Minutes of October 4, 2012 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Wasserman at the Ferry Building, Port of San Francisco Board Room, Second Floor, San Francisco, California at 1:12 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Chair Wasserman, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Apodaca (represented by Alternate Fergusson), Bates, Chan (represented by Alternate Gilmore), Gibbs, Gioia, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks, McGrath, Moy, Pemberton (Represented by Alternate Kato), Pine, Randolph, Sartipi (represented by Alternate McElhinney), Sears, and Techel. Assembly Representative Lisa Feldstein was also present.
Chair Wasserman announced that a quorum was present.
Not present were: Association of Bay Area Governments (Addiego), Sonoma County (Brown), San Francisco County (Chiu), Santa Clara County (Cortese), Department of Finance (Finn), Senate Rules Committee (Nelson), Solano County (Spering), Secretary for Resources (Vierra), and Solano County (Wagenknecht) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Ziegler).
3. Public Comment Period. Chair Wasserman called for public comment on subjects that were not on the agenda. Comments would be restricted to three minutes per speaker.
Mr. Jim Beeby addressed the Commission. He spoke to the Board regarding Pete’s Harbor in Redwood City. It is in the process of being purchased to form the Marina Shores Village Project.
Boat owners of the Marina were informed that the sale would happen soon and that everyone in the marina would have to vacate by the end of the year.
Approximately 100 boats in the marina are occupied by extended stay and live-aboard owners. About 150 to 200 people would be displaced by this project.
Pete’s Harbor is unusual in that we don’t lock our docks. So the public is able to walk out and look at the boats and watch the marine life which is abundant there.
Mr. Beeby stated that he would like the stay on live-aboards and extended-stay in the Bay area temporarily relaxed. This would be a temporary relaxation on the ten percent restriction that would end as soon as the America’s Cup Event is over.
With this additional amount of time Mr. Beeby was confident that the displaced people from Pete’s Harbor would be able to find something new.
Chair Wasserman asked the second speaker, Mr. Buckley Stone to approach the podium so that they could engage in some dialogue.
Mr. Buckley Stone a resident of Redwood City spoke. Mr.Stone stated that he had been a resident and homeowner in Redwood City for 20 years.
He lives on his 50 foot sailboat. He has been unable to relocate his boat to the marinas he has contacted because they would be fined by BCDC for exceeding the ten percent live-aboard rule.
He requested that the evicted live-aboards at Pete’s Harbor be allowed by BCDC to live at a marina that is already at the ten percent limit.
Chair Wasserman noted that this item was not slated for action therefore no action could be taken. He asked Mr. Brad McCrea, BCDC’s Regulatory Program Director, to comment on the subject.
Mr. McCrea stated that this issue came up at the staff level a couple of months ago. BCDC has been working with the developer of Pete’s Harbor.
This is a supply and demand problem. The ten percent limit is allowed under the Bay Plan and marinas around the Bay are already there.
The Bay Plan does allow for an excess of ten percent if marina owners or operators can substantiate or demonstrate that there is a public safety need. This is done on a case-by-case basis and no such request has been made in at least a decade or longer.
Guests or boaters and cruisers that are passing through and staying in a marina are not live-aboards.
There is no definition regarding the time of stay by this category of marina occupant.
Under our rules, a live-aboard is not someone who has another residence.
To change the Bay Plan in a holistic way rather than on a case-by-case basis would take a process and this wouldn’t be able to help the folks at Pete’s Harbor.
4.Approval of Minutes of the July 19 , 2012 Meeting. Chair Wasserman entertained a motion and a second to adopt the minutes of July 19, 2012.
MOTION: Commissioner Sears moved, seconded by Commissioner Randolph to approve the July 19, 2012 Minutes. The motion carried by voice vote with five abstentions, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Fergusson, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks, and Kato abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Wasserman reported on the following:
a. E. Jack Schoop. I am saddened to report that Jack Schoop, who was BCDC’s first Chief Planner and helped to create the original Bay Plan, recently passed away. We will adjourn tody’s meeting in his memory.
b. JPC Meeting. The Joint Policy Committee held a meeting on September 21st where they considered and adopted the JPC Executive Committee’s recommendation that the JPC take a leadership role to facilitate preparation of a regional sea level rise adaptation strategy as requested by BCDC. A copy of the JPC staff report and recommendation was provided in your folders. BCDC and ABAG staff will take the lead on working closely with local governments and other stakeholders to prepare the strategy.
I did participate in a two-day conference of regional climate adaptation organizations, representatives from the JPC, from LARC in Los Angeles, from San Diego and from Sacramento participated to share best practices, to start a collaborative effort and to work with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and other state agencies on climate adaptation.
We decided we would call ourselves ARCCA, Alliance for Regional Collaborative Climate Adaptation. We will have information on this in your next packet.
c. Next BCDC Meeting. We will not need to hold our October 18th meeting. Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on November 1st. At that meeting, which will be held at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, we expect to take up the following matters:
(1) Commissioner John Gioia will brief us on the conservation and development of the Contra Costa County shoreline. This is the beginning of a process that we’re going to go through at most meetings.
(2) We will hold a briefing on the JPC and the regional strategy for sea level rise adaptation.
(3) We will hold a briefing on the Bay Sand Transport.
d. Ex-Parte Communications. Now is the time to report any ex-parte communications in case you have not filed that in writing.
I have a couple to report. I did have a discussion this week with a managing partner of a law firm in Oakland who is under contract to buy the old Rusty Pelican in Oakland and had some proposals.
Not truly a disclosure but certainly a pleasurable report, Commissioner McGrath and I had lunch with Silvia McLaughlin and enjoyed hearing her reports of the history of this organization and of Save The Bay.
Commissioner McGrath added: Her age is 95 and I might add, the State Parks Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of Citizens for Eastshore State Park, to rename the park McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.
Commissioner Kato reported that she had had discussions with representatives from Pete’s Harbor on the proposed development.
Commissioner Gibbs reported that he had met with John Coleman and two of his associates who have plans for a senior care facility along the Alameda waterfront.
Commissioner McGrath reported that he had received a phone call from David Lewis about one of today’s agenda items, the planning process. He urged that it go forward and also urged that we think about how we can make it more efficient and effective.
Vice-Chair Halsted stated that some time ago she had a conversation with one person from the developer that Commissioner Gibbs had reported on.
Chair Wasserman added that he has been talking to Executive Director Goldzband about ways to improve the BCDC process. We think it makes sense to form some working groups on particular issues.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Goldzband stated: As this is my first meeting as BCDC’s Executive Director, I want to take a bit of time to thank the Commissioners publicly for entrusting me with BCDC’s stewardship. I can promise you that I shall always do my best to earn your continued support, and to ensure that BCDC retains and expands its leadership position in the Bay Area.
I’ve sat down with a number of you and I look forward to listening to each of you and learning of your thoughts about BCDC. I’ve been on the job for almost seven weeks and I want to let you know of a few observations.
First, everybody with whom I’ve spoken about BCDC, whether that person sits on the Commission or works with us, says wonderful things about our staff – that they are technically superb, that they are nice and niceness is an undervalued asset, and that we can place great trust in their abilities. Everybody agrees that our staff is driven to conserve and develop our Bay’s resources. And each individual has remarked that the work BCDC has accomplished during the past couple of years is groundbreaking. And I agree with all of those observations.
Second, the past six weeks has been exhilarating. I have worked closely with my new colleagues on issues as diverse as developing an emergency permit to ensure that a levee could retain its integrity despite boring underneath the Bay, resolving the first part of a long term enforcement challenge and developing the work plan for the Joint Policy Committee program on adapting to sea level rise. I also am working with our staff to ensure that our new offices and replacement computers will enable us to work smarter and that we organize ourselves in a way that promotes creativity and staff development.
Third, from my perspective of having listened to many of you during the past few years, I think that BCDC commissioners are severely undervalued. The elected officials, senior government staff and community leaders who sit on BCDC have the ability to teach each other, our stakeholders and our staff a tremendous amount. That is why Chair Wasserman has let the Commission know of his intention to form working groups of commissioners on specific issues.
In addition, I am asking each county supervisor on BCDC to make a presentation to the commission centering on his or her county’s waterfront and its challenges so that we can learn from each other in ways that we haven’t yet tried. As you heard, John Gioia has volunteered to be the first presenter during our next Commission meeting. I want to thank him personally for allowing us to use him as a guinea pig. We expect that John’s presentation will prompt discussion among all of us. I’m hoping that we’ll find commonalities, and we’ll find differences and that we’ll be able to learn from them.
We also will be inviting our external partners such as the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, Caltrans and others to discuss with us their challenges and how we can work together to solve them. Most important, these events will not be briefings, they will be discussions, and we will create ways to capture the key points and turn them into ways to make the Bay better.
Finally, our biggest challenge is to improve the way we work, strengthen what’s working well, develop experiments to change things that don’t work as well as we want them to and increase our effectiveness. Implementing a meaningful strategic planning process will enable us to do just that. We will develop a new level of clarity both organizationally and for each of us who work at BCDC and sit on the Commission.
With that being said, I need and I want to hear from you. Not just today or during a Commission meeting. Any time you need something, any time you have a question, any time you want to air a concern, please call me or e-mail me. And be warned – I’ll be contacting you!
With that being said, I would like to divide my report into three areas: Administration and Budget; External Policies and Issues; and, third, whatever doesn’t fit.
First, under Administration and Budget, I’ll leave discussion of our proposed strategic planning process to later in this meeting and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we could move forward on that issue. There are three issues that I want to make sure that you are aware of:
a. The Move. As you know, the BCDC staff office is scheduled to move to the relatively new state building in the San Francisco Civic Center in early 2013. While we all shall miss our amazing views of the Bay and its environs, I can say without a doubt that the workspace at the new office, in a word, is amazing, and in many respects, has advantages over our current workspace. Sharon Louie is leading the staff work in this effort as we partner with the Department of General Services and we are forming a staff team to assist her. Our projected move-in date is March 11, 2013, the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. With regard to the Commission’s decision last year to co-locate with MTC, the Air Board and ABAG in the refurbished office building at 390 Main, I have told the Executive Directors of those organizations personally that we both hope to and anticipate joining them as soon as possible after they move, which likely will occur sometime in the 2014-2015 time frame. The building requires a significant amount of retrofitting.
b. Budget. We have no surprises to report during the first quarter of our fiscal year. While we will need to move some funding to accommodate our strategic planning process should the Commission approve today’s staff recommendation, all else appears to be on target. However, we are cognizant that the success or failure of next month’s ballot initiatives could affect the formation of the Governor’s 2013-2014 budget. Be assured that I shall keep the Commission fully informed of any changes to the budget.
c. Personnel. On September 7th, we mailed to you a staff recommendation to hire Lawlun Leung as a permanent, full-time Associate Management Analyst/Human Resources Liaison to replace Sharon. I did not receive any comments from any Commissioners; therefore I appointed Mr. Leung and he started last week. He comes to us with great experience and most recently he has worked at the State Compensation Insurance Fund. We usually ask for your permission but we did not want to wait.
Max Delaney, one of our seasoned permit analysts, has accepted a job with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. We have found an excellent replacement for Max in Ellie Knecht, who graduated from Cal with a B.A. in Art History and holds a Master of Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara. Ellie has worked for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund and the California Technology Assessment Forum. Most recently, Ellie worked for the Trust for Public Land at which she helped deliver a suite of conservation planning services in support of local efforts to balance open space protection with development. Unless I hear from you in any way, we intend to hire Ellie to join our team.
Third, Chloe Angelis, a third year law student at Hastings. has joined our legal team as an intern. Chloe is the editor-in-chief of the West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy and has worked as a law clerk in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the California Coastal Commission, Kaiser Permanente and a private law firm. Her article on the public trust doctrine and sea level rise will be published in the 2012-2013 issue of that journal.
Marie-Laure Causin, who hails from France, has joined the sediment management team as an intern. She has a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering from Lyon University and completed an advanced post-graduate course in Maritime Engineering and Coastal Management in Italy. She has worked for environmental consulting companies in Italy and was CEO of a small environmental consulting company at which she oversaw coastal studies for dredging projects in France and Italy. She will be with us for six months.
Finally, Laura Sasso will be working with the consultants to the JPC as an AmeriCorps Climate Corps staffer.
d. Policy Issues. First, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is proposing to expand its boundaries to come within the Commission’s jurisdiction. The Sanctuary soon will begin to draft an environmental review document for circulation, and we shall analyze the proposal under the Commission’s Coastal Zone Management authority.
BCDC and the other governmental sponsors of the Long Term Management Strategy to ensure the successful dredging of the Bay (commonly known as LTMS) have hosted a series of meetings during the past few months to prepare a report on LTMS’s 12-year anniversary. While the LTMS has included ongoing programmatic reviews at regular intervals, now that we are approaching the end of the LTMS 12-year transition period to decrease in-Bay disposal, the LTMS is holding a full-scale review. We are working with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the federal EPA, the Water Board and as many stakeholders who want to participate to learn from each other and devise improved strategies to enable dredging to occur in an environmentally beneficial manner over the next 12 years. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me or to contact Brenda Goeden of our staff who will be making a series of presentations to you about this issue during the next few months. We will be inviting the Corps and the EPA to have a panel discussion with all of the Commission.
Finally under Policy Issues, Governor Brown has signed SB 1066, legislation that authorizes the California Coastal Conservancy to address the impacts and potential impacts of climate change on resources within its jurisdiction. The conservancy may undertake projects within its jurisdiction that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address extreme weather events, sea level rise, storm surge, et cetera. This legislation also enables the Conservancy to award grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for such activities. We look forward to working with the Conservancy as part of our sea level rise and JPC-coordinated activities.
Finally, under the Miscellaneous group I have two projects to report. State law requires agencies to verify the accuracy of their mailing lists at least annually. Agencies are to send an appropriate postcard or letter to each person on the mailing list and the name of any person who does not respond to such letter or postcard, or who indicates that he does not desire to receive such publications or printed matter, will no longer receive such publications. BCDC has done this in the past. And because our largest mailing list includes approximately 200 names and is known to be out of date, we shall start this process in the Fall. I hope that we shall be able to reduce the number of packets and notices that need to be mailed on most Fridays but we will be able to encourage all of you and everybody on the mailing list to relinquish reliance on paper notices and use the BCDC website to access information that would otherwise come to you on paper. This also will require BCDC to ensure that our website is as timely and user friendly as possible.
My final note is that, in honor of Silvia McLaughlin’s role in helping to save and promote San Francisco Bay, the California State Park and Recreation Commission has voted to rename the Eastshore State Park in honor of Mrs. McLaughlin. This completes my report and we can move on to Agenda Item 7.
Chair Wasserman commented: As part of the effort to make things more transparent and more interactive it would be appropriate to see if there are any questions from the Commission about the Executive Director’s Report.
Commissioner Gioia commented: The idea of getting agenda materials electronically is great. One suggestion is that you look at this to see if you can develop the ability to email out the full package and materials so that we have it in our email without having to go check the website.
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Executive Director Goldzband stated: Twice in August and in September we sent you listings of the administrative matters our staff was prepared to act upon. Because the August and September meetings were cancelled and no Commissioner objected, we took final action on those matters.
We also listed a notification that we issued an emergency permit to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission for work to repair South Bay salt pond levees that were affected by boring a new water supply tunnel under the Bay – a project managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to replace the pipes that transfer water from Hetch Hetchy to the Peninsula. Brad McCrea is available to respond to any questions you might have about the matters on the listing, and if none, that concludes my report.
8. Commission Consideration of a Contract for Strategic Planning Services. Chair Wasserman announced that Item #8 was Commission Consideration of a contract to support the Commission’s strategic planning process. Larry Goldzband will make the staff presentation.
Executive Director Goldzband stated that the staff was recommending that the Commission authorize the Executive Director to enter into a contract not to exceed $35,000.00 for a six month period to facilitate and update the Commission’s current strategic plan.
One of the ways that we can work better and smarter is if we have a plan that all of us can point to so that when we are asked by the public about what it is that we do at BCDC we will be able to point exactly toward what we do and how we help conserve and develop Bay resources.
It is my suggestion that BCDC start a new strategic planning process which will be short, less than six months.
This will get us a new plan with measurable milestones that we will report on regularly and actively.
Executive Director Goldzband presented the following PowerPoint report. The main points are as follows:
a. Need For New Process
(1) The most recent plan is outdated – not updated due to work on sea level rise policies.
(2) It is more a work plan than a strategic plan.
(3) It does not address internal work processes or resource issues.
(4) Commissioners are an underutilized asset.
Executive Director Goldzband noted: Our most recent plan looks a lot like an individual’s work plan as opposed to something that is strategic. It doesn’t really address what our overarching goals are or how we actually get there and know whether we’ve accomplished them.
This doesn’t allow us to address the internal work processes that we need or the resources that we require in order to accomplish our mission.
We need to get more meaningful commissioner participation and recognition in the development of and in the implementation of the plan.
b. The Purpose Of a Strategic Plan
(1) To publicly state clear, measurable and overarching goals.
(2) To answer the big questions.
(3) To set priorities.
(4) To align work and improve work processes within the agency.
(5) To achieve measurable results.
(6) To enable proactive work based on a compelling case.
(7) To report.
The public must understand what our overarching goals are and to make sure they are measurable.
We must be able to answer the big questions such as: how do we ensure that we prepare for the sea level rise that will occur during the next 25 to 50 years?
Most importantly, a strategic plan sets priorities and informs both us and our stakeholders about what our most important functions are.
From an individual staff perspective, it is incredibly important to be able to align individual work plans and improve processes within the agency.
If we do the aforementioned then we can achieve measurable results.
This will allow us to look at all the things that can possibly be acted upon by BCDC and figure out whether we can do it, how we can do it and how that informs reactive work.
This means that we report to you in a way that provides you with the information that you need to bring back to your constituents.
c. Benefits Of a Successful Strategic Plan
(1) Provides clarity.
(2) Improves results.
(3) Creates justification within Administration.
(4) Validates staff evaluation process.
A strategic plan establishes a public case and common understanding and it improves results so that if we have meaningful staff, commissioner and external stakeholder input we’ll have a better functioning agency.
This creates a justification within the Administration. And if our plan is good enough it will be endorsed by the Natural Resources Agency and the Department of Finance, enabling BCDC to have greater internal support from our control agencies. This allows us to have better control over our own destiny.
A successful strategic plan validates the staff evaluation process. Each member of the staff will be able to trace from the overarching goals through the division work plans and objectives to his or her own individual work plan exactly how he or she on a daily basis supports what BCDC needs to do. We don’t do that today.
d. Proposed Process
(3) Commissioner Involvement: request for volunteers.
If the Commission were to approve going through this process today, we will be able to get a plan to the Commission for its approval in February.
This will allow us to have time to use it to buttress our Department of Finance concept papers and our Budget Change Proposals.
This will cost up to $35,000 and we will transfer funds internally to make sure that we do so without hurting the agency.
We need to request volunteers. The Chair has expressed an interest in having a working group of commissioners to help with this process.
The full Commission will have a public workshop.
By the end of 2012 we will then take January to refine the plan based upon what the committee or the working group has said and what the full commission has said before we get it to you in February.
Chair Wasserman asked for any questions or comments from those people present at the meeting.
Commissioner Randolph asked if there was going to be a strategic offsite as had happened in the past.
Chair Wasserman replied that the public workshop would take its place. This workshop will be different than in the past, although at this time we can’t say how it will be different.
The Commissioners who volunteer for these working groups will also educate their constituents in a little bit different way.
Commissioner McGrath was in support of this concept. This takes strategic planning to the next level.
Commissioner Bates had a concern with the timing being rather ambitious.
Chair Wasserman concurred that the schedule put forth was ambitious and it might not be able to be completed fully.
He asked for volunteers and asked for a show of hands to indicate a willingness to participate in a working group.
Vice-Chair Halsted and Commissioners Gioia, McGrath and Pine volunteered.
MOTION: Vice-Chair Halsted moved this item, seconded by Commissioner McGrath. The motion passed by a voice vote with no abstentions or opposition.
9. Commission Consideration of an Interagency Agreement to Support the Baylands Goals Technical Update. Chair Wasserman announced that Item #9 is Commission Consideration of a Contract with the California Coastal Conservancy to provide funding to the Conservancy to support the update of the Wetlands Habitat Goals to address climate change. Joe LaClair will make the staff presentation.
Chief Planner LaClair presented the following:
I am here to recommend that you authorize the Executive Director to enter into an interagency agreement with the Coastal Conservancy so that BCDC can provide the Conservancy with $10,000 to support the Baylands Goals Technical Update, which is an effort to reflect climate change in the Baylands Goals that were adopted back in 1999.
This effort is ambitious and it’s become apparent that we need a little bit more funding in order to be able to complete the project.
The funding for this agreement would come out of your Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant federal funding and the purpose of the agreement is consistent with the provisions of the grant that allow for contracts to support the development of educational materials related to climate change.
Chief Planner LaClair said he was available to answer any questions.
Chair Wasserman entertained a motion on the item.
MOTION: Commissioner Sears moved this item, seconded by Commissioner Gioia. The motion passed by a voice vote with no abstentions or opposition.
10. Consideration of a grant from the San Francisco Estuary Partnership to participate in the Flood Control 2.0 Project. Now we will take up item #10, which is Commission Consideration of a Contract with the San Francisco Estuary Partnership to provide funding for the Commission’s staff participation in the Flood Control 2.0 project to address innovative flood protection and sediment management. Brenda Goeden will make the staff presentation.
Ms. Goeden presented the following: Today I will be recommending for your approval a contract between the San Francisco Estuary Project and BCDC to accept and expend $105,000.00 to undertake work on Flood Control 2.0 as related to the San Francisco Bay Sediment Management Program.
The Estuary Partnership, in collaboration with the San Francisco Estuary Institute, the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, the Bay Area Flood Protection Association and BCDC was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Improvement Fund.
In 2009 the Commission identified a need for the San Francisco Bay Regional Sediment Plan to address changes in the sediment system, increased sea level rise and in recognition of the emerging science that has better informed management actions.
We now have three different grants supporting this program and the Commission’s strategic goals.
Regional sediment management looks at the whole sediment system from the top of the watershed to the shoreline and considers sediment demands and the available supply.
This management system aims to use nature to solve engineering problems.
In the San Francisco Bay there are many demands on sediment as well as a decrease in supply of fine-grained sediment from the Delta.
Navigation in the Bay is impacted by sediment in channels and marinas.
Flood Control 2.0 is designed to address some of the changes to the Bay system, creates and reaffirms partnerships with our sister agencies, local governments and non-governmental organizations interested in and committed to sediment management issues.
The premise of this project is based on the knowledge that flood control channels, often highly-modified historic creeks, transport both fine and coarse-grained sediment to the Bay.
This project examines ways to bring the coarse-grained sediment back into the Bay system. Flood Control 2.0 includes an examination of flood control channels around the Bay, characterizing and categorizing the local systems, analyzing available coarse-grain sediment trapped in the channels and developing innovative design features that have the potential to move coarse-grained sediment either into adjacent habitats or through the system to support marshes and shorelines downstream.
The project includes both regional and national scientific review and input as a project feature.
The Commission’s staff contribution to this project includes institutional review of challenges facing innovative flood protection projects at the federal and state level while the Estuary partnership will do the same at the local level.
BCDC and the Estuary Institute will work together on a guidance document to assist flood protection agencies in developing innovative flood projects that use sediment as a resource.
Chair Wasserman called for questions or comments regarding this item.
Commissioner Fergusson inquired as to whether the scope included the potential for taking down Searsville Dam.
Ms. Goeden answered that it did not. It looks at the sediment in the flood control channels but doesn’t look at dams specifically.
Commissioner McGrath spoke in support of this program. A similar line of thinking has been taking place at the Regional Board.
We have two interests that have the potential to make the Bay much more effective and more resilient.
First is the settling of sand-sized sediment, which can be used as part of beach nourishment projects.
More important is something that I see in the generational change of flood control personnel who have gone through college more recently and they’re not wedded to the idea that we can do a structural improvement for everything.
I am a strong supporter of this.
Chair Wasserman entertained a motion on this item.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved this item, seconded by Commissioner Sears. The motion passed by a voice vote with no abstentions or opposition.
11. Briefing on San Francisco Waterfront. Item #11 is a staff briefing to provide an overview of the planning process to update the San Francisco Special Area Plan in light of the movement of the San Francisco cruise terminal to Pier 27. Lindy Lowe will make the presentation.
Ms. Lowe presented the following:
Item number 11 is a briefing on a waterfront-wide planning process that BCDC staff is developing in partnership with Port of San Francisco staff. This planning process was required by the cruise ship terminal amendment approved by the Commission on March 1 of this year. The purpose of the planning process is to identify locations for replacement public benefits that were eliminated or reduced by the cruise ship terminal project and to review approaches to historic resource preservation, bicycle and pedestrian access, water-oriented recreation and other waterfront wide issues.
The Special Area Plan was amended over 10 years ago to change BCDC’s policies regarding fill removal and permitted uses on piers, providing the opportunity to comprehensively plan the section of the waterfront from China Basin to Pier 35.
The key public benefits adopted in the 2000 Special Area Plan are: the removal of deteriorating piers, restoration of open water, development of a public access network, an implementation program to fund and construct public plazas and pier removal, enhancement of Bay views, preservation of historic resource and new uses to draw the public to the Bay.
In the last three years, the Special Area Plan has been amended three times. The pace of this change and the number of amendments to the Plan that have occurred in recent years has created a concern that, rather than being planned comprehensively, the waterfront is being planned through a project-by-project approach with important issues such as open spaces, public access, fill removal, historic preservation, transportation and parking being addressed only in relation to each project.
The planning processes I am briefing you on today are a result of the cruise ship terminal amendment. The cruise ship terminal amendment relocated the City and County of San Francisco’s primary cruise ship terminal to Pier 27 and provided for the possible retention of the entire Pier 23 shed. Those actions eliminated the open water basin required between Piers 19 and 27, reduced public access and Bay views on and around Pier 27 and changed the opportunities and emphasis of the public plaza required at Pier 27.
These changes created the need to find a new location for the open water basin, to develop a strategy for creating a usable open space at the end of Piers 27-29, to replace lost Bay views, public access and open space opportunities at other parts of the waterfront. The timeline for the project, accelerated due to the America’s Cup Project, did not allow for Port and BCDC staff to work with the public to address these issues prior to the Special Area Plan amendment. Instead, the amendment required a planning process to resolve these issues by 2015. Specifically, the Special Area Plan Amendment required:
A new open-water basin between Pier 35 and China Basin and to develop an open space program and design for the end of Piers 27 and 29.
The Amendment requires the development of a financing implementation plan for the open-water basin and the pier end open space be developed by 2015.
The amendment also required that BCDC and the Port work together to identify a location and design of an open-water basin and public plaza around Pier 43 in Fisherman’s Wharf and develop a strategy for financing and implementation of both the open water basin and the public plaza by 2015.
These improvements, in combination with the Port’s removal of Pier 43 ½ and adjacent public access improvements at Jefferson Street, the Port may initiate an amendment to request that the Commission remove the Replacement Fill Policy (50% rule) in the Fisherman’s Wharf geographic area.
Additionally, the amendment required that the Port identify strategies for ensuring that the contributing resources to the Embarcadero Waterfront Historic District are either rehabilitated or removed within a certain number of years of being closed to occupancy.
Initially, the planning processes required in the Special Area Plan amendment were envisioned as three separate processes. Our proposed planning process right now would be a waterfront-wide, comprehensive approach led by BCDC and Port staff working very closely with a working group that would work for six to nine months.
There would be, as necessary, subcommittees developed to address both geographic and topic-specific issues.
There would be quarterly updates to the Port and BCDC Commissions.
Working together, BCDC and Port staffs have identified the following types of groups and interests to be included in the working group. We would seek participation from the following groups and interests:
a. Historic resource preservation interests.
b. Regional and San Francisco city-wide groups.
c. Maritime and industry groups.
d. Bicycle, pedestrian and water-oriented recreation interests.
e. Geographic and neighborhood-specific groups.
f. Economic development interests.
g. City staff and legislative aides.
Subcommittees would be created in order to address site and neighborhood-specific issues or to provide an opportunity for topic area experts to work closely together on a more detailed analysis than would be possible in the waterfront-wide approach taken by the working group.
We would begin by first meeting in January of 2013 and the first meeting would set the stage for the outcomes of the project.
The outcomes of the 2013 process would be to identify a location for a public plaza and an open-water basin in Fisherman’s Wharf, to identify the location of the open-water basin between Pier 35 and China Basin, to design and program the open space at the ends of Piers 27 and 29, to develop the broad outlines of a strategy for maintaining the integrity of the Embarcadero Historic District and identify the necessary components of an amendment to the Special Area Plan to incorporate the outcomes described above.
Chair Wasserman welcomed two public speakers on this item.
Mr. David Lewis, Executive Director of Save the Bay addressed the Commission: Save the Bay was a party in the planning of the original Special Area Plan. It’s fair to say that there has been quite a bit of dissatisfaction in how the Plan has been mostly disregarded or changed on a project-by-project basis to accommodate projects that had juice behind them but were not consistent with what had been envisioned.
As new information was developed regarding our piers and what it would take to reinforce them, some of the ideas of what to do with them also changed.
But the Plan has not been changed in a comprehensive way to accommodate that new information at all.
It’s the Port and the City of San Francisco that continued to encourage projects that were not consistent with the Plan.
I’m very anxious that this process is not being set up to succeed. For one thing, it’s been given a very long timeframe. I’m not sure that having a long timeline is the best way to use everyone’s’ time.
I’m also very concerned that without more of a forcing mechanism at the end than just the removal of Pier 23 that there won’t be a real incentive to develop a new comprehensive plan and get it adopted.
I’d encourage you to look for more hammers or threats of hammers that can be real because otherwise the stakeholders that you want in the room will either not come at the beginning because they’ll be skeptical about the usefulness of this exercise or they’ll get exhausted and leave before it’s over.
I’d like to have the confidence that a new Special Area Plan will be used, enforced and adhered to.
Ms. Diane Oshima from the Port of San Francisco spoke: The Port and BCDC have a long history of working on planning together and we’re quite proud of what we have been able to accomplish to date.
We have major open public space projects that are underway right now, major fill removal and a number of other projects.
We have grappled with a number of these financial and capital improvements and some unexpected requirements in order to bring these projects around.
These are strategic issues that do inform our thinking about what insights and possible updates that we are looking at for our plans. We embrace this process and think it can only be effective if we look at these issues in a comprehensive context.
Vice-Chair Halsted commented: I wanted to inquire about the upcoming project referred to, by some, as FRED for lack of another name and how will this play in the process and how will we deal with that?
Ms. Lowe responded: The proposal at Piers 30-32 is a proposal and not a project and so it would be hard for us to incorporate it at this point into this process. It would require a lot of speculation as to what the project at Piers 30-32 will consist of and what will be included in the land uses and design. Additionally, there are other proposals and ideas for other areas of the waterfront that we both know and do not know about and these are also not included because these are still at the concept phase.
Commissioner Gioia commented: I realize that there may be other projects that we don’t know about yet. The proposed Stadium at Piers 30-32 issue is surely a proposal in the City of San Francisco and is pretty widely known.
My concern is, knowing that that is going to be an issue in and of itself, it seems that if we’re going to engage on a planning process that has multi stakeholders with regard to the waterfront, the possibility of that project truly impacts all the other planning that is going on.
It’s really hard to have a thoughtful comprehensive planning process on the waterfront, finish it, and then take up another issue that potentially involves changing the plan again.
There just seems to be some conflict here on that. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and the Port’s thoughts on that issue. It just seems that you can’t ignore a project that you know is going to be before this Commission at some point.
Ms. Lowe answered: If we had a project description before us I would agree with you 100 percent.
Commissioner Gioia replied: But the City has a proposal.
Ms. Oshima commented: We don’t have a formal proposal yet. The timeframe for the planning studies that are before us today will overlap at a point where we do have more specifics about what the project description and scope of the Warriors Project at Piers 30-32 is.
On October 16th, the Warriors Design Team will be presenting their first view of the concept design and program for the project.
Commissioner Gioia stated: So you’re saying that there will be some discussion of the potential impact or relationship between the Warriors Project at Piers 30-32 and the other waterfront planning.
Ms. Oshima answered: At the staff level. It is very difficult for me to imagine a situation where some of the concerns around that particular individual project will not come into the discussion here.
Vice-Chair Halsted commented: I have been working on planning processes on this part of the waterfront since the early 70’s. I agree with David Lewis’s concerns and we do need to tighten the times and the objectives.
Commissioner McGrath commented: I think we’re talking a little bit past one another. We don’t have a project that is reasonably foreseeable that would have to be covered under a CEQA action for one or more very concrete projects
We do have something that can and must be dealt with in a planning sense. Given the concerns that have been expressed correctly enough by David that we’ve done a lot of planning and we keep planning the same area again, I don’t want to launch into a planning process that does not require a detailed plan to designate whether or not it’s an appropriate use.
There are some planning designations including the question of a new stadium at Piers 30-32, where feasibility questions may well be still on the table.
For this process to work, one of the real issues is issue resolution. I’m going to ask you to think long and hard about an issue resolution process that is combined with returning to the Commission so that you can move the process along with issue resolution.
Chair Wasserman commented: There actually was a disclosure I didn’t make. The Executive Director and staff and I participated in a meeting with the owners of the Ferry Building property in discussing a potential application for some improvements on Ferry Plaza.
It seems to me that the interplay between the overarching plan and specific groups and the iterative process is what is both necessary and will be as productive as possible in a plan that addresses the likely projects and uses and policies that are going to come up along this particular stretch of waterfront.
There will be a tough balancing to be accomplished in all this with some really tough issues to be dealt with.
Chair Wasserman stated that this was not an action item and was for information purposes presented to the Commission.
Commissioner Randolph commented: Five or six years ago, John Kriken the chairman of our Design and Review Committee gave a presentation to the Commission on waterfront design.
There was some kind of follow up to that and I’m wondering if the Design Review Committee will have any role or participation in this process.
Ms. Lowe responded: We will bring items to the Design Review Board as they become ripe for the Design Review Board which likely will not be until the later part of 2013.
Executive Director Goldzband added: As part of the Commissioner education process we will have a Design Review Board presentation to the Commission. We will be scheduling this for 2013 in plenty of time for whatever happens with this process.
Chair Wasserman commented: As part of our strategic planning effort I think we need to set out what the Committee structure is and how some processes work.
12. Briefing on the Adapting to Rising Tides Project. Item #12 is a staff briefing on the status of the Adapting to Rising Tides Project, a project designed to cooperatively plan for adaptation to sea level rise with local governments. Lindy Lowe will make the presentation.
Ms. Lowe presented the following:
The ART project is a multi-year climate adaptation project led by the Commission, supported by NOAA Coastal Services Center and being conducted in close partnership with agencies and organizations in Alameda County.
The ART project is helping the region better understand the vulnerability and risk of shoreline communities to sea level rise and storm events and is evaluating a suite of adaptation responses that will increase community resilience.
The project was conceived as a pilot to evaluate key adaptation planning issues the region may face. One of these issues is the appropriate geographic scale to conduct different phases of the planning process.
The information gleaned from these evaluations will be useful in informing the regional sea level rise adaptation strategy, which the Joint Policy Committee has agreed to take a leadership role in developing.
Ms. Wendy Goodfriend commented: The ART project has been diligently working with local governments on sea level rise adaptation planning.
The ART project area is the portion of Alameda County between Emeryville and Union City.
The project has received support and assistance from a number of agencies one of which is NOAA Coastal Services Center.
We have been building partnerships with our local representatives from a lot of different agencies including Alameda County Flood Control, East Bay Regional Parks, Hayward Area Recreation And Park District, East Bay Discharges Authority and Caltrans and others.
The project is a collaborative effort and we have the project management team which consists of BCDC and NOAA Coastal Services staff.
We have a working group and two subcommittees that meet bi-monthly with us as needed to go over and help us with issues that come up.
One of the lessons that we’ve learned is that to be successful in our collaborations we have been asking them for their perspective and expertise along the way.
One of the key lessons is that we be sure to ask our partners to tell us what they think and that we do truly listen to them and address their concerns together.
One of the first outcomes of this collaborative process was to select asset categories or sectors for the analysis of sea level rise impacts. We have 12 asset categories and they demonstrate how broad the interests are along the shoreline.
The other collaborative process that we’ve worked on with our partners is to identify, select and continue to modify a planning process that we can follow.
One of the key features of the planning process is that we have identified four frames of assessment that we are carrying through the project from start to finish.
These four frames are economy, society equity, governance and environment.
The first phase was the scope and organize phase.
The next phase of the project has been the assessment phase. We are now completing this phase.
After this we will move into the planning phase in which we will be developing adaptation strategies and options.
We have learned that adaptation planning is a planning process. It would behoove us all to help demystify this kind of planning. It can be integrated into ongoing planning processes and we can get comfortable with it because it is something that, while difficult at times, we already know that we can do.
The planning process has moved us through our seventh working group meeting and we’ve developed products and resources along the way.
We have developed and completed a number of vulnerability studies with the help from our partners. These are available on our website.
We just completed a vulnerability and risk assessment report. It has identified the underlying causes and components of vulnerability and risk of the 12 asset categories that we are looking at.
It also presents the methods, data and findings of the assessment.
We are going to be looking at the vulnerabilities and risks that we’ve identified and setting ourselves up for the next phase of the project which is working together to look for adaptation strategies and options.
We are also developing a portfolio of tools and resources that will make it easier for those who would like to do this kind of work.
I would like to introduce the West Coast Director of the NOAA Coastal Services Center, Becky Smyth.
Ms. Smyth addressed the Commission: We’re part of the NOAA agency that works with coastal resource managers around the country and the local, state and regional level to help build their capacity to address coastal management issues from sea level rise to storms to communities and natural resources.
When I travel around the country there are very few places that identify themselves as much with the water that they live, work and play around as the San Francisco Bay area.
We notice changes in our Bay and have one of the oldest track records in addressing these changes.
NOAA has partnered with BCDC on the ART Project because we have a really willing partner in BCDC. BCDC, as a visionary and a lead in trying to address these issues proactively, has served as an example for many other agencies.
I’m still amazed that the kick off meeting for the ART project had such a large number of local and regional governments that came and were willing to participate in the process. They’re facing a lot of important issues with a huge lack of resources. This is their priority and this says a lot about the Bay region and about the partnerships that have been built.
NOAA has benefitted from what BCDC is doing. We have a lot of training and methodologies that we have used in working with a number of communities that were developed through your efforts in the Bay area.
NOAA and ICLEI are working together in other metropolitan regions around California to help them address the same issues.
We look forward to continuing to work with BCDC as you develop the adaptation processes and to also share those around the country.
Ms. Jennifer Koney with the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District addressed the Commission: I am a Recreation Supervisor and I’m on the ART Project working group and on the communications subcommittee.
I am a big fan of the ART Project. I just wanted to let you know how important our agency sees the Adapting to Rising Tides Project. We have benefitted from in-depth and very specific data and analysis of the impacts of sea level rise particularly on our properties and the programs that we run.
I have been able to bring up the subject of sea level rise with our Board of Directors and give them specific impact projections for our properties and programs.
The ART Project has given me the tools and the language with which to start the decision making process and the adaptation planning process for our agency.
I’d like to point out the tremendous value of the vulnerability and risk assessment report that was recently released. I am giving a report based on this data this to our Board this Monday night at a work session. I expect this to be the beginning of our process in designing and implementing planning for adaptation strategies.
Our participation in the ART Project gives us a jump start in our being able to adapt at the local level.
I want to recognize the exemplary efforts of the BCDC staff. They have been very supportive of helping me and providing me with information and strategies and maps and have been a tremendous resource in ensuring that what I communicate to the Board is very specific, relevant and accurate.
I also appreciate their sensitivity regarding this issue and how it’s communicated both to the decision makers I’m involved with and in the future to the public.
Through the ART Project working group and its subcommittees we are developing and strengthening our strategic regional partnerships which will become so essential in the future for successful adaptation implementation.
The ART Project has provided the model and the tools for our district to begin to address sea level rise.
We can’t thank you enough for our being able to participate in such a valuable project and feel it’s producing a model for addressing sea level rise that has value and importance to the region and beyond.
Ms. Lowe commented: I am here for any questions that anyone might have.
Commissioner McGrath spoke: I’m a little curious about the vulnerability assessment. There was a lot of criticism of the original maps that BCDC produced because they didn’t take into account existing levees or flood control facilities.
Aligning everyone is kind of difficult. I wonder if you could manage to get the different federal stovepipes (agencies) aligned so that the vulnerability assessment is a significant improvement and would be accepted up all four federal stovepipes.
Ms. Lowe replied: We do have refined maps and I’ll let Wendy speak to the refined maps issue. Becky might speak to the stovepipes issues.
Ms. Goodfriend spoke: One of the great advantages was that we selected a coastal engineer who is actually running the San Francisco Bay Study for FEMA.
The short answer to your question about the inundation maps which form the basis for the exposure analysis, which is just one part of the vulnerability assessment, is that we were able to say that we have included shoreline protection in the mapping, so that we know that if an area is shown as inundated that it is very likely that the protection has been overtopped.
We were able to do this for a number of reasons including the use of this amazing LIDAR data that was not only used to build maps for the ART Project but was used to build maps for the NOAA Coastal Service’s recently launched sea level rise viewer which is available for the entire west coast including the Bay.
Ms. Smyth commented: Wendy described what FEMA is doing fairly well. The good news is the consultants they are working with are the consultants we have worked with and USGS has worked with so they’re increasingly integrated from a mapping standpoint.
On the local level we have some really good progress and are moving in the right direction.
Ms. Lowe added: I wanted to follow up on the issue of the Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Report. The maps were one component of how we assessed vulnerability and risk. We worked very closely with Alameda County Flood Control, and with the park districts land managers to determine the accuracy of the maps and to go back and fix things that were inaccurate. It was critical to work with land managers and land owners to ensure that the maps were as accurate as possible and to correct them where they were not.
Commissioner McGrath added: I hope that everyone understands that trying to bring these tools down to a level where they’re accepted by local government is extraordinarily difficult.
And if we have a model here that can begin to lay that out we indeed have a very good model and that’s what I’m trying to emphasize.
Commissioner McElhinney commented: Having done risk management on large-scale projects with regional, local, federal involvement I think we should compliment our staff as well as all the agencies involved.
I think the product today is very impressive and it’s a foundation for the future and it can be further developed locally, regionally and federally.
Executive Director Goldzband commented: One thing that I have really been stressing to staff is that when BCDC works with other agencies we really need to consider our relationships with other agencies in the same kind of respect as we as individuals consider our relationships with other individuals.
There are three levels. There is coordination, collaboration and there’s partnership.
What we have seen with our work with NOAA is that we have gone well beyond coordination, we’re definitely in collaboration and if we haven’t hit partnership we’re really close to it.
The way you get through the stovepipes issue the best is that ultimately it depends on the personal relationships that you create with your sister, brother partner agency colleagues.
This is incredibly important for BCDC given the criticism that we have received over the last couple of years from the local government community over our Bay Plan climate policies.
Lindy and the team are really doing a great job at really hitting this out of the park and demonstrating that we can do this on the local level.
Chair Wasserman added: From my perspective the ART Project and program is amongst the very most important things that BCDC is doing.
It is giving us hard data, practical models to start building the campaign that we absolutely need to build to deal with rising sea level and our built environment.
13. New Business. No new business was discussed.
14. Old Business. No old business was discussed.
15. Adjournment. Upon motion by Vice Chair Halsted, seconded by Commissioner McGrath the meeting adjourned in memory of E. Jack Schoop at 3:19 p.m.
LAWRENCE J. GOLDZBAND
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of November 1, 2012
R. ZACHARY WASSERMAN, Chair