a resolution of appreciation for Commissioner Carruthers for adoption at our next meeting.
b. Joint Policy Committee: The Joint Policy Committee continues to consider whether it will take the lead for facilitating a regional climate change adaptation strategy, as proposed by the Commission.
At its January 20th meeting, the JPC discussed the process it should use to consider such matters and whether it should even take on the lead for regional initiatives, such as planning for climate change adaptation.
The JPC directed the Chairs and Executive Directors of the four agencies to work with its consultants to develop a proposed approach and strategy to be considered at its March 16th meeting. One of those consultants will be Will Travis, as the JPC also approved retaining him as a senior policy advisor.
c. Executive Director Position. We expect to mail out to you this month a proposed process and schedule for selecting a permanent Executive Director, which we can discuss at our next meeting.
d. Next BCDC Meeting. It won’t be necessary to hold a second meeting this month. Therefore, we will cancel our February 16th meeting and will hold our next meeting four weeks from today on March 1st. At that meeting, which will be held here at the Ferry Building, we will take up the following matters:
(1) We will vote on the proposed Bay Plan amendment for the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan to accommodate the America’s Cup races.
(2) We will vote on the proposed Bay Plan amendment for the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan for a proposed Cruise Ship Terminal.
(3) We will hold a public hearing and vote on a permit for the America’s Cup work on Piers 30/32.
(4) We will hold a public hearing on a permit for the Piers 27-29 Cruise Ship Terminal.
(5) We will consider a status report on the progress we are making in carrying out our strategic plan.
e. 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 Vierra reported: I spoke to several state agencies about whether or not their comments on the draft EIR for America’s Cup were incorporated into the final EIR. I spoke to the Department of Fish and Game, State Parks and The Green Boating Initiative which is part of BCDC and the Department of Boating and Waterways.
Commissioner Gibbs stated: Although this is not part of ex-parte communications I did want to follow up on Mr. Cuttings remarks concerning recreational opportunities in the Bay from the America’s Cup.
I think there’s a long and very positive history from the Olympics in Barcelona and Vancouver to the recent World Cup in South Africa for international sporting events of this magnitude coming to the venue and leaving behind improved recreational opportunities for the people that live there.
I would hope to see increased recreational opportunities in the sport that’s actually having the event left behind here for residents of the Bay area.
Commissioner McGrath spoke: Within the last week I’ve spoken to members of the San Francisco Sailing Association and David Beaupre of the Port of San Francisco about America’s Cup and recreational impacts.
Commissioner Chiu commented: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently approved the EIR for the America’s Cup. I’ve had conversations with a number of parties regarding this event.
Commissioner Carrillo added: I did have email communication with J.T. Wick who has a permit application going through and I asked staff for an update on that application in that there is was an application for dredge material offloading facility and a Carneros Ranch Landfill going through the Board of Supervisors in Sonoma.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Acting Executive Director Goldbeck reported:
a. Personnel. Jenny Quay is joining the BCDC staff as our Sea Grant Fellow for 2012. She is a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences and a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology. She was awarded multiple honors during her graduate career and has published several papers on the prediction and monitoring of neurotoxic algal blooms in coastal waters. In her capacity as Sea Grant Fellow, Jenny will be assisting the Sediment Management Team in developing the Science Strategy for the Regional Sediment Management Program. We welcome Jenny to the staff.
b. State Budget. I would like to call to your attention the section of the Governor’s proposed budget regarding the Commission that we mailed to you January 20th. BCDC’s proposed budget is about 3 percent higher than this fiscal year, reflecting the ending of the one-day a month unpaid personnel leave program. In addition, the budget reflects decreases in proposed spending in operating expenses and equipment to implement the Governor’s operational efficiency plan.
c. Office Move. On July 21st, 2011 you concurred with our staff’s assessment that the best option for relocating our office would be for BCDC to become a tenant in a building at 390 Main Street, about five blocks south of our current office, which the Metropolitan Transportation Commission purchased with the goal of accommodating not only its staff, but also the staff of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and BCDC to create a new regional government center. We are working with MTC and the Department of General Services to try to accomplish this. But because it is still not certain whether renovations to the regional government building can be completed before we have to leave our present offices, whether the space will meet state standards, or whether the rental price will be acceptable, we will continue to look for rental space in other commercial office buildings in San Francisco.
d. Staff Report. I also want to call to your attention to the January 20th status report on Delta issues as required by our Strategic Plan. Jessica Davenport is available if you have any questions on that report.
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Acting Executive Director Goldbeck stated that on January 20th the Commissioners were sent a listing of the administrative matters the staff was prepared to act upon. Bob Batha is available to respond to any questions Commissioners may have about the matters on the listings.
8. Public Hearing and possible vote on Amendment No. Thirty-two to BCDC Permit No. 2001.008.32, to Caltrans for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) Take Down Project (part of the SFOBB East Span Seismic Safety Project), in Alameda and San Francisco Counties. Chair Randolph announced that the amendment is for the removal of the old Bay Bridge from Treasure Island to Oakland and Max Delaney will make the staff presentation.
Mr. Delaney reported the following: The California Department of Transportation is preparing to remove the existing east span of the Bay Bridge.
This dismantling was approved in 2001 when the Commissioned issued Permit No. 2110.008 authorizing the entire East Span Seismic Safety Project.
At that time Caltrans did not know the method they would employ to dismantle the east span of the bridge.
The amendment has been amended 31 times and has grown to an unruly length with multiple measures required and concomitant mitigation needed.
Amendment No. 32 would authorize Caltrans to place between 108,000 and 110,400 square feet of temporary pile-supported Bay fill, to construct two temporary trusses and to install temporary supports to enable them to safely dismantle the structure as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
The staff summary raises three primary issues: one, whether the project is consistent with the Commission’s fill policies, two, whether the project is consistent with the Commission’s policies on fish, other aquatic organisms and wildlife and three, whether the project is consistent with the Commission’s policies on water quality.
Mr. Anziano addressed the Commission: My name is Tony Anziano and I’m the Toll Bridge Program manager with the State of California, Department of Transportation.
An important thing to keep in mind in considering this amendment is that seismic safety has two components in this project.
Seismic safety involves getting the new bridge open as quickly as possible and it also involves dismantling the old structure as quickly as possible.
We are making very good progress and we are getting near to the end. We anticipate having the bridge open to traffic in 2013.
The BCDC staff has been excellent to work with and I can’t say enough about them. They have been a major part of getting this bridge to where it’s at.
We do have a bicycle lane that is being constructed as part of this project.
We are giving BCDC the maximum number of piles that we think will be involved in the temporary supports. The many other issues involved are listed in your staff report.
We are using a number of technologies to mitigate the adverse effects on fish of our pile driving activities.
Commissioner Nelson commented: There is quite a bit of discussion in the staff report to avoid and mitigate impacts of pile driving on aquatic species.
My recollection is that the existing east span of the bridge is a significant roosting and nesting area for a substantial cormorant colony.
What mitigation strategies have been adopted or whether to what extent Fish and Game and Fish and Wildlife have been focused on that resource insofar as impacts are in removal of the existing bridge on aquatic seabirds.
Mr. Anziano replied: That absolutely was recognized as an issue at the start of the project. What was done is that we have built new areas for them to roost and nest on the new structure at the elevation that they prefer.
We need to start encouraging them to take up their new residences and this will be an interesting exercise.
Chair Randolph asked if there was anyone wishing to speak on this item. He did not receive any speakers so he asked for a motion to close the public hearing.
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Vice Chair Halsted. The motion passed by a voice vote.
Commissioner McGrath commented: Sometimes if you pay attention to what nature is doing you inadvertently learn some things to how you should go about replicating it such as what happened with the creation of the marsh habitat around the toll plazas.
Mr. Max Delaney gave the staff recommendation as follows: The staff recommends that you approve Caltrans’ proposal to construct a temporary pile-supported access trestle extending into the Bay from Yorba Buena Island, covering up to 7,000 square feet of Bay surface area, a temporary pile-supported trestle extending into the Bay from the Oakland side, covering up to 96,000 square feet of Bay surface area and the placement of up to 2,540 temporary support piles in the Bay to support both the temporary trestles and for work along the bridge to facilitate removal of portions of the superstructure and to stabilize portions of the remaining bridge as the structure is taken down piece by piece.
In addition to the extensive list of mitigation requirements and special conditions that are already contained in the permit to minimize impacts to the Bay, the staff recommendation has included a number of new conditions, including measures that ensure pile driving and other in-water activities will not adversely impact listed or special-status fish or wildlife within the vicinity of the site, measures to ensure that dismantling activities minimize impacts to water quality in the Bay, measures requiring annual monitoring of Eel Grass from the vicinity of the site and special conditions which require that prior to commencing work Caltrans submits final copies of the amended biological opinion from NOAA National Marine and Fisheries Service and the amended incidental take permit from the California Department of Fish and Game.
The staff believes that this project as conditioned is consistent with the Commission’s laws and policies and should be approved.
Commissioner Halsted commented: Some students from Berkeley proposed that we try to save the old bridge. This was an impossible thing to do for many reasons mentioned by Caltrans and others.
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez move approval of the staff recommendation, seconded by Commissioner Halsted. A roll call vote was taken.
VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 19-0-0 with Commissioner Addiego, Apodaca, Carrillo, Gilmore, Chiu, Kato, Gibbs, Pine, Jordan Hallinan, McGrath, Moy, Nelson, Sartipi, Sears, Vasquez, Vierra, Wagenknecht, Vice-Chair Halsted and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
9. Consideration of 2011 Annual Report. Chair Randolph stated: Item #9 is our consideration of approval of our 2011 Annual Report. Steve Goldbeck will present the staff report.
Acting Executive Director Goldbeck reported: Staff recommends that you adopt the 2011 Annual Report, authorize the staff to make any minor editorial revisions needed for accuracy and clarity and direct the staff to submit the Annual Report to the Governor, the Legislature and the public.
Commissioner Nelson commented: On the second to the final page of the report it struck me as remarkable that over the course of the Commission’s history we’ve seen almost 600 permits approved for a collective value of $18 billion and at the same time an increase in thousands of acres of Bay surface area, public access and 125 miles of public access trails.
The 2011 Annual Report was approved by a show of hands 21-0-0.
10. Public Hearing on Bay Plan Amendment No. 3-11 to the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan Regarding the Public Plazas and Open Water Basin Policies and Plan Implementation Requirements. Chair Randolph stated: Item #10 is a public hearing on the proposed Bay Plan amendment for the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan regarding the construction of a cruise ship terminal at Piers 27. As I mentioned, we will vote on this amendment at our March 1st meeting as well. Lindy Lowe will make the presentation.
Ms. Lowe presented the following: Item #10 is a public hearing for Bay Plan Amendment 3-11 requested by the Port of San Francisco to amend the Plan to locate the City of San Francisco’s primary cruise ship terminal at Pier 27 and allow the retention of the Pier 23 shed.
A number of issues are raised by this request that I have listed for you on the screen (Ms. Lowe went through a number of these issues with the use of visuals projected on the conference room screen).
A number of public benefits that would be required within five or eleven years was shown on the screen and discussed by Ms. Lowe. Deadlines and statutory timelines were also discussed.
It was determined that there is a need for a planning process around managing and maintaining the Port’s historic resources.
Mr. David Lewis of Save the Bay spoke: It’s important to take a big picture and look at what this is.
This Special Area Plan is actually the regulations for this part of the waterfront from BCDC that have been accepted by the Port.
What now is in the regulations is already a compromise since no stakeholders got everything they wanted.
And most of what’s happened in the ensuing decades is that those public benefits have been deferred generally or avoided or moved out of the areas in which they were promised.
What you’re being asked to do is now to accommodate this event when it’s going to prevent some of the important public benefits from happening.
The recommendation to take away what was already a compromised plaza at Pier 27 because the cruise ship uses don’t accommodate people having access to that plaza and the open water basin, and in exchange for that not create similar or better or even close public access and open water somewhere else, but the promise of a, “possible” open water basin and a, “possible” public benefits through a planning process is not okay.
It’s not okay to trade guaranteed required public benefits for a planning process that may or may not result in them later.
These public benefits must be requirements of the permit. The timeframe must be shortened and there have to be ironclad conditions in those permits that if those timeframes aren’t met because public planning processes, for example, the Fisherman’s Wharf area are many in the last several decades and have not resulted in improvements to Fisherman’s Wharf.
This is the opportunity for you to make it more possible to have a working Fisherman’s Wharf that all of us in the Bay area can be proud of.
Commissioner McGrath commented: You’re right. We’re struggling with this and geographically it’s complicated.
I’m trying to get at what exactly is acceptable and what is unacceptable.
Mr. Lewis replied: Well, the precedent that is unacceptable but better than nothing, is on the Exploratorium.
This project has forced the biggest changes in a particular place on the waterfront from what was required in the Special Area Plan.
The Exploratorium amendment set up a framework that the farther away you try to provide alternative benefits, the bigger they have to be and the sooner they have to happen.
It isn’t always possible to do this but this is the precedent that was set and provides us framework to follow.
Commissioner McGrath inquired: If not this plaza, what are you recommending?
Mr. Lewis replied: I’m recommending, and the City would need to take the lead on this, that the long deferred improvement of Fisherman’s Wharf, not just creating more open water there by fill removal, but improving the public plaza, the triangle parking lot, the centerpiece of that most visited spot on the waterfront, be improved.
Ms. Christine Maley-Grubl spoke: I just want to reiterate that the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District is very much in support of the cruise terminal.
We also support initiating a public process that designates Pier 43 waterfront as a new open water basin.
Mr. Brad Benson commented: In anticipation of the cruise terminal going in at Pier 27 the Port started two years ago about thinking about how the cruise operation would impact the promised public benefits in this area of the waterfront and initiated a series of stakeholder interviews and it’s a challenge.
The Port is committed to delivering these public benefits and we are spending $25 million on Brannan Street Wharf right now.
We are going to be asking voters in San Francisco to provide bond proceeds for parks. The funding to actualize these public benefits is a challenge in itself.
Ms. Ellen Johnck spoke: I think that the staff has done a very good job in identifying the p ublic benefits as a result of some of the trade outs that you’ve had to do.
Ms. Diane Oshima addressed the Commission: I am with the Port of San Francisco. The Port Commission and the BCDC Commission have a history of working together on the very issues that we’re going to be revisiting again in the Fisherman’s Wharf area.
The creation of a new modern cruise terminal is a diversification of use along the waterfront which will serve many people.
Pier 27 is a perfect location for creating a major new public open space.
Mr. Aaron Peskin spoke: This is a little difficult to get ones arms around because both items 10 and 11 are inextricably intertwined.
The real question is, how much is this costing the City of San Francisco general fund and the Port and can they afford to deliver these mitigations?
What you just heard from the representative from the Port is, they’re not sure, they’re not sure.
So, this is something that you as Commissioners have to wrestle with.
There is one concern that I need to put on the record; and that is, before you have voted on this SAP Amendment, before you have voted on the major permit, staff has mysteriously issued a demolition permit for Pier 27.
It is piecemealing under CEQA and I contend that it is not consistent with the abbreviated regional permit under which it was issued. I am pleased at the exchange between your staff and Port staff wherein Port staff has clarified that none of the historic resources at Pier 29 will be subject to that permit and that demolition.
MOTION: Commissioner Nelson moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Vice-Chair Halsted. The public hearing was closed by a voice vote.
Commissioner Nelson commented: You indicated that the grey area on the slide was the portion of Pier 27 that was to be removed; that’s going to be a public plaza, correct?
Ms. Lowe responded: Yes. That’s the area identified for the northeast wharf public plaza.
Commissioner Nelson asked: Can you give us a sense of how much of this area will be restricted when there’s a cruise ship in there and how frequent that’s going to be?
Ms. Lowe answered: The location that will be closed is about 50 feet wide, the apron width. It will be closed from the street all the way up.
This will be approximately half of the year focused during the cruise season, that is in the Fall for San Francisco.
It’s not just the days that the cruise ship is in berth, it’s also approximately 24 hours prior and 24 hours after.
Diane Oshima of the Port said, it’s approximately 40 to 80 calls that the Pier 27 is likely to receive, so it’s two to three days around those times.
Commissioner Nelson stated: I would like to make the staff aware of the fact that permit conditions are all about making sure that there is a tangible commitment and that we’re not trading committed benefits for an uncertain planning process.
Ms. Lowe commented: From a BCDC staff perspective, we still see great value in the northeast wharf plaza, however, we do see that value changing based on a cruise ship terminal and the cruise ships being berthed in what was once an open water basin.
Vice-Chair Halsted commented: I think we may have lost a bit but having the cruise ship there is really as interesting as many other things.
Ms. Lowe stated: Staff is definitely not recommending that the Commission give up on the northeast plaza and it’s actually part of the public benefits package. And its early delivery is part of the package.
Acting Executive Director Goldbeck commented: The staff did issue or allow the Port to proceed to remove the Pier 27 shed under a region-wide permit and that notice of the intent to proceed was provided to the Commission and the public and we followed your normal procedures in this matter.
The staff did not issue a permit. This is a permit that the Commission issued a region-wide permit for these kinds of activities. This was authorized in 2009.
The permit allows activities like this demolition of removing structures from the Bay. The applicant submits a notice of intention to proceed and the Commission staff determines whether it is consistent with the permit that you authorized.
And if it’s consistent we have to authorize them to proceed on it. So it is a ministerial action.
The issuance of the permit was done pursuant to CEQA. The Commission went through the environmental review process.
Chair Randolph stated: Before we adjourn I’d like to thank everyone for bearing with us today.
MOTION: Commissioner Nelson moved to adjourn, seconded by Commissioner Bates. The meeting was adjourned by a voice vote at 4:23 p.m.
11. Public Hearing on Bay Plan Amendment No. 4-11 to the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan regarding the Open Water Basin Policies and Plan Implementation Requirements to Accommodate the 34th America’s Cup Events. (Item #11 was taken ahead of Item #10) Chair Randolph stated: Item #11 is a public hearing on the proposed Bay Plan amendment for the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan to accommodate the America’s Cup races. We will also vote on this amendment at our March 1st meeting. Lindy Lowe will make the presentation.
Ms. Lowe presented: Bay Plan Amendment No. 4-11 is requested by the America’s Cup Event Authority and the Port of San Francisco to allow the temporary use of all four of the open water basins designated by the Special Area Plan to berth vessels associated with the America’s Cup Events.
The America’s Cup amendment is a request to use the open water basins for team racing yachts, the America’s Cup Super-Yacht Program and other vessels associated with the event.
Users of the open water basins will be required to sign agreements with the Event Authority and race management that will ensure the use of best practices, limit the number of people that may be onboard at one time and can provide limits around provisioning terms and times and other activities.
The use of all four of these open water basins during the 2013 event will temporarily reduce the benefits associated with the open water basins.
There will be no restrictions in the open water basins. The only area that will be closed to water oriented recreation users and others will be the race area during race events.
The staff has proposed that several findings be added to the Special Area Plan to make the amendment clearer.
The first is meant to identify the benefits associated with the America’s Cup Events and to ensure that special events uses be consistent with the public benefits required in the plan, be temporary and that the public benefits provided with the amendment are commensurate with the size and duration of the event.
Another finding was added to clarify the number and location of open water basins in the Special Area Plan and that number is integral to the public benefits package and that marinas and cruise ship terminals berthing are inconsistent uses within open water basins. Such proposals would require future amendments to the Special Area Plan and replacement open water basins to be identified.
A policy was added to the plan to require the removal of fill associated with the temporary use of the open water basins by January 2014. The policy also clarifies the area that may be used in the Rincon Point Open Water Basin.
The proposal includes several public benefits including the removal of the Pier 2 shed where Sinbad’s Restaurant is located, the removal of Pier ½ which is red-tagged and was once used for a parking lot, the removal of Pier 64 and the improvement of a small craft launch at Pier 52.
Commissioner Vasquez asked: Who is asking to remove Sinbad’s Restaurant?
Ms. Lowe responded: It’s part of the public benefits package for the America’s Cup Project. Currently in the Special Area Plan it’s identified to be removed as part of phase two of the Ferry Terminal Project.
This proposal would be an acceleration of the removal by two to three years. This was an idea that was proposed by the Port,with input from BCDC staff and stakeholders.
Based on Special Area Plan Policy, Pier 2, where Sinbad’s Restaurant is located and Pier ½ are two of the non-historic fill areas along the shoreline. The policy is to target areas that are non-historic for fill removal.
These are two sites that are non-historic already identified in the plan for removal.
Ms. Lowe continued her presentation: Pier 2 and Pier ½ are required to be removed as part of phase two of the Ferry Terminal project.
The owners of Sinbad’s Restaurant have requested that rather than removal of the Pier 2 Shed in 2013 and the deck in 2015 they have agreed to a requirement in the Special Area Plan for removal of both deck and shed by January 2015.
Additionally, in these discussions we have identified opportunities to provide public access and improve Bay views during the America’s Cup Events by removing the parking in front of the restaurant and placing a pop-up park at the site of the parking during the events and making some changes to the building to provide views through to the Bay.
Commissioner McGrath commented: I’d like to understand the rationale behind this. I’m interested in the rationale behind how this relates to the impacts of the America’s Cup.
Is it fill removal that’s hard to come by, is it public access area that’s hard to come by or is it view or is it all three?
Ms. Lowe answered: I wouldn’t call it fill removal that’s hard to come by because it’s the shed as opposed to the deck that would be removed in 2013.
But it is both of the other things, public access that’s hard to come by and non-historic shed removal that’s incredibly hard to come by along the San Francisco Waterfront.
Commissioner McGrath added: The removal of the restaurant and leaving the deck would allow public access to a much larger area in which to see some aspects of the race.
Ms. Lowe replied: Some aspects of the race as well as areas to get out of the crowds and view the Bay. However, it’s important to note that you cannot see the race course at this point from the Sinbad deck.
Chair Randolph suggested that questions or comments be held and that Ms. Lowe be allowed to go through her report.
Ms. Lowe continued: There will be impacts to water recreation due to increased crowds, the closure of the race course area and the use of portions of the open water basins for berthing vessels.
Part of the public benefits package includes improvements to Pier 52 small boat launch to make it safer and accessible for everyone by March 2013.
The final piece of the public benefits package for the America’s Cup is the removal of Pier 64 to improve views, Bay ecology and public health and safety.
In conclusion, the staff feels that the public benefits proposed as part of the America’s Cup Amendment are commensurate with the size and duration of the event and that completes the presentation.
Chair Randolph announced that there were a number of people wishing to speak on this item.
Mr. Stinson addressed the Commission: You all should have copies of our position before you. This accelerated schedule became known to us as a very unwelcomed surprise.
Most significant to our position is our recessed pier itself. Clearly, the facility will not provide a view of the race event.
The job loss to our employee would be devastating.
This wonderful event being a one-time only event should not displace a long-term tenant (39 years).
Our counter-proposal is that the building be removed more reasonably in January of 2015 which would seem much more fair to our operation.
Our counter-proposal is far more important with the goal of WETA which seems to be the most important issue here.
Should it be necessary, our parking area can be used during the event for crowd needs.
What we seek is a mitigated responsible solution that gives reasonable time to prepare ourselves for the future.
We feel a fully-integrated approach should be entertained and it is our hope this Commission will invite the staff to redraft a fair and reasonable proposal.
Commissioner Gibbs commented: Mr. Stinson, it’s fair to say that at least at this end of the table there are a number of Commissioners that are very puzzled by this proposal to remove your restaurant.
During the actual event, are you open to considering providing outdoor, casual or take-away dining opportunities if that could be worked out for the people that are going back and forth?
Mr. Stinson answered: As a matter of fact in several of the KFOG fireworks events we did just exactly that in years past. We’re certainly prepared to do something of that nature.
And it is in our planning ideology to do just that.
Commissioner Gibbs further inquired: Are you interested in staying beyond 2015 if possible?
Mr. Stinson replied: I would be interested in staying until eternity but, of course, that would certainly be, not reasonable on our part.
WETA is in my view a wonderful project which is a long-term permanent part of our Bay. When we get to that time period, I’m sure that we can find other means to give a good planning process and get one in place.
Mr. Bill Robberson addressed the Commission: I’m with the San Francisco Board Sailing Association and I’m the Board President.
We have been around since 1985, ’86, about 26 years for the sole purpose of protecting and enhancing access and promoting safety. We now also represent kite boarders.
We are essentially being shut out of San Francisco Bay with the America’s Cup Plan. Your role as a Commission is to not only protect public access on the shoreline but also the Bay as well.
We want to make sure that all the impacts of this event are looked at as a whole.
We have a few options that we would like to propose. One is truncating the course so that right at Crissy we can be out of reach at points towards Cavallo Point.
Treasure Island is a great option for mitigated access in 2013 especially.
You might also consider finishing the races earlier.
Ms. Maley-Grubl addressed the Commission: My name is Christine Maley-Grubl and I’m the new Executive Director for the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District.
We represent businesses and property owners at Fisherman’s Wharf whose purpose is to preserve and enhance its vast San Francisco waterfront landscape and multi-cultural heritage while integrating modern efficiencies to enrich the experience of visitors through marketing security, traffic and urban planning and emergency preparedness.
We are expressing our support of the Bay Plan Amendment recommendations to amend the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan to accommodate the America’s Cup Events for the temporary use of the open water basins.
I want to express our support for the use of Piers 19 through 27 open water basins for the new cruise ship terminal.
Mr. Paul McDonald addressed the Commission: I’m here today as a resident of San Francisco to lend my support to requests that the BCDC Amendment Special Area Plan to allow for dredging to create the temporary floating docks and here to support the America’s Cup.
Ms. Julie Smith commented: I’m here today to share my excitement about the America’s Cup.
I’d like to have your support for the event.
Mr. Patrick Whitmarsh spoke: I am from the San Francisco Board Sailing Association. We’re incredibly supportive of the America’s Cup and we’re happy to have it coming here.
However, we’re very concerned about the access issues at Crissy Field. We’d like the Board to consider Treasure Island as a possible alternative sailing spot for our kite boarding and wind surfing interests.
Mr. Paul Nixon commented: I think that there are all sorts of people who do participate in sports on the Bay who are particularly invisible.
I’m with Bay Access which is the human powered boat group and I’m an avid kayaker. We are in the process of building a water trail with the help of the Port and BCDC.
I’m in support of the long-term effects of this that will improve public access.
Mr. Tom Gandesbery addressed the Commission: I’m also a sailor and we’re enthused about this event.
We have some concerns though. We feel that the amendment proposed today is a little too early.
You are enabling the race to have impacts throughout the Bay and it’s hard to get a fix on the project when we consider the interaction of the City, the Event Authority, the Coast Guard and the National Parks Service all involved in this process.
We are very concerned about Crissy Field and that we’re going to be pushed out of there especially in 2013. We are proposing that the course be altered so that these large boats are not taking up the entire Crissy Field area.
The crowd control in this area is going to be crazy and getting to the water for the small boat community is going to be tough.
The water conditions for wind surfing at Treasure Island are comparable but the shoreline side is definitely down market from Crissy Field.
Ms. Ellen Johnck addressed the Commission: I am a 45 year resident of San Francisco. My perspective here today is to support your staff report and the amendments to the Special Area Plan.
I was on the Port Committee and the Executive Director asked a group of us in the aftermath of Pier 30/32 to be on a committee to come up with our next vision for the revitalization of the Port in the form of the next cruise terminal and we selected Pier 27.
The America’s Cup is the only world recreation event that’s being held in 2013. This is a phenomenal opportunity to realize the revitalization of the Port.
I urge you to support the amendments on the open water basins and you’ve done a good job of analyzing the trade outs involved.
Ms. Jane Connors spoke: I am the Senior Property Manager for the Ferry Building.
The Ferry Building supports the America’s Cup activity on the Bay.
Pier ½ was red tagged in July of 2008 and to date the Port has yet to provide equal replacement parking to EOP.
Equity Office Properties are the people that invested in the restoration of the Ferry Building and manage the Ferry Building.
We continue to maintain a strong interest in the potential restoration Pier ½ to provide needed parking for our tenants and patrons particularly those who require ADA accessible parking.
We encourage the Commissioners to address the potential environmental effects of removing Pier ½ before adopting this as part of the changes to the open water basin policies.
Mr. Reuben Hechanova spoke: I’m president of the Dolphin Club and I want to confirm the condition by which the category of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors expressed its opposition to having the on-water video screen in Aquatic Park.
I want to categorically say that the Dolphin Club, a 130 year old organization with over a century of activity on Aquatic Park, is a historic and community resource.
The category of enhancement of the Bay view is imperative. We feel that no interruption of water recreational activities that have been undertaken for all these years be suppressed by the activities of the America’s Cup.
I implore you to pay attention to the needs of those Bay users that have been here before and will be here after the America’s Cup.
Mr. Dave Osgood spoke: I’m with the Rincon Center Tenants Association.
I want to express some public concern about the actions you’re about to take today.
I want to make it clear that your plans still call for changes just a block south of the Ferry Building that’s going to block views and block access. This is totally contrary to your primary agenda.
I would urge you to keep the Pier 14 area open and the Pier 23 removal requirement as well.
Mr. Keir Beadling addressed the Commission: I’m a San Francisco Bay sports entrepreneur and recovering litigator.
I wanted to say a few words in support of what the America’s Cup is doing today and will be doing for years and years to come to the benefit of the Bay area.
I understand the perspective of what an incredibly valuable asset the Bay in particular is and being near the Bay from a commercial point of view.
I am quite confident that the Event Authority has done an incredibly thoughtful job of taking into consideration all these interests. There’s no question that there will be some inconveniences but the upside of the event far outweighs any kind of inconvenience from my point of view.
Mr. Brad Benson addressed the Commission: I am representing the Port Director, Monique Moyer and Port staff.
With respect to the amendment before you now pertaining to the four open water basins, the public process has worked pretty well in this case.
As the Port Authority, we are here to listen to the various options your staff might contemplate in the Sinbad’s Restaurant case and figure out various solutions.
Commissioner McGrath spoke: I’m going to talk about the letter from the Port to BCDC.
One of the concerns I have is an understanding of the actual impact of the Coast Guard.
And the other concern is the commitment to mitigation.
The letter indicates that the Coast Guard is proposing to preserve water access for sail boarders. I think the Port and the Coast Guard understand the concerns and are trying to address them.
When I reviewed the map submitted to us it became clear to me that no wind surfer or kite boarder could actually reach across the area because of the nature of the course that people take when they leave Crissy Field.
I hope you would take into account what you’re learning today and our concerns that what you’re trying to do isn’t yet accomplished. I would ask that you put your thinking cap back on.
The second concern has to do with the statement made on page three. It says in essence, that in addition to the kayaking improvements, the City is working with a number of agencies on possibly providing sail board storage facilities near Crissy Field and/or improve board sailing access at Treasure Island.
I find that a little wishy-washy. What I’m looking for from the City is a commitment of mitigation that’s commensurate with impact.
Mr. Benson responded: With respect to the issue of wind surfers and sail boarders, we have heard the testimony today and we’re absorbing the conflicts between the proposed race area and the Coast Guard is in a public process now with the special local regulation and I think there are three planned public meetings where they intend to gain feedback from all the constituencies about how the planned use of the Bay impacts other peoples’ use of the Bay.
Commissioner McGrath replied: But those are scheduled after the proposed vote on the Bay Plan Amendment. So, if that occurs, we don’t get to look at the whole of the project and the whole of the impacts and the whole of the mitigation measures.
Mr. Benson responded: That’s a good point. At the Port level, we don’t feel that we have jurisdiction over the decision about where the race course is.
The federal process is trailing this process. We want to urge you to stick to the schedule that you have before you today because there are parts of the projects that need to start now.
I do have confidence that people are hearing the concern about access to the Golden Gate Bridge for wind surfers and sail boarders. I have confidence that that issue is going to get resolved.
With respect to the other access areas, storage facilities and launch points, including Treasure Island, I would prefer to defer to the America’s Cup Project Director, Mike Martin who has been working more directly with the constituencies on that point.
Mr. Martin spoke: We are fully committed to finding answers to those issues both at the Crissy Field end then providing facilities that would allow it to be still usable even despite all the traffic in that area.
And we would also be working with Treasure Island to find that launch and figure out how to make that work.
We are looking forward to further meetings and understanding how best to move forward.
Commissioner McGrath replied: I would love to see a firmer commitment than, “possibly”.
Commissioner Nelson commented: Our responsibility is to ensure maximum feasible public access consistent with the project. We have to make findings in order to issue a permit so that really is a key issue for.
I want to suggest to the Port, the Coast Guard, to the America’s Cup and to our own staff, urging you all to put your thinking caps on so we can address what is pretty clearly a significant direct impact of this project and that is reducing access of board sailors to a very important part of the Bay.
Commissioner Jordan Halinan commented: Mr. Benson, you said that you don’t have jurisdiction over where the race course is going to be and that the race management has jurisdiction?
Mr. Benson replied: Race management for this portion of the project, the project sponsor proposing where they want to use the Bay for racing purposes --
Commissioner Jordan Halinan further inquired: But who has jurisdiction over the Bay and how it’s used?
Mr. Benson answered: The Coast Guard.
Commissioner Jordan Halinan continued: So, it’s the Coast Guard actually that we’re waiting to hear from. I just wanted to clarify who actually has jurisdiction over how the Bay water is used.
Mr. Aaron Peskin addressed the Commission: I’m a local resident and former eight year member of this body in my capacity then as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
I am generally supportive of the SAP Amendment but I would like to reiterate that the devil is in the details.
The America’s Cup Event Authority has removed the large video screen from their proposal and it would be nice if the January 26th letter to this body from the Port reflected that.
In respect to long-term marina leases particularly at Brannan Street Wharf, I think the position that you must take in light of the terms of the Host and Venue Agreement between the City and the Event Authority at Section 7.8 which clearly says that when they do dredging for short-term America’s Cup-related vendor leases, it will trigger an exclusive negotiating agreement between the City and the Event Authority for the long term; so you cannot piecemeal those.
You have to realize that once you approve this SAP for a short-term venue, you are actually inviting, and you do under CEQA or CEQA equivalency, have to evaluate the long-term impacts.
We want the America’s Cup to leave a legacy of long-term public benefits that are consistent with the McAteer-Petris Act.
MOTION: Commissioner Wagenknecht moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Commissioner Vasquez. The public hearing was closed by a voice vote.
Commissioner Vasquez commented: Is this the time to talk about an extension for Sinbad’s Restaurant until 2015?
Chair Randolph answered: Sure.
Commissioner Vasquez continued: I’d like a little explanation about WETA and what that means to the Sinbad facility.
Ms. Lowe replied: Well, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority is not here today but the proposed plans for the expanded Ferry Terminal project, also known as Phase 2 depends upon the removal of both the restaurant and the Pier that it sits on. Phase 2 cannot occur prior to 2015 partly due to the fact that the America’s Cup is going to be using the Bay and much of the San Francisco waterfront in the interim.
I want to reiterate that the Port staff and I and the Stinsons had several meetings and many discussions to come up with an alternative solution to the accelerated schedule.
I also want to make it clear that the current Special Area Plan requires the removal of both Pier ½ and Pier 2 in phase two of the Ferry Terminal Project.
The Port may have obligations to the tenants at Sinbad’s and could choose to relocate the restaurant to another location along the waterfront; I don’t know the details of those negotiations. And they may have obligations to the Ferry Building operators with respect to parking at Pier ½, and again, those are the Port’s negotiations with their tenants. It was originally the Port that proposed both Pier ½ and the Sinbad’s removal as part of the public benefits package for this project.
BCDC primary issues are removing non-historic fill to improve Bay access, Bay views and Bay ecology and that’s why BCDC staff supported these proposals in the 2000 amendment and as part of the public benefits package for the America’s Cup.
If we delay the acceleration to 2015 and we work with the owners of Sinbad’s to increase Bay views through their restaurant as well as allow them be able to provide take-away food and provide a parklet that would happen outside of their restaurant in the area where there is currently parking; those are the ideas that we came up with in terms a mediated, moderated solution, a compromise position.
If the Pier 2 shed and deck where Sinbad’s is currently located is not removed as required by the current Special Area Plan, then there would need to be an amendment to the plan and new removal sites located and identified by the Port to compensate for the same amount of fill. Phase 2 of the ferry terminal project will also have to be redesigned.
Commissioner Hicks commented: You mentioned the word, historic, several times. I’m just wondering, what is considered, historic, and what isn’t?
Ms. Lowe replied: There is a historic district that was designated in 2005, from Fisherman’s Wharf to China Basin. These two sites have no historic resources located on them.
Commissioner Hicks continued: I guess I’m more used to that, historic, is things that are 50 years or older and why wouldn’t the shed on the pier be historic?
Ms. Lowe answered: Well, that shed has not been there for 50 years and it was built over time in pieces over the last 40 years.
Commissioner Gibbs commented: I want to talk about the long term because I’m unclear whether or not it’s the WETA that is causing Sinbad’s to have to at this time leave in 2015 or it’s the Special Area Plan that designates it as a non-historic use that’s causing it to have to be removed in 2015.
Ms. Lowe responded: The Special Area Plan Amendments that were approved in 2000 required non-historic fill removals at a variety of locations and Pier ½ and Pier 2 are two of those locations.
Commissioner McGrath added: Is the fill for which this removal required part of the Plan in general or is it mitigation for fill that’s already been placed and we’re exercising an IOU?
Commissioner Gibbs stated: My question is even simpler Commissioner McGrath. Are they asking Sinbad’s to move in 2015 because of this Special Area Plan or because something else is going to be located specifically, some kind of facility for WETA?
Ms. Lowe answered: It’s both. The 2000 Special Area Plan Amendment was a balancing act. Prior to the 2000 Amendment there was the 50 percent fill removal rule requirement and the 2000 Amendment affects an area from Pier 35 to China Basin.
Prior to the 2000 amendment you would either have to remove half of the pier that you were developing or you would have to put public access on half of that pier if you wanted to propose a project on a pier.
In addition to that, the types of uses that were permitted on that pier were very limited, water-related uses only.
The other half of the 2000 Amendment was a package of public benefits that included fill removal at Pier 2, Pier ½, Pier 36 and at other non-historic sites.
This fill removal is mitigation for not requiring fill removal on a project by project basis. For example, the Exploratorium project would not have been possible without the 2000 amendment to the Special Area Plan. First, the use would not have been permitted on the Piers and second, the project proponents would have to have removed half of the pier in order to develop the other half. There would not have been enough Pier left for them to develop a viable project. So instead, the fill removal was identified at other sites, such as Pier ½, Pier 2, Pier 34, Pier 36, Pier 24 and other sites that would open up Bay views, create open water basins and bring the Bay closer to the public. In most cases, sites were chosen due to a lack of historic resources and poor condition of the piers and sheds and the opportunity presented by removing them.
Commissioner Gibbs further enquired: Let’s say that there was a group of Commissioners who thought that it was a good use of the waterfront to have waterfront dining, waterfront restaurants such as Sinbad’s. And specifically we thought where Sinbad’s was, was a good use of the pier; if we were interested and able to change that plan to provide for Sinbad’s to stay, would they still have to go because of WETA?
Ms. Lowe replied: In its current configuration, yes. It’s both. It would require a plan amendment and whoever is coming forward with that proposal would have to find commensurate fill removal and it would be inconsistent with WETA’s current plans.
Commissioner Gibbs asked: Because WETA plans to locate a facility right there? Is that it?
Ms. Lowe answered: Yes.
Commissioner Gibbs continued: Okay, now let’s turn to the short term. When people come to an event like this, one of the things that they are looking for is the opportunity to have waterfront dining. I think we need to have more of it rather than less and I can’t really imagine why we’re trying to move Sinbad’s from that location at this time.
It seems like they are willing to work with the Commission. Are those avenues open and how do we go about finding a solution such as the one that the owner has proposed?
Ms. Lowe responded: Well, we’ve already started to have that discussion and staff was the one to propose that alternative to the Stinson brothers last week.
Chair Randolph interjected: If the Commission wants the staff to pursue this compromise approach with Mr. Stinson, we’ll be happy to do that. We’re looking for direction at this meeting as to how you would like us to handle the matter.
Commissioner Gibbs added: Well, at the appropriate time I’d like to suggest that if this is the appropriate time I’m suggesting that if they need to wait for later, let’s do so.
Chair Randolph added: I think there is a substantial sentiment within the Commission that the staff work with the owners to find an accommodation on this.
Ms. Lowe added: And the Port. The Port owns the property and they are a tenant of the Port.
Commissioner Vasquez commented: Here again, if you’re coming to us to make a decision whether it should stay or not, then I think we do have a say in it. If not, why is it even before us?
Ms. Lowe replied: The question in front of the Commission, the proposal is the acceleration, not the removal. The current Special Area Plan requires that it be removed as part of Phase 2 of the ferry terminal project.
Commissioner Vasquez added: And this is a public hearing to see if the Commission could take a different approach, could it not?
Ms. Lowe responded: There would have to be fill removal in another location because the amendment in front of you doesn’t contemplate the retention of Pier 2 and the shed, staff did not initiate that amendment.
We would have to open a new amendment process and folks who care about the removal of Pier 2 and the Pier 2 Shed, stakeholders who care about fill removal, Bay views and public access would have to know about it and have the opportunity to attend and provide public comment.
So, the question is whether or not the shed removal is accelerated not whether or not it’s removed at all. That’s already in the plan and we’re not proposing to amend that. We haven’t initiated a public process about that. It would have to be a completely different public process.
Commissioner Vasquez added: I think the owners understand that 2015 is out there.
Acting Director Goldbeck commented: The staff has heard what the Commission’s will is and we will work with the Stinsons to work out a compromise.
Chair Randolph agreed: It’s the sense of the Commission that we direct the staff to work with the Stinsons and the Port to come up with a resolution along the lines that are being discussed today.
Commissioner Chiu commented: Folks on this side of the room agree with finding a compromise with staff working out a way to maximize Bay access.
If you are delaying the acceleration and going with the January 2015 date, does that trigger any additional requirement of more public benefits that we have to find elsewhere or as long as we have a date certain we’re actually in compliance.
Ms. Lowe replied: We will have the date certain which is an improvement over the current plan. In addition, the America’s Cup Event Authority will be paying for the removal and that is a long-term legacy benefit for the San Francisco Waterfront.
Whether it be in 2013 or in 2015 you may find that if this is not accelerated there may be folks who want to see more done or more certainty around something.
As staff, we think that the public benefits package with the Event Authority paying for the removal in 2015 is a benefit.
Commissioner Wagenknecht commented: I hear the groundswell coming for maintaining the possibility of Sinbad’s to 2015.
We would still have the availability of the current proposal of the accelerated.
Vice-Chair Halsted commented: I want to make sure that the America’s Cup has a real commitment to this even if it takes place in 2015.
Mr. Benson from the Port spoke: By terms of the DDA, the Disposition and Development Agreements that the Port Commission approved, the Event Authority is obligated to pay for the removal whether it would be in March of 2013 or in January of 2015.
Commissioner McGrath spoke: I like the fact that pedestrian access is enhanced and there are legacies that will be left.
Many water users will continue to have access even though they will be subject to congestion and other inconveniences.
There are other impacts that have not yet been addressed. Under the current race course plan two groups of long term users would be closed out.
In addition to that direct closure, there will be closure of the parking in public parks at various locations and this would provide benefits to the Event Authority for their own private uses, for the staging activities.
And so you’re taking public dedicated areas that were dedicated for public access by all due process and preserved in the Bay Plan and you’re saying, for two seasons we’re going to turn these over to private parties.
That gives me real heartburn, and then the use of other parts of those already established recreational areas for generating private revenues.
We need to find that the long-term legacies make up for the short-term impacts in all arenas, not just most of them.
If work is done to show that there will be access at Crissy subject to congestion and that’s one kind of impact.
If there’s effectively no access at Crissy then there’s a lot more impact. What I’ve heard from the wind surfing community is that right now the City has been very good to the community in letting some kind of access go on down at Treasure Island but the parking lot is closed and there are about 400 to 500 people that sail out of Crissy. Something has to be done in terms of a game changer or you’ve really got a pretty significant loss of access.
I can’t imagine voting for this unless I see a clear commitment to legacy projects that are commensurate and lead to a net benefit.
Ms. Lowe replied: Consideration needs to be taken regarding the timing of the Special Area Plan amendment versus the permit. In order to hear the permit, you must vote for the Special Area Plan amendment. The amendment needs to be in place or the permit is inconsistent with your policies and regulations. The amendment is scheduled for March 1st and the vote on certain components of the project is on March 1st as well. The vote for the larger America’s Cup proposal will be held in May or June. The vote on the amendment is only to allow the use of the four open water basins and is not related to the issues that people are concerned about at Crissy Field.
You will hear the Special Area Plan Amendment before you hear the permit.
We looked at the issue of commensurate public benefits with the project as only the Special Area Plan Amendment issues, which are the use of the open water basins, not the whole project.
The permit conditions for the project take the whole project into account in a much more comprehensive way than we do.
The Special Area Plan has to be amended before the permit is acted upon. The part of the Special Area Plan that you are amending is the permission or the allowance for using the open water basins.
And if the racecourse is changed those open water basins would still be used regardless of where the racecourse is.
Commissioner Bates added: Your explanation was very helpful. I am concerned also with the private parties and the public benefits that accrue to those activities.
I wonder what impact will be of only three teams racing in this America’s Cup Event?
Mr. John Craig of the race management spoke: I am the principal race officer for the America’s Cup and represent the America’s Cup race management group.
There is a significant misunderstanding that there are only three teams. That is not the case. There are still several dates that have to be reached.
We have eight teams that have made all their payments to date. There are three, what we will call big teams, that are already building the 72 foot boats.
July 1st is the date where all the entry fees have to be paid and the bonds have to be put up.
Chair Randolph asked: With regards to Crissy Field being closed for two seasons, how many actual racing days are we talking about when access would not be available?
Mr. Craig answered: Racing days in 2012 would be approximately 12 racing days and then in 2013 there would be up to 45 days.
Chair Randolph added: We are not actually looking at mitigating the effects of two complete seasons of closure of Crissy Field but mitigating around pre-planned selective closures that would have to be planned around, but not a continuous lack of access.
Commissioner Nelson commented: It’s important for us to understand which potential impacts are associated with which decisions.
The Coast Guard decision is where the Commission’s decision would lie with regard to the course itself.
Ms. Yeung commented: The Coast Guard just recently issued their draft special local regulations and there’s about a 90 day comment period.
We’ll be working with them throughout so that when they submit a consistency determination they’ve incorporated all the comments and concerns of the Commission and of the staff so that we can issue a concurrence letter that says that it is consistent with our Coastal Zone Management Program.
Commissioner Gilmore commented: We have to vote on the Special Area Plans that include the use of the basins. At some point in time in the future we will be voting on permits for the entire project.
At the time we vote on permits for the entire project will we know then what the Coast Guard has decided about the racecourse?
Ms. Yeung responded: We’re hoping to time it so that we do know what is going on with the Coast Guard rulemaking on the racecourse so that the major permit for the entire event occurs after that.
Vice-Chair Halsted commented: I want to make sure that we responded to the issue of the Brannan Street Wharf and dredging because I haven’t heard a response to that.
Ms. Lowe answered: The Host and Venue Agreement is a tricky animal so I might turn to Mike Martin to describe exactly what happens when dredging occurs in Brannan Street Wharf Open Water Basin.
I will try to characterize it as, dredging triggers the right to negotiate for a long-term marina. It doesn’t accrue any permits or environmental reviews, it just is the right to negotiate.
Mr. Benson added: Lindy is correct. Unlike the upland rights that the Event Authority earns for investing in our piers, we’re entering into a disposition and development agreement that will lead to leases after environmental review or the sale of sea wall lot 330.
It would be the obligation of the Event Authority or their nominee to get all of the permits required for the marinas during that exclusive negotiating period before they would have a marina lease right in Brannan or around Pier 54.
Ms. Lowe added: In addition, in the proposed amendment there is a finding that we proposed to add to the Special Area Plan Amendment to make it clear that marinas are non-conforming uses in open water basins and that if one were to be proposed prior to it being able to be approved in that location, another open water basin within the area from Pier 35 to China Basin would have to be found.
12. New Business. No new business was discussed.
13. Old Business. No old business was discussed.
14. Adjournment. Chair Randolph stated: Before we adjourn I’d like to thank everyone for bearing with us today. Upon motion by Commissioner Nelson seconded by Commissioner Bates the meeting adjourned at 4:23 p.m.
Acting Executive Director
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of March 1, 2012
R. Zachary Wasserman, Chair