Minutes of December 4, 2014 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Acting Chair Halsted at Pier One, Port of San Francisco, First Floor Meeting Room, San Francisco, California at 1:11 p.m. Roll Call was conducted after a brief break was taken to allow Commissioners Bates and Wagenknecht to arrive.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Acting Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Addiego, Bates, Gorin, Lucchesi (represented by Alternate Pemberton), McGrath, Nelson, Pine, Randolph, Sears, Spering (represented by Alternate Vasquez), Vierra (represented by Alternate Doherty), Wagenknecht, and Hicks.
Not present were: Governor’s Appointee (Wasserman and Zwissler) Alameda County (Chan), Santa Clara County (Cortese), Department of Finance (Finn), Speaker of the Assembly (Gibbs), Contra Costa County (Gioia), Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (Sartipi), Association of Bay Area Governments (Techel), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Ziegler), Governor’s Appointee (Vacant), City and County of San Francisco (Vacant) and Association of Bay Area Governments (Vacant).
3. Public Comment Period. Acting Chair Halsted called for public comment on subjects that were not on the agenda.
There were no public speakers present to comment.
4. Approval of Minutes of the November 20, 2014 Meeting. Acting Chair Halsted asked for a motion and a second to adopt the minutes of November 20, 2014.
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez moved, seconded by Commissioner Pemberton, to approve the November 20, 2014 Minutes. The motion carried with no abstentions or objections.
5. Report of the Chair. Acting Chair Halsted reported on the following:
a. New Business. Does anyone have any new business to propose? (No response was voiced)
b. Commissioner resolutions. Commissioners David Chiu and Colleen Jordan Hallinan have now left the Commission. Our staff has prepared draft resolutions of appreciation for these departing Commission members. There is one minor error on one of them that will be corrected.
MOTION: Commissioner Wagenknecht moved approval as amended of the resolutions to honor, seconded by Commissioner Nelson. The motion passed with no abstentions or opposition.
c. Next BCDC Meeting. Our next meeting will be held January 15th at the Ferry Building. At that meeting we expect to take up the following matters:
(1) We will hold a possible vote on the Sausalito Ferry Terminal Project on which we are holding a public hearing today.
(2) We will hold a public hearing and possibly vote on a permit application to reconstruct the Bon Aire Bridge in Marin County.
(3) We will hold a public hearing and possibly vote on a permit application for a shoreline protection and habitat restoration project at Albany Beach in Alameda County.
(4) We will have a briefing on the Resilient Shorelines Project with the Coastal Conservancy and ABAG.
d. 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. (No Commissioners reported ex-parte communications)
Acting Director Halsted moved on to Item 6, Report of the Executive Director.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Goldzband reported:
Once again, as you have heard, we have a packed agenda and you can count on voting a few times this afternoon.
Again, no news to report on the budget. But, we’ve made our list, checked it twice, and we’re hoping that the lead staff member of the Senate Budget Committee that works with our budget, who is visiting BCDC tomorrow to learn firsthand how we are expending the additional California Climate Resilience Fund budget that BCDC received from this past year’s budget, thinks that we’ve been very nice.
This is the first time in my relatively short tenure to make this type of announcement. Two long-time BCDC employees are retiring this month and they merit your attention and thanks.
We are all sad that Richard Ng, BCDC’s chief financial officer, has announced his retirement. Richard has been responsible for keeping BCDC in the black and along the straight and narrow for 15 years – ever since he moved to BCDC from his tenure at the Coastal Commission. He has overseen the Commission's most critical financial matters, including developing and monitoring the annual budget, general accounting, contracts and procurement; all the stuff that enables the rest of the staff to do their job. His ever-present smile and wit belies a very serious and focused analytical approach to analyzing complex financial affairs. He also has that unique ability to deliver results in a manner that inspires confidence, is precise, thoughtful, and easy to understand. Better yet, when the more complicated concepts take a little longer to grasp, he possesses the patience and dedication that allow him to stick with us until we finally get it! Richard cannot be with us today, because he is on a conference call with the Controller’s Office and everybody else involved with FI$Cal. We wanted to make sure that he is recognized for all of his efforts and successes. Richard has enabled our professional staff to make the Bay better.
There is a second person who is retiring and she is with us today; Ande Bennett of our enforcement unit. Like Richard, Ande has been at BCDC for 15 years. I am going to ask Ande to stand up so everybody can see her. (Ms. Bennett stood and was recognized with a round of applause) From airports to bridges to salt ponds, Ande always has wanted to work on the most complex enforcement cases. For example, in 1999 Ande discovered that sand mining companies had been mining more sand than allowed and beyond their allowed boundaries. Ande also served as BCDC’s liaison to Caltrans and oversaw the implementation of a lot of new public access and mitigation requirements. Her work overall has resulted in significant fines and mitigation for violations ranging from dumping asphalt grindings into the Bay to the privatization of shoreline open space. Remember that these fines go into the Bay Fill and Abatement Fund which allows us to be able to do our work. Ande is a tremendously successful enforcement analyst whose dedication has helped make the Bay better. Her departure leaves a very large pair of mud boots very empty, and we shall miss her. Ms. Bennett was presented with flowers from the staff and received another round of applause.
The packets in front of you include a fact sheet containing the recommendations of the President’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The great thing about this is that the President’s Task Force went a long way to try to figure out what local and state governments could use. From our perspective at BCDC, the most salient part of the report is that BCDC’s ART program is featured prominently in the toolkit section.
Also in your packet is a copy of the Romberg Tiburon Center’s Fall/Winter 2014 Bayside Newsletter. It is an edition devoted to coastal ecosystem restoration and, on page four, you will see a picture of a BCDC staff member, Rosa Schneider, as a graduate student working on a mudflat.
We will be publishing and sending you a schedule of BCDC’s 2015 meetings next week. For the most part they will be in the Ferry Building with a few in MetroCenter. In addition, we will also publish the meeting schedule of the working group on rising sea level and the working group on Bay fill policies.
Finally, as promised, I have in my hand a list of Commissioners and Alternates who have not yet completed their state ethics requirements. I believe that Vice Chair Halsted intends to read their names into the record. And this is it. (A blank sheet of paper was held up by Executive Director Goldzband) Everybody has finally completed it. (A round of applause was given)
I am happy to answer any questions anybody might have.
Acting Chair Halsted announced: We have postponed the Sand Mining Briefing until next year. (A brief off-the-record break was taken waiting for Commissioners Bates and Wagenknecht to arrive to constitute a quorum)
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Acting Chair Halsted stated that there were no listings on administrative matters and moved on to Item 8.
8. Vote on a Request for Consistency Concurrence with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Construction of the Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project, in the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, along the Western Bank of Sonoma Creek and San Pablo Bay, in an Unincorporated Area of Sonoma County; BCDC Consistency Determination No. C2014.004.00. Acting Chair Halsted announced that Item 8 was a possible vote on the request for a Consistency Concurrence for the Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project in Sonoma County. Michelle Levenson, will provide our staff recommendation:
Ms. Levenson presented the following: On November 26th we mailed the staff report recommending you concur with Consistency Determination C2014.004 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project which, once constructed, will enhance existing marsh habitat and improve circulation in an approximately 300 acre tidal marsh located in the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, at the mouth of Sonoma Creek, in Sonoma County.
Before acting on our recommendation I’d like to bring your attention to an errata sheet with some proposed additions and deletions. Items 1 and 2 on the sheet are global revisions to the document regarding habitat square footages and the new name of the California Clapper Rail which is the California Ridgeway Rail. We would like to revise those references throughout the document. Item 3 refers to a deletion of a requirement that would have required the Service to maintain the future Sears Point two--and-half mile long public access trail.
Both BCDC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staffs worked for months to develop a public access proposal for this project. In our discussions with staff we believed that the Service had included as a part of their public access proposal a maintenance provision for the Sears Point Trail. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding amongst the staff members. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
BCDC staff believes that the fourteen hundred foot public access trail and amenities that will be provided with the project is sufficient for the Commission to find that the project provides the maximum amount of public access that is practicable, given that the project involves enhancement of an existing relatively small tidal marsh when compared to other similar Commission-authorized projects.
Because the project is a federal activity the revisions described in Items four, five and six are necessary to ensure that the recommendation is consistent with applicable federal laws.
The staff recommendation requires the Service to meet various conditions in carrying out the project including monitoring tidal marsh establishment over a ten-year period to assess the success of the project, whether conditions conducive to target habitats have been created and to provide information useful in adaptively managing the site. In addition the recommendation requires monitoring the transgression of the marsh over a 25-year period as sea levels rise, providing and maintaining a fourteen hundred foot public access trail with amenities and complying with several construction restrictions as recommended by the biological opinions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to protect special-status species.
With these conditions, the staff believes that the project adequately addresses the issues raised in the staff summary and is consistent with your law and policies regarding fill, public access, safety of fills and climate change, natural resources and dredging.
With that we recommend that you adopt the recommendation which will not only authorize this beneficial project but hopes to provide us with valuable information on how Bay marshes can adapt with sea level rise.
This project also provides an opportunity to evaluate approaches to providing habitat in the face of a rising Bay. These approaches may have broad applicability in the San Francisco Bay.
Acting Chair Halsted continued: Before we make a motion I would like to hear Commissioner comments or questions.
Commissioner McGrath had a question: I have one question about the changes. There still is a fourteen hundred foot trail segment proposed. And what has changed is the commitment to permanent maintenance and that depends on future budgets; is that the nature of the change?
Ms. Levenson replied: The fourteen hundred foot trail will be maintained. This is a different trail that traverses the Sears Point site.
Commissioner McGrath added: And that trail is going to still be completed by others, correct?
Ms. Levenson answered: Correct. Currently, Sonoma Land Trust is constructing that project and there are plans to transfer the property to the Service at a later date.
Acting Chair Halsted inquired: And is there an issue with maintenance of the Sears Point Trail?
Ms. Levenson replied: Not at this time.
Commissioner Gorin had an inquiry along the same lines: The Service is making a commitment to maintain that but not the others?
Ms. Levenson answered: Currently, that property is not owned by the Service. Maintenance of the Sears Point Trail will be evaluated at a later time, when the property transfers from Sears Point to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This act, the transfer of property, is subject to the Commissions consistency concurrence.
Acting Chair Halsted continued: Seeing no further questions, is there a motion to approve the recommendation?
MOTION: Commissioner Gorin moved approval of the staff recommendation, seconded by Commissioner Nelson.
Acting Chair Halsted asked: Now that the motion is on the floor are there any questions or comments?
Commissioner McGrath had a comment: I would like to see public access go a little more quickly in these areas.
Commissioner Gorin spoke: I am delighted that the Commission will be supporting this because it is an important part of Sonoma County. The Ag and Open Space District and the Regional Parks are working to extend the Trail northward from the Sears Point restoration area. The thorny issue is the racetrack. Sonoma Racetrack owns that land just on the other side of the highway and they are concerned about security and who is going to be wandering on their property.
So we’re trying to figure it out. That is going to be very exciting to have that connection and this connection and looking forward to additional public access through Skaggs Island and all of the other Baylands down there.
Acting Chair Halsted commented: And I add my congratulations to all of you who put this together. I think it’s a great addition to our natural environment. I need to ask the applicant’s representative whether he or she has reviewed the staff recommendation and agrees with it.
Ms. Megan Marriott replied: Yes, thank you. We do agree with it. I am with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. On behalf of the refuge, the Fish and Wildlife Service and Audubon California Richardson Bay, we want to thank the staff for working down to the last minute before our presentation today.
Acting Chair Halsted continued: That said, is there any further comments or questions from the Commission? The motion is on the floor. Federal representatives cannot vote. We will proceed with the vote.
VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 13-0-0 with Commissioners Addiego, Bates, Gorin, Pemberton, McGrath, Nelson, Pine, Randolph, Sears, Vasquez, Doherty, Wagenknecht and Acting Chair Halsted voting, “YES”, no “NO”, votes and no abstentions.
9. Staff Report and Recommendation on a Contract with the Center for Collaborative Policy for Facilitation Services. Acting Chair Halsted announced: Item 9 is consideration of a contract with the Center for Collaborative Policy at California State University, Sacramento to provide facilitation services for our consideration of our fill policies in light of a rising Bay. Sarah Richmond will provide the staff recommendation.
Commissioner Doherty expedited the matter with a suggestion: In the interest of time I move that we just go right to a vote to save time today.
Acting Chair Halsted asked: Is there any objection to that? (No objections were voiced)
MOTION: Commissioner Doherty moved approval of the staff recommendation, seconded by Commissioner Vasquez. The motion carried by a show of hands (13-0-0) with no abstentions or objections.
10. Consideration of 2013 Annual Report. Acting Chair Halsted continued: Item 10 is adoption of our Annual Report for 2013.
Commissioner Doherty once again made an expeditious recommendation: Again, in the interest of time, I move for a vote on this.
Acting Chair Halsted replied: Thank you. Is there a second?
Executive Director Goldzband commented: I do want you to make sure that as you take a look through the annual report that you take a look at the new part of the report which is the first bullet on page two which talks about the Strategic Plan and the action planning that the staff is about to undertake. Thank you very much.
MOTION: Commissioner Doherty moved to adopt the annual report, seconded by Commissioner McGrath. The motion carried by a show of hands (13-0-0) with no abstentions or objections.
11. Public Hearing on an Application by Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, for the Sausalito Ferry Terminal Vessel Boarding Rehabilitation Project in the City of Sausalito, Marin County, BCDC Permit Application No. 2014.001.00. Acting Chair Halsted announced: Item 11 is a public hearing on the application for a major permit to replace existing ferry floats, gangways and docks with a new standardized and more accessible ferry terminal facility in Sausalito, Marin County. Erik Buehmann, will introduce the project.
Permit Analyst Buehmann addressed the Commission: On November 21 you were mailed a summary of an application by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District to replace the existing 6,057 square foot Sausalito Ferry Terminal with a new 13,000 square foot ferry terminal in the city of Sausalito, Marin County.
The existing Sausalito Ferry Terminal is nearly 40 years old, not universally accessible and nearing the end of its designed life. As the proposed new terminal would be constructed in the same location as the existing terminal, temporary terminal facilities would be installed for approximately 14 months to provide service during construction.
The proposed project includes public access on the pier.
The new terminal piers and gangway would be wider and less steep than the existing terminal, providing smoother, safer and more comfortable boarding and disembarking areas for passengers.
The proposed terminal would significantly improve accessibility for persons with disabilities and would also better accommodate pedestrians with bicycles and strollers.
The project would result in an increase in net fill of approximately 6,943 square feet.
The new permanent facilities would include a 2,700 square foot pile-supported pier, which would be open for public access, a 1,800 square foot cantilevered gangway and an 8,500 square foot float.
At this site the District’s authority and ability to provide public access is limited to areas within its lease with the City. Currently, public access on the pier is blocked by gates that prevent access except to passengers during boarding and unboarding. Only an existing landside pier, which would not be replaced, is available for access at all times.
The proposed facility would allow access on 2,700 square feet of the new pier, including two 130 square foot belvederes with a total of four benches. Including the existing access available on the landside pier the public access would total 4,643 square feet. The District’s original project proposal did not include the belvederes and benches, which were encouraged by BCDC staff in order to provide immediate public access benefits.
In addition, the District will enter into a pass-through agreement with the City to forward a $2.5 million federal grant to fund a city-led planning process for improvements to the ferry plaza along the shoreline adjacent to the site, which you will hear referred to as the landside public access improvements. The community planning process for that has not yet begun.
To solidify the public access to the landside improvements, BCDC staff discussed with the City Public Works Department the possibility of amending the City’s permit for the ferry plaza to include both the planning process and the implementation of resulting improvements. The City is not prepared to amend their permit at this time. The District has requested that its public access proposal be broadened to potentially provide alternative public access on other sites it controls in the event the City cannot complete the planning for the landside improvements at this site.
The amount of fill for this project is similar to the amount of fill approved by the Commission for the Water Emergency Transit Authority’s ferry terminal in South San Francisco. That terminal is 13,980 square feet, slightly larger than this one, and is a covered structure, making it a much more massive structure.
The South San Francisco ferry terminal included approximately 5,300 square feet of public access on the ferry pier and a viewing terrace. However, the South San Francisco facility did not have the space limitations that the Sausalito site has.
The proposed life of the project is only 40 to 50 years. As a result, although the structure has adequate clearance for a 100 year storm event today, at the mid-century sea level rise projection of 12 inches the pier and gangway could be subject to periodic flooding during a 100 year storm event, including taking into account wind waves.
In the event of flooding during a 100 year storm event at the mid-century projected sea level elevations the District would not operate the ferry facility. The ferry facility would not be inundated permanently, has been designed to be resilient to occasional flooding, and would be functional after the storm event subsides.
Since the project is not designed to operate far beyond a mid-century timeline, the project is not required by the Bay Plan policies on climate change to be adaptable to sea level rise projections beyond that period.
The staff summary lists the issues raised by the project, in particular whether the proposed fill for the project is consistent with the McAteer-Petris Act and Bay Plan policies on fill, including policies on safety of fills and climate change, and whether the project is consistent with the McAteer-Petris Act, the San Francisco Bay Plan and Richardson Bay Special Area Plan Policies on Public Access and Natural Resources.
The vote for this project is currently scheduled for January 15, 2015.
I have one correction to the staff summary in the project description of the new ferry terminal. The new, proposed ferry terminal pier will be supported by steel piles and not concrete piles.
Here to present the project is John Eberle, Deputy District Engineer.
Mr. Eberle presented the following: We are here today to present, as was stated, the Golden Gate Bridge District’s Sausalito Ferry Terminal Vessel Boarding Rehabilitation Project.
A brief overview of the District’s ferry transit facilities: We operate three ferry facilities on the San Francisco Bay, one in San Francisco, one in Larkspur and one in Sausalito. We have been providing ferry transit service for over 40 years. All of our transit facilities are approximately 40 years old so they are at the end of their useful life and we are in the process of assessing all of the facilities. Today we are here to talk about Sausalito but we are currently assessing all three facilities and will be coming back for San Francisco and Larkspur at a later date.
So the purpose of the project, as was discussed, is to replace our aged ferry landing structures to keep them structurally sound; and to bring passenger access to the vessels into compliance with ADA requirements.
Some secondary benefits of the project: In the design we are looking to increase the operational efficiency by making main deck loading of vessels at all three of our facilities, to do some better management of our passengers and bicycles at Sausalito and at San Francisco, and then to upgrade the facilities for emergency preparedness in case there is a natural disaster or some other transit operations. Ferry transit may be one of the only options; we want to make sure that the facility is able to operate with other ferry providers.
So here is the local vicinity map.
Here is an aerial view of the existing facility.
Some statistics: We have 22 weekday summer crossings, 17 weekend summer crossings, and the terminal is also shared with the Blue and Gold Fleet.
So here is the existing float. It is a steel float with a gangway that goes from the steel float to the pier. And then this is a concrete pier that attaches to a landside pier. And you can see here in the aerial view where passengers queue at this access point.
Here is a closer view of the use of the facility. As you can see here we have very narrow gangways, a very narrow pier. We only have one boarding platform at the float to the vessel itself. So when you have this number of passengers they back up and that backup sometimes causes delays to the operation. To maintain a public transit facility that is well-used you have to maintain a schedule, so with our new facility we are looking to have two boarding gates, which will greatly increase or facilitate our operations of the facility and will enable us to maintain our schedule.
Here you can see the facility itself, just the general condition of it. This is a steel float, as I mentioned. Here is the gangplank which goes from the float onto the vessels. This facility does not meet ADA 1-in-12 guidelines for slope. This gangway over here on this facility also does not meet that. And the pier itself, this is concrete piles with a concrete pile cap; it is structurally vulnerable during a seismic event so we do need to replace that also.
At the end of the landside pier is the access point. So this is the existing gate on the left. Beyond that only paying passengers are allowed to go out onto the pier. The new facility will move that gate to further out onto the Bay, approximately here, so that people at all times will be able to go out onto the very end of the pier.
So here is a planned view of the new replacement facilities.
We start with the float. So the float is located in waters which will be able to maintain the depth of the float. The new float is a concrete float, much more durable than a steel float; it performs much better in the tidal condition and storm conditions. But the depth of it needs to be such that it is located in about 15 feet of water so dredging is not required and we are not sitting on the bottom during low tide.
As you can see here we are going to have two hydraulic planks. Those will go to the two doors on the vessels. That will allow for better management of our operations, better management of bicycles and better flow to have our operations maintain their schedule. Those gangplanks are going to be designed for all tide conditions so that the slope is no greater than 1-in-12 at all times.
You will then come to a boarding platform on the float, which is a level platform. And from that platform, again, we have to have a sloped boarding apron. Again, it’s to accommodate the different tidal conditions and the different slopes so that we never exceed that 1-in-12.
Our gangway is going to be approximately 16 feet wide and the length will be about 90 feet. The length determines where the float is located and the minimum length that we could maintain the 1-in-12 slope. That came out to 90 feet.
We are going to be using grading material on the float so that we will have some filtered light, which we will be able to pass through onto the Bay below.
Then the access pier: The access pier will be a concrete pier with steel piling. As you can see here, the current access point restriction is here. The new gate will be here, so you will be able to further come out into the Bay.
We are also proposing belvederes with benches on either side so that for those people who are not going onto the ferry themselves but just want to come out and sit on the pier will not have interruptions by people both loading and unloading off of the vessels.
Again, all of this will meet the current ADA guidelines.
Here is a cross-section of the float itself. We have different types of vessels with different free-board so that is where the height is of the main deck loading; so all of the vessels will be main deck loading. Currently in San Francisco and Larkspur we have upper deck loading. So we are trying to do main deck loading at all of our facilities. That will eliminate having to go between lower decks and upper desks, especially if you have strollers, if you are mobility-impaired, it will assist those people. Also when we are doing our operations it will assist us because we are assisting those folks going between the two different levels.
Here is a cross-section showing the float and the gangway. The float is located where the water is deep enough so we will not have to do any dredging. The gangway itself then comes out to 90 feet so that in an extreme low tide condition the slope will never exceed 1-in-12.
So here is an overlay of the site plan showing the existing facility. So you can see the existing facility here and the new, proposed facility. The red line is the District’s leased area from the City of Sausalito out into the Bay. The blue lines are the mean high water level. The 100 foot shoreline band is shown right back here.
We also have to install a temporary facility, which I will talk about a little bit later.
Here is an elevation view. This is meant to show that we are not touching the landside pier so we have to match the elevation of this landside pier with our new access pier. We are trying to keep the profile as low as possible to blend in with the surrounding, also to match the existing facility, which has a very low profile in the water.
We did do a coastal analysis to determine how this facility would be impacted by sea level rise. At the year 2050 projected sea level rise, the facility will really have no impact. However, during a 100 year storm event there will be some wave run-up which will come up over the pier itself. The pier will be a durable structure made of concrete. It will have steel railings with the gap on the bottom so the water will be able to run off of the facility. And during a 100 year storm event we will not be running ferry service so we will not have passengers that will be on the gangway or the float during that type of a storm event.
The stage construction is going to include a temporary facility. That is because we want to continue operating our ferry service across the Bay while we are constructing the new facility so the first order will be to construct a temporary pier. It will be connected to the existing landside pier. Once that is constructed we will put in a temporary gate. Then over a weeklong time period we will move the existing gangway and the existing float to a temporary location. This will take about a week. We are planning to do that in the winter months when our passenger service is lower. We will provide temporary bus service during this time so we maintain transit facilities for those who need to use them.
Once a temporary facility is installed it will be opened up for operation and then the new facility will be constructed. The float itself and the gangway will be constructed primarily at an offsite facility. Once they are ready to be installed they will be floated to the area on barges and installed. The landside work will include the pier, which is steel piling with a concrete deck. After the new facility is completed the temporary work will be completely removed, the float, the gangway and the pier and the piling.
So here are some renderings of what the new facility will look like. Again, very, very low profile; very similar to the existing profile. It will just extend a little bit further out into the Bay.
Here is looking from north toward the south. From this you can see where the access point will be extended out further into the water to allow anyone to come out and access the pier.
Here are some renderings of the belvederes and the benches and also the proposed railing with the vertical pickets and the space on the bottom for that storm surge in case there is one.
And then this is the new access point, which is pushed out onto the end of the pier.
We had a meeting with the City of Sausalito just this last Tuesday night to discuss this project, another informational meeting. This is one of the items where the citizens and the City Council had some concerns about the look of this gate and also the colors of the railing and so we have committed to meet with the city manager of Sausalito to make some modifications to this access point and to the colors to accommodate the concerns of the citizens of the city of Sausalito.
In summary, the project will replace our aged facilities with new facilities. It will improve passenger access by having slopes that meet all of the ADA requirements for ferry vessels. It will also increase our operational efficiencies and it will upgrade the emergency preparedness by allowing the facility to be used by others in case of an emergency.
At the same time we believe it will maintain an enhanced visual and public access to the Bay. It will provide for public safety and convenience, it will encourage public transit use. We will make sure that we have on-time service and connections. And it will remain viable in the event of future sea level rise.
When we met with staff to discuss the public access improvements there was concern that the waterside improvements would not be sufficient for a project of this size so we spoke with staff about doing some landside improvements.
The District in 2012 was able to secure some grant funds from FTA to investigate and implement improvements on the landside of this project. This is just the existing conditions. Here is our pier. We are going to be working out here on the waterside project so the landside would occur over here on this side. So this is just the existing benches, the existing news racks, some existing landscaping.
Those potential improvements could entail increasing some bicycle staging areas connecting the sidewalk plaza to the improved bus staging areas, possibly some revisions to parking lots and extending the sidewalks to Parking Lot 3. Right now commuters park in Parking Lot 3 and there is a very difficult route to get to the ferry facility itself so that would be an improvement and complement our project.
This is a totally separate project. The District received funds but will pass those funds to the City of Sausalito; they will be the lead for this project. They have not fully scoped this project yet and they have not gone through the environmental or public process for this. But it was thought that since there were funds available and they could be used for this facility at this area that they could be passed on for that, so that is why we are showing you this right now. But these are not a part of the waterside project for which the application is submitted.
Our project, the waterside project is fully funded at this time, we have received FTA funding for this project. We have a number of grants that we secured all the way back prior to 2008. Those grants are at the end of their life right now and we have been meeting with FTA. They have been very cooperative to date about the process that we have gone through but they have also informed us that they would like to see some movement on these grants. Without some movement soon there is a possibility that they could redirect those grants to another project; we would really not like that to happen, if possible.
So with that I will end my presentation and open it up for discussion.
Acting Chair Halsted opened the public hearing on this item: Thank you very much and I will move to the public hearing on this matter. We have a number of cards, 9; I will first call Tom Theodore’s. You have three minutes to make a statement to us, thank you.
Mr. Theodore’s spoke: I am Tom Theodore’s, Vice Mayor of Sausalito. I am speaking in my individual capacity even though we have actually our entire City Council here with us today speaking individually.
There is not much we could say about Sausalito definitively because we have a lot of different opinions but certainly we are in support of ferry landing improvements, it’s 40 years old and in general we are in support of ferry landing improvements. But there are still issues that we need to work out.
On the water side, the Bridge District -- and we appreciate they have been very forthcoming in terms of coming to our Council meetings and such. They have been coming, I think, since 2008. But we don’t – the City does not have jurisdiction on this so we have not approved the waterside plan and there are still issues. And I am the first speaker but you are going to hear from other speakers that have certain issues on the waterside part of it.
The Bridge District, as was just mentioned, was at our meeting on Tuesday and they have graciously agreed to work with us on certain design elements including the gate, paint and hopefully several other design elements. And I understand that this board does not review design elements and that will be something that we will be working on with them.
On the landside, as was mentioned, we don’t have a current plan. We are waiting for the funding and for this part of the project to be approved and started. Once we do, it will need to go through the full Sausalito planning process and we look forward to starting that in 2015. Right now it has to start from a plan and go through the entire planning process.
Thank you very much. Again, I am certain that there will be other speakers here that are going to raise other issues that need to be addressed by this board. Thank you.
Ms. Pfeifer was recognized: Hello, my name is Linda Pfeifer; I am speaking as an individual member of the Sausalito City Council. The views expressed are my own and I am not representative of the Council majority.
I am concerned with the new Sausalito ferry landing proposed by the District. The current design pours 6,943 square feet of concrete into our Bay, features an industrial aesthetic including a steel-grated gate, inappropriate for Sausalito’s small-town character. The concrete extensions into the Bay to accommodate benches are unwarranted and add to the mass of this design. The pier will grow from 8 feet to 25 feet, the float from 4,800 to 8,500 square feet.
At the October 6th BCDC Design Review Board meeting, BCDC staff stated the design improvements fell into categories. One, existing ferry plaza public access; two, improved bicycle staging areas; and three, improved circulation.
But the District design recommendations for these three categories include assumptions about a landside design that has not yet taken place. Creating queueing space over the water for rental bikes is premature when bike mitigation strategies landside have not yet been researched by the City of Sausalito. The City has not fully research bike staging options that could influence and mitigate bike numbers and congestion such as daily caps, bike parking fees or bike pickup requirements by the rental bike firms.
The current ferry landing design is tour bike-centric, not commuter-centric. It exceeds ADA requirements to accommodate hordes or rental bikes queuing over the Bay. The Bridge District confirmed that a 25 foot width was “not an ADA requirement”. The District has repeatedly stated the design expedites bike loading and queuing. When ferry representatives stated “We don’t control the bikes coming to Sausalito and we have to accommodate them when they come here” but how can the District propose such excessive Bay infill when more eco-friendly bike mitigation strategies exist that have not yet been researched landside.
The City of Sausalito has a lease with the District. This water is City property. The City’s lease requires Council consent for major improvements or alterations. The Council has never given consent for the current design and has never approved the current design. The design should go through Sausalito Planning Commission and Historic Landmarks Board review with more opportunities for public input.
The City of Sausalito lists District presentation dates since 2009 claiming public input has taken place. The City neglects to mention these were special presentations with conceptual ideas and materials were not always part of the presentation. When materials were included these were rarely posted on the agenda ahead of time for public review, and in one case were never posted at all. At one meeting, one council member curtailed public comment, suggesting the Bridge District meet with staff later to collaborate. Local opportunities for public input were squelched. Transparency has been, frankly, abysmal.
Very quickly, if I may. I just urge the BCDC board to reject permits for this ferry landing design and direct a community outreach and full CEQA analysis of this entire project. And also to have the landside and waterside design as one fluid system analyzed at once, not two, divorced, separate projects. Thank you.
Ms. Hoffman took the floor: Good afternoon, thank you. My name is Jill Hoffman and I am appearing also as a private citizen. I am a councilwoman-elect in Sausalito so thank you for your attention.
I just wanted to first direct the Council to the fact that the Bridge District appeared in Sausalito on September 23rd and made a presentation to our town for the first time about the ferry landing and about the changes and about the size. And that was the first time we, as citizens, saw the difference between what is existing and what is planned.
During that hearing on September 23rd the Bridge District repeatedly referred to Sausalito as the Southern Marin Transit Hub. That was their view of Sausalito, as a transit hub for tourists. We have heard repeatedly since that time that Sausalito, from the residents, does not see itself as a tourist transit hub and is opposed to being viewed as that by the Bridge District or any other Bay Area agency.
There were many slides presented by the Bridge District at that time. Those slides talked significantly about the bike traffic and that that was a driver for the plan, an increase in the bulk of the ferry and the ferry landing. So I would urge the District to require coordination between the City and the Bridge District in the size and the bulk and the purpose for the new ferry landing.
And also with regard to the aesthetic. Right now, as you saw in the pictures - it may not have been easy to see in the pictures - but the gate is perpendicular to the land. So when you walk past the ferry you see a very low profile and you wouldn’t see the gate unless you turn and go down the pier. The change is going to be that the gate is now going to be parallel to the landside and so when you walk by that profile is going to increase significantly. And it is also not just the profile; it is also the design of the gate. It is in our historic district. We would like for those to blend with the existing aesthetic in our historic district.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Werner commented: My name is Bill Werner; I am a resident of Sausalito. I just wanted to comment on a couple of notes from the staff report.
It has already been mentioned that the City has claimed that there have been seven meetings since June of 2008 through September. These meetings were not noticed or attended. The most important meeting was this last Tuesday night when, in fact, we had a packed house.
Page 8 of the staff report notes that it was BCDC staff that encouraged the addition of a belvedere with four benches to provide public access benefits; the result of this is the contorted, arthritic knuckle design you see before you now.
The entire ferry system, including its terminals, provides extraordinary public access. In fact, the hundreds of seats on each ferry provide one of the most amazing public experiences anywhere in the world. These four benches merely interfere with the primary function of the pier, which is to safely and efficiently get passengers on and off the ferries.
The District also claims that the 16 foot width of the boarding platform and gangway is based on the fact that there are two, eight-foot doors. That’s not true on the Spaulding class, the main deck doors are only five-feet wide. Rarely are they both used and they are not both used in Sausalito now.
The choke point is really the gate. They are providing two eight-foot gates, which only one will be open since the ferries fully disembark their passengers before embarkation can occur. So why are there two gates? There’s only one now. Why a 16-foot gangway platform? Neither can be justified as ADA compliance. Cosmetic alternatives of color and finish are merely a diversion.
BCDC should, in fact, withdraw the requirement for the belvedere and benches, direct the District to justify or revise the widths of their access ways, revise the gates, and as a courtesy, review their new proposals with the citizens of Sausalito before returning to the BCDC Design Review Board, which in their wisdom asked specifically that the widths be at a minimum and whether or not the benches were really necessary.
The objective should be to assure safe, efficient, universal access to and from the ferries at a reasonable cost with a minimum impact and coverage to the Bay.
Ms. Zuch addressed the Commission: Hi, I’m Pat Zuch. I would like to point out that the landing itself and the float were, I believe, at least according to the lease that we signed in ‘95, rebuilt in ‘96 to ‘98. If you look at the lease you will see that in the lease it is stipulated that the City would redo some of the landside improvements, which it did with local architect Don Olsen in ‘96-97, and it also says that a new landing float is planned to be constructed in ‘95-96, ramped to meet accessibility requirements. Now it certainly is in need of replacement, I won’t argue that, it’s been poorly maintained, whatever its length.
I would like to corroborate Mr. Werner’s statement that the opportunities for public input in this project have been constrained. There have been seven meetings; most of them in the beginning were agendized as updates without visual materials. And the intensity of attendance at a standing-room-only emergency hearing two nights ago, and the intensity of sentiment by people at that time, attests to the fact that we have not been adequately participating.
I am concerned. Your objective is to review bulk and mass and coverage and I am concerned that the rationale for the size of the gangways, the floats and the landside pier have received less-than strenuous analysis. For example, in the plan for design addendum that you were submitted after the design hearing, there is an argument made that the width of the float is dependent upon the fact that the gangways from the float to the boats need to be 18 feet long in order to meet the maximum slope grading for vessels of all sizes at all tides.
I would like to point out that is somewhat ridiculous because the difference in elevation between a boat which floats, and a float which floats, has nothing to do with where the tide is. If it is like this at high tide it is going to be like this at low tide. The slope will remain the same. So it was kind of an interesting rationale. No, this is the width of the floating pier justification with 18-foot ramps to the boat. In addition to which, the floating pier is to be equipped with a hydraulic platform, which itself would raise and lower things.
I am intrigued with the fact that the need for an additional 40 feet of length on the float is never really explained. The vessel doors are 48 feet apart. The current 110 feet in length is more than adequate, at least with slight differences, a slight increase to handle 48 feet door things.
And lastly, I did send you a letter on the Sausalito initiative designed to ensure that people in town have a chance to approve by referendum any changes to the downtown parking areas and I hope I will see that honored.
Mr. Skelton spoke before the Commission: Good evening, Commissioners, my name is Chris Skelton. I wanted to first of all thank staff very much for terrific issue-spotting, I think that they really did nail it with the three items. And I want to focus mostly on two of them and try and drill down and stay focused on the McAteer-Petris Act.
As a threshold matter, I think there is an administrative hurdle that hasn’t been cleared yet and that goes in part to the jurisdiction issue that’s been discussed. Councilmember Pfeifer identified that there is a lease. Part of that lease requires that the District get approval from the City. As far as I know, I don’t believe the approval appropriate under that lease has been accomplished. I understand that the Commission does have a practice of requiring other jurisdictions to provide written documentation for approvals, as this is often sort of the final stopping point. So before you do take action on this matter at a future date I hope that you will require this administrative matter be completed.
So the two issues that I would like to focus on are fill and access. Doubling the amount of Bay fill is not necessary here. And I think that the Commission’s Design Review Board appropriately identified this as a concern and I hope that this Commission will also consider it. The Act, in part, seeks to minimize the amount of fill necessary.
Just this past Tuesday evening the District justified, I believe, the gangway of 25 feet width as 8 foot wide rollup doors with two, I believe, 3 foot wide emergency doors. I am not sure that that’s justifiable. This is not a transit hub like San Francisco or even Larkspur Landing. This ferry terminal services two routes right now and potentially four in the future that are yet to be investigated, but it is not going to be servicing 8, 10, 16 different routes. Having this kind of, this level of access which requires the width that is -- the result is -- intensification of the fill just isn’t justified at this time or in the near future.
The belvederes also I don’t believe are appropriate. I would say, please don’t let the potential minimal benefits to access accomplished by the belvederes trump the burden of the fill created. Access will be inherently approved by moving the gates further out to the access pier, you’ll have approximately 2,700 additional square feet of access. Adding these two belvederes certainly doesn’t justify it.
Thank you. I hope that you will continue to press the District on justifying the level of fill and we look forward to seeing the deliberation. Thank you.
Ms. Hanson commented: Good afternoon, Sonya Hanson. The preceding residents, my fellow residents, have pretty much said all that I wanted to say. There is concern, in general, about the size of this project and the residents have had virtually no input. We feel like it is our town and we should be provided some means of participating in how this is going to affect our town and how it’s going to look, the size of it. And we come to you, as you are our last resort, for somehow or other being involved in what this project turns out to be. So thank you very much.
Ms. Blanchard made public comment: Hello, I am Tammy Blanchard, good afternoon, and I am a resident of Sausalito. Everyone has really said everything that I feel. I stand with Councilwoman Linda Pfeifer and incumbent Jill. We in Sausalito feel that this is an overkill project for the size of the town; it would be perfect in San Francisco. But Sausalito is about a mile long and this is a huge project with a lot of cement.
Also keep in mind that Sausalito has a water access nearly from Bridgeway all the way down. Every single bit of it is open to the public. We really don’t need another 25 feet and more cement benches for people to sit on. They have access almost everywhere along the waterfront in Sausalito.
So I am urging you to please ask the Golden Gate District to go back to Sausalito and work on this project, come to an agreement, something that we can all agree on, or as much as possible anyway, and just scale it down a little bit so that it fits the town, it fits the historical district and doesn’t look like it’s standing out. It’s going to be better for everybody, I believe, and I really appreciate your time in considering that.
Mr. Scheresch was recognized: Thank you. Jeff Scheresch. I am wearing two hats today. I am the Chairman of the Board of the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce; I am also the General Manager and Partner of the Spinnaker Restaurant in Sausalito as well.
We are definitely for the project, definitely. It’s a large-scale project on many different fronts, as we have heard today. But definitely it’s a project that needs to happen here in Sausalito.
The ferry terminal, as we have heard, is, of course, back from the ‘70s. And many things have happened since the ‘70s, as we all know. And of course one of those things is people are taking more public transportation for many different reasons in the San Francisco Bay Area, probably because of traffic and other concerns, and the ferry is a great way to come to Sausalito. It is actually the number two ferry ride in the world; Sydney is number one, we are number two. So definitely allows for some great people to come to Sausalito.
And there’s a lot of people that are visiting us now, 5-600,000 people a year are taking the different ferries to Sausalito, so definitely getting utilized. And of course they are going to be a little -- the project now needs to be a little bit larger scope. Whether it’s the scope that Golden Gate Transit has proposed or not, hard to say, but they are the experts in this arena for us. If you talk about New York steaks, of course I can tell you how to cook a New York steak, but they are the ones that do that, of course, as far as the ferry project and ferries go.
But in the Bay Area here, of course, more people are moving to our area. Colliers International came out with a report recently that 50,000 new jobs have been added to San Francisco in the last couple of years, 10,000 jobs in the next couple of years will be also added. With those additional jobs people are moving to Marin County, they are moving to, of course, the East Bay and other areas, so ferry service is going to be utilized as people take the ferries to work within the different areas here, especially Marin County.
But definitely, we are for the project and hope to see it move forward. Thank you.
Acting Chair Halsted continued: Thank you very much. I have no other speaker cards. Are there any that have not been submitted?
Seeing none, I think we can move to close the public hearing. Is there a motion to do so?
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Commissioner Nelson. The motion carried by a voice vote with no abstentions or objections.
Acting Chair Halsted announced: Thank you very much; we have closed the public hearing.
Now Commissioners, would you like to ask some questions and make some comments? Commissioner Randolph.
Commissioner Randolph inquired: As somebody who used to commute from Sausalito and has used the facility many times, maybe this is just a matter of clarification but looking at the width of the new proposed pier, if I heard right, it is in part to accommodate bicycle staging. There is, of course, a tremendous surge in bicycles the last several years using the ferry. But I am wondering whether that is an appropriate use of Bay fill for bicycle staging when there could be alternative facilities on the land that would not require the width of that pier. The question I would like to ask is, would that broadened pier be used for bicycle staging and have alternatives been considered on the landside?
Mr. Eberle replied: The design of the facilities was not designed in particular for bicycle staging. The fact of the matter is there are bikes in Sausalito and staging occurs currently on the areas that are available for people to stage, which are not out on the access pier currently.
When this facility was designed it was designed based on a level of service from our vessels. We looked at historical vessel/passenger numbers over the past five years and we pro-rated those at a slight increase of four percent per year into the future for the life of the facility and we looked at how many passengers are going to be using this. Remember, this is not an isolated facility, we are a transit facility, we do transit between Sausalito, San Francisco and Larkspur. The passenger numbers were calculated and from those numbers we came up with a level of service that we wanted to have on our facilities. Very similar to traffic studies where you have a level of service, where you don’t want to have congestion at facilities.
So the width of the gangway and the boarding platform were all determined based on a level of service “C” which is a medium level of service. Then that ties into the access pier itself. Will it be used for bicycle storage? Yes, it will when people are queueing up there but that was not the intent of the design.
Commissioner Sears delved into the access gate issue: I would like to ask you a follow-up question, which is to explain the reasoning for the change in orientation of the access gate.
Mr. Eberle responded: It is just the geometrics of the site itself. When you look at this location here, the existing access gate is right here, where it is right at the edge of the pier, so it is right on an edge here. The new facility gate is going to be out here so you cannot make it perpendicular to the land, it has to be parallel to the land.
Acting Chair Halsted further inquired: I guess my question is the size of the gate. There were some comments about it not being necessary and I wondered if you could explain why it is as large as it is, or the two portions.
Mr. Eberle answered: Certainly. And as I mentioned before, that has been a concern and we are going to be meeting with the City of Sausalito, the city manager and their appropriate staff, to discuss this item.
It’s a level of service design. You have 8-foot gates here that could both be opened or one could be opened and could be closed, depending upon the number of passengers that we have. So if you have people queueing waiting for a ferry, a ferry is going to lay up, people are queueing waiting to get on that ferry. You open up one gate to let the passengers disembark. You want to do that in a timely manner so that you can maintain your schedule. Then you have another adjacent gate to allow those people who are queueing, waiting to get on the vessel, to then board the platform. So it is based on our level of service of trying to have quick turnaround so we can maintain our schedules. Allow people to disembark from one side and then to embark on the other side. The emergency gates are in case something happens and you are on the other side of the facility. You need to have emergency access doors to get out.
Acting Chair Halsted expanded her inquiry: I’m trying to understand. You would have people who are waiting to get on the ferry on one side and people disembarking coming down the other side; is that what you are saying?
Mr. Eberle: Correct. So you have a boat, a boat would lay-up.
Acting Chair Halsted clarified: So you have lanes, basically.
Mr. Eberle replied: Everyone would get out of the boat and start coming up that gangway, okay. So once you are on the gangway you are on the other side of that gate. They have to stream out of the facility. People are waiting on the facility itself to board that platform. You cannot have them intermingling with each other, you need to separate them somehow. That was the design for that facility.
Commissioner Sears offered some insight and posed a question: Can I follow-up on that as a ferry rider. I think those of us who ride the ferry recognize the repairs that are necessary and the old state of the facility. But the current boarding is through one gate and people who are waiting wait behind a cord. It is not elegant but it does separate the people who are waiting from those who are disembarking. So I am curious about whether that principle could be extended to this design? Where you don’t necessarily need a full size of a gate to hold back people who want to embark and you could do it in a more informal basis through a narrower entry/exit point than is designed here.
Mr. Eberle replied: We are going to be re-looking at this design to try and come up with a more elegant solution. But from purely a level of service and separation and security concern, separating the two with this type of operation is commonly done. For instance, if you look at our Larkspur facility, everyone disengages down a separate corridor away from where the passengers are in a totally separate area who are boarding the facility. And that is also done in San Francisco. This would be in keeping with that type of operation where you would separate those unloading from those who are loading.
Commissioner Sears clarified: So from your perspective, this is an operational need?
Mr. Eberle replied: Correct.
Acting Chair Halsted asked for staff input: I would like to get our staff’s view about the lease issue and how BCDC views the lease with the City of Sausalito and whether or not it should go there before it comes back here.
Mr. Buehmann fielded the request: I would like John to comment on it. There is a lease and BCDC received the lease and the lease states that in order for replacement or repair or enlargement of the facility that the District needs to get approval from the City.
Mr. Eberle stated: The lease talks about modifications to the facility. So in other words, if we wanted to come out and put an awning on this or do some modifications to the existing facility we need to get permission from or approval from the City of Sausalito. However, it goes on to state that a replacement of the facility does not require approval from the City. This is a replacement of this pier, gangway and float, which the lease does not require that approval.
Commissioner McGrath commented on a bifurcation of issues involved: What is required and what is advisable may not be exactly the same thing and I think it is advisable.
A couple comments: First of all, the photographs clearly show that the existing gangway is too narrow, it is very crowded.
The second, bicycles. I ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Sausalito and out around the Tiburon Peninsula and then I ride back up the hill to the Golden Gate Bridge. There are bicyclists all over the place who are not prepared to ride back up the hill to the Golden Gate Bridge; it’s not an easy climb. They are using, in many cases, public access facilities; and public access is not to be restricted to just those vigorous enough to climb back up the hill. It’s a good idea to get the public out and see the Bay and if they go back on a ferry they appreciate the Bay. So if they are there I think we have some responsibility to provide for them.
I’d like them better educated, they are a nightmare on the bridge, but that’s a different question. They are there, they are a legitimate form of public access, so I think providing for them is part of our responsibilities. But doing it without sufficient consultation with the City of Sausalito does not seem wise, perhaps not even appropriate.
Unlike most of the other projects, this one does not have a definitive result from the Design Review Board. I am prepared to spend whatever time it takes at this Commission weighing through designs, looking at industrial designs or not-industrial designs, but I am going to be a little bit irritated about it. I think it would be better for you to go back to the Design Review Board and look at those questions.
On the belvedere, I think it’s a good idea. I have been up and down all of Sausalito’s waterfront. While it is accessible along it there are very few places that you can go out onto the waterfront. Whether or not this is excessive, I don’t have enough information to know that. You have to kind of put it in the context. The best place to do that, in my experience, is with the Design Review Board. So I do think it would be premature to bring this back in January without a better look at design from the perspective of the input. The questions of width, I think, are all – and attractiveness. While I am prepared to do it, I think they are better at it.
Commissioner Nelson had questions: A couple of questions. We have heard from the applicant that they believe they have adequate local approval, we have heard from one city council member that she believes they may not, so clearly an issue for staff to address. We do not need an answer now, but before this comes back to us we need to make sure that this application is properly before us. And I can’t recall a circumstance where an applicant believed that they had local approval and at least one member of the local jurisdiction felt that they didn’t so that is an important question for us.
I agree with Commissioner McGrath’s comments about the Design Review Board. I am not sure whether those belvederes are the minimum necessary fill to improve public access but it is certainly an appropriate question.
It seems to me that with regard to minimum fill that the staff has appropriately flagged. It seems to me there are two issues and I just wanted to make sure that they are both on the table.
The first is whether the fill itself is designed to produce the minimum, necessary fill. We have received some testimony that it may be more fill than is necessary. I don’t know whether it is or not.
But the second comment we got briefly was with regard to the potential for integrating the design of this project with the landside project. I recognize there is different ownership there. But there is also an important question about whether in some way this project is being piecemealed and integrating the design might result in less fill. Again an important question for staff to answer and I would like to also hear from the applicant about that issue.
And then the final comment is just a question for the applicant. We have relatively new policies with regard to sea level rise and we have seen different applicants respond to sea level rise in different ways just in the last couple of Commission meetings. But I am interested in the decisions that the District has made with regard to design that seem to leave the project vulnerable. And it certainly may be true that you might not be operating during a 100 year storm at high tide, but from the graphic we saw earlier it looks as though that facility might be inundated at something less than a 100 year storm. So I am just asking whether you feel, and again staff as well, that the project is appropriately designed given the lifespan of the project, to make sure that it is as usable as possible over the lifespan of the project, given the projected sea level rise.
Mr. Eberle responded: For the sea level rise, for the design at the 2050 period for sea level rise, the structure will not be inundated by water. The water level will still remain below the facility, the top of the facility and the bottom of the facility. We looked also at a 100 year sea level rise analysis. So projecting out 100 years where would sea level rise potentially be? That’s what that slide was showing, that at the 50 year analysis, which this facility is designed for approximately 30 to 40 years, it will not be inundated.
But if there is a 100 year storm in that time there is a potential for wave action coming up over the pier itself. Now the pier itself is a concrete pier, it is steel piling. It will be more than adequate to withstand any type of water or wave action. So I believe that it is designed efficiently and effectively for that.
Commissioner Nelson focused his comments: And it was really the combination of the mid-century sea level rise projections with the 100 year storm that I was paying attention to. We just recently received an application from an applicant who raised the whole elevation of their pad. That project, solid fill, is going to have a longer lifespan. But it certainly seems that at this point, even with a 50 year lifespan and something perhaps short of a 100 year storm this project is still somewhat vulnerable to inundation.
Mr. Eberle replied: We are matching the elevation of the land. So if our facility is going to be flooded, all of the land in Sausalito adjacent to the facility will be flooded also. Probably no one is going to be able to get out to the facility during that 100 year storm because you won’t be able to walk out onto the land with the wave action coming up over the land itself.
Commissioner Nelson acknowledged the reply: It is a thorny problem. That’s certainly the case today. It is hard for us to know what will happen to the landside in the next 50 years. Whether there will be an option to reduce vulnerability on the landside that might make this facility the weakest link. It is hard to know that at this point. Certainly we can’t ensure that every project that comes to us is part of a local adaptation strategy. All we can do is to, in addition to the work we are doing to encourage regional adaptation work, is to make sure that each project is not vulnerable. I am a little concerned that this project is not trying to ensure that it is less vulnerable to sea level rise than the existing landside facilities. We know those may need adaptation efforts. But when we are designing new facilities we should have that in mind.
Mr. Eberle agreed: Agree. At the mid-century time period that we are designing 50 years out, I do not see any problems with this facility the way it is currently designed. The elevation is appropriate and the design is appropriate that it will be able to withstand any appropriate sea level rise projections and any storm surge at that point. At 100 years we do not really know what the sea level rise is going to be at that time period. After 50 years we are going to have to be looking at redesigning this facility again anyway, at which point we could look at the landside improvements and incorporate it at that point.
Commissioner Nelson asked for clarification: I may have misunderstood. I thought that at mid-century projections with a 100 year storm that this facility was still vulnerable to inundation; did I get that wrong?
Mr. Eberle replied: For wave action only.
Mr. Buehmann of staff added: At mid-century sea level rise projection of 12 inches, you can see the bottom; sort of the soffit of the ferry terminal would be washed a little bit in a 100 year storm event. That means there would be temporary flooding up to that level but it would not be inundated, which is permanently underwater. With wind waves and wave run-up it could be overtopped, and again that is a temporary event.
Commissioner Nelson inquired about reduced fill: I did have the question about, and the applicant has already spoken about the size of fill with regard to the design of the float and the gangway. My other question was about the comment we heard about whether it would be possible to reduce the fill for this project through integrating the design of the landside facility?
Mr. Eberle addressed the issue: Again, we do not have control over the landside portion of this project; our project is to replace the waterside. We need to replace the waterside for a number of reasons. One, the facilities are at the end of their life and they are really in desperate need to be replaced so we can continue maintaining our ferry service and when we are doing that we also need to become compliant with our ADA requirements.
The landside improvements, which are being contemplated by the City, will really be a totally separate project. It is not necessary for the landside project improvements to be implemented and ours to be implemented. They are complementary to each other, I agree they will complement, but they are not one combined project. They are two projects to be complementary to each other.
Acting Chair Halsted asked about scheduling: Is there a schedule for the landside?
Mr. Eberle replied: I do not have a schedule at this time.
Acting Chair Halsted asked about design standards: The standards that the District has incorporated into the design, are they mandated, are they suggested by FEMA or any emergency response agencies?
Mr. Eberle replied: The slopes are Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Acting Chair Halsted clarified: But I was asking really about the standards for sea level rise, et cetera.
Mr. Eberle answered: There are not any requirements that I am aware of.
Acting Chair Halsted continued the inquiry: And any other emergency response issues are not mandated or recommended?
Mr. Eberle replied: That’s correct.
Commissioner Doherty inquired about the maximum feasibility of public access: I heard that there was concern about whether the public access that was being provided on the waterside would be sufficient and so there is this proposal for the $2.5 million pass-through grant to go to the City. So I am just wondering in terms of what is contemplated for a process for reviewing that public access on the landside and ensuring that it is meeting the assessment of providing the maximum feasible?
Mr. Buehmann replied: That’s a good question. We had discussions with the City Public Works Department and asked the City Public Works Department, which currently holds a permit for the landside at the ferry plaza and the landside improvements, if they could amend the permit now to require the public process and require certain goals that were focused on and John focused on his presentation. The City wasn’t ready to do that and we didn’t really want to preempt the public process by imposing requirements on the public process because it hasn’t happened yet.
So what the current proposal is - and we haven’t written the recommendation yet. We don’t have the permit yet so we haven’t nailed down how exactly this would happen. But the current proposal is for the District to provide alternative public access in another area where they have control, in the event that the planning process doesn’t occur.
The planning process will result, hopefully, in some landside improvements, some actual physical improvements at landside. And because anything that is within our jurisdiction the City will have to come in and amend their permit for those landside improvements to do that work. So BCDC would be incorporated into that process.
Commissioner Gorin echoed previous comments by Commissioners: I just wanted to agree with my two colleagues here about what I am hearing from the public and especially from the city council officials. They are really nervous about the fact that the perception is there hasn’t been enough public outreach and discussion about this. And I think that that probably will be taken care of but I am going to ask you about that. So where do you go from here? If you come to BCDC and we say it is a go, then what? What is your timeline?
Mr. Eberle addressed the procedural process: First I would like to clarify about the public process. There was mention that there were meetings at the City Council where this project was presented and in the staff report I believe it mentions that.
The District did come to the City Council and presented this project a number of times, including when the District filed its Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Neg-Dec under CEQA for this project, we came and presented that to the City Council. We put a notice in the Marin IJ, we put a notice in the Sausalito, and we had an open meeting in the city of Sausalito itself, at City Hall, where only a handful of citizens showed up at that time. This project was out there. People had an opportunity to come and talk about it.
Acting Chair Halsted inquired: Were there visuals of the project?
Mr. Eberle answered: Correct, there were visuals at that meeting. There was the opportunity there. So I just want to clarify that there was an opportunity. It seems to me that there is a concern about the number of bicycles that are using or are in Sausalito and it appears that we are trying to make our facility just to store bicycles, that is not the intent of this facility and I don’t want to have those two items be tied together. That’s what I would like to respond to that.
Commissioner Gorin commented: Any elected official will agree with you, it does not matter how many public meetings you have; you capture the public’s attention at the critical time, and apparently you did that just recently. We all have been dealing with that for sure.
I have ridden my bicycle in Sausalito; I have taken the ferry from Sausalito. I would like to take the ferry from Larkspur, totally inadequate parking. Wait for the Smart-Train then I can take the ferry.
But the real question is, I understand the linkage and the division of responsibility between the landside improvements and the seaside improvements, but there is such unease about what is being designed here. I recognize that you are working under a time line. You want to be able to take advantage of the money, the funding that you have secured.
But I am wondering if this project might go more easily if you had a little bit more time to talk to Sausalito, to talk to the public to get some solidity on what is going to happen landside and how it will integrate. I agree, the access to the ferry there is challenging. You are not exactly sure where you are going, where you are parking and how that all plays out.
I guess my question is what is your timeline for the money, the funding?
Mr. Eberle responded: To further your point. We understand that there are needs for improvements on the landside also, which is why the District went out and solicited to secure a grant which we would like to pass through to the City of Sausalito so they can address this issue because it is their land, it is their issue to address. A small city does not have a lot of opportunities for such funding, so to be able to assist them with that we believe is a good thing. And we would like to work and partner with them to get that going as soon as possible so that they could understand what they want there and there are funds actually available to do those improvements should they elect to do that.
With regard to our waterside project: As I mentioned, we have a number of grants. We have about a half-dozen grants for this particular project. But FTA, we have over 14 grants that deal with all of our transit facilities. We have been notified by FTA that we are on their watch list because we have these grants and the grants are not being expended. So we currently have quarterly update meetings with FTA and we are under a lot of pressure from them to use this grant funding so that we get the work done for the transit facilities that they gave us the money for. If not, they have stated that they will start taking these grants away.
The other issue with that is once they take grants away from you, you have a very small likelihood of ever getting grants again from them because they look at you as a risk agency because you are not going to spend the grants.
So the timeline, we do not have a definite date but we are meeting with them quarterly. They are under the impression that we are going to begin this project this next coming calendar year, 2015, so if it does not begin at that time then we will be at risk of losing those funds.
Commissioner Vasquez inquired about grant funds: You mentioned that you had secured a grant for the City that you were going to pass through; how much was that? I think you did mention it.
Mr. Eberle quantified the grant money: It is a $2.5 million grant and that does have an expiration date on it currently of 2017 to begin drawing down on that grant or else it will be at risk of losing it.
Commissioner Vasquez asked for clarification of a term: Drawing down meaning in construction?
Mr. Eberle replied: Drawing down, it is for planning, environmental and for construction. We are anticipating about a half million dollars of that for the environmental planning process.
Commissioner Vasquez continued: And I know the threat of taking money away from you is serious. We have had a couple of projects in Solano County where we have met those timelines right down to about a month. It was pretty serious. We would have lost a great deal of money to build a bridge which we had been planning for about 12 years so I understand your pain, or potential pain.
Commissioner Bates asked about ferry sizes: I want to inquire because I have not ridden the ferries for a long time. I am wondering, when you design the boats are you expecting larger boats in the future or are the boats the optimal size now? Are we going to see larger boats in the future?
Mr. Eberle answered: We have a fleet of seven ferry vessels right now. What we are actually in the process of doing is modifying those vessels so that there will be two locations for loading and unloading on all of those vessels. They have to periodically go into dry dock for maintenance and that is what we are doing, so that at the lower, main deck level, all of our ferry vessels will have two doors for loading and unloading. But we are not getting any new vessels at this time.
Commissioner Bates asked for clarification: So these vessels we see now and probably similar vessels will be in operation for the next 50 years? I am just trying to understand.
Mr. Eberle stated: We are not planning to go get a whole new fleet of vessels, no. We are planning to maintain our current fleet.
Commissioner Bates had concerns regarding landside developments: And the other thing I am concerned about is the landside. Everybody is talking about the landside. That is in our jurisdiction, right? This is in BCDC’s 100 foot band jurisdiction. So why the heck don’t we know what is being planned and why don’t we know what is going to take place in that jurisdiction?
Regulations Program Director McCrea fielded the question: The landside improvements are not within the control of the Golden Gate Bridge District.
And if they should ever come to a resolution about what should be planned there it would have to come to this Commission for an amendment to that City permit to get authorization for this.
In addition, what we hope is that the planning process that would happen with the City of Sausalito, funded by the Bridge District, would be a planning process that would explore different amenities and improvements that would go through our Design Review Board and through our process.
What is the question right now is whether that planning process can happen in a timely manner. As Erik said earlier, we are in discussions with the Bridge District about how that pass-through money might be used wisely. As you heard, there is a financial contribution for waterfront planning; we may think that makes sense. We think that makes sense here in Sausalito because that is where the impacts are so that is where the public access should be. However, if the City can’t come to agreement about when and how it should spend that money the Bridge District has discretion on where that money can be spent? They can spend it in some other municipality. We are in discussions with the Bridge District about crafting a permit recommendation for your consideration that includes a kick-out that if they don’t begin the planning process by such-and-such date and if the money is not spent by such-and-such date that the money can be used elsewhere other than Sausalito.
Commissioner Bates continued: I would strongly encourage that direction. I am glad to hear that we are moving in that direction. Because it seems to me that the District has a real responsibility to actually fund the planning. Are you prepared now to put up the money to do the planning for Sausalito?
Mr. Eberle answered: We have secured, from FTA, a $2.5 million grant.
Commissioner Bates inquired further: So that is available for them to use for planning right now?
Mr. Eberle addressed the issue: We are in the process of doing the pass-through agreement with the City. The City controls the land.
Commissioner Bates focused his question: My question is, you are prepared to give them $2.1 million in order to plan --
Mr. Eberle added: Planning and construction.
Commissioner Bates questioned: And that’s available today?
Mr. Eberle replied: Correct.
Commissioner Bates added: Maybe your suggestion is a good one.
Mr. Withy, the Mayor of Sausalito spoke: My name is Ray Withy; I am currently the Mayor of Sausalito. I hadn’t intended speaking. The Vice Mayor of Sausalito began the presentation.
We do not have the money currently, so let’s make that clear. We are waiting for the pass-through grant of $2.4 or $2.5 million.
We cannot begin the planning of the landside improvements until that grant has been issued. What is holding up the grant being issued? Eventually we need the waterside improvements to actually be approved before the grant money can be made available and passed-through to the city of Sausalito. We seem to be going around in a chicken and egg phenomenon here, which is going on.
I am here solely to answer that question.
Commissioner Bates continued: The District is saying that they are not prepared to make the grant unless the waterside improvements are --
Mr. Eberle interjected: No, that is not correct. There’s mechanics to passing-through a grant and those agreement discussions have been going on for a long time. The grant was FTA-secured in 2012, there was the sequester of 2013 which made the grant funds not available, we didn’t know if we were going to get them. Just recently we got them so now we are going through those mechanics. FTA has assured the District that we have those grant funds so it is going through the mechanics.
These projects are two totally separate projects. The waterside project has cleared CEQA and has cleared NEPA. We have gone through all the environmental processes. The planning for the landside improvements hasn’t even been scoped yet. That’s a two-plus year process to go through the scoping and the environmental. We cannot wait two-plus years to do improvements on our waterside project. And we have gone through all the environmental clearances necessary for that project. I just wanted to clarify that.
Commissioner Bates had additional commentary: A couple of last points. I would appreciate, because it wasn’t here today, I would like to know what the landside looks like. I don’t have any idea. Is there parking, is it a parking lot over there? That’s it, a parking lot.
Are there any tentative ideas being proposed that have been put forward? Anybody have any ideas what they are talking about for the landside or is it going to remain parking?
Mr. McCrea stated: To date the design principles in the top right hand corner of the slide are the best we have.
One says “Existing Plaza Improvements”, two says “Increased Bicycle Staging Area”, three says “Connecting Sidewalk Plaza to Bus Staging”, “Improved Bus Staging Area”, “Revisions in Parking Lot 1”, and finally, “Extended Sidewalk to Parking Lot 3”. Not all of those are non-controversial; some of them are bigger issues than others. But the idea would be that we might craft a permit condition in the Bridge District’s permit that says that these design principles, these broad-brush ideas and goals, we should strive to achieve them.
Commissioner Bates added: That sounds perfect, thank you very much.
Commissioner Doherty commented on a procedural issue: Just procedurally in terms of 90 days for us to act after receiving the application. I see the February 1st deadline and so I am thinking about sort of the proposal by Commissioner McGrath to have this come back before the Design Review Board. I am just wondering in terms of procedurally, wouldn’t the applicant have to withdraw the application in order for that to happen?
Mr. Buehmann replied: The Design Review Board reviewed this on October 6th and focused primarily on the landside improvements. To summarize the Design Review Board’s comments and speaking generally, that the landside was very important because of the issues of bike congestion there, because there are a growing number of commuters and there is a long line that goes out there and parking issues out there, that the planning process was really important. Sort of reiterating what Commissioner Gorin said, that this is an important part of the whole thing but it is a separate project that the City is going to undertake.
The Design Review Board also reviewed the designs of the ferry terminal itself, specifically the designs that you saw today. Unfortunately, there was a difference of opinion about the designs. Speaking to the aesthetics and the way it looks, the design of the gate, the design of the railings. The Chair of the DRB felt that they were appropriate and felt that they were an appropriate nautical character. Another member of the DRB disagreed.
Similarly with the belvederes. The Design Review Board questioned, mostly for staff, whether these were appropriate widths and there was a disagreement about whether or not it was an appropriate amenity or not. Some members of the DRB thought that it was appropriate and some disagreed.
The staff recommended that the District add the belvederes in order to have a public access amenity now since the landside improvement process had not yet begun. To have any public access out here, outside of just the public pier itself, would take several years to have actual, on-the- ground improvements.
The pier itself, during commuting hours it would be taken up by a line of people, so the staff believed if you could add some belvederes and some benches because the views out here are very nice, that would be a public access improvement that you could do today. Speaking back to my earlier presentation, because the District is so constrained in its area of control, we wanted to be able to have some access as soon as possible.
That’s correct, going back to the DRB would run up against the 90 day clock and the staff believes that it would not result in any resolution of these issues.
Commissioner Pine commented: You kind of answered the question I was about to ask. What happened at the DRB and what is their role, if any in the future? Another element of that is; was the City of Sausalito well-represented at that Design Review Board meeting?
Mr. Buehmann answered: The public works director was there, Jonathan Goldman.
Mr. Eberle added: Councilwoman Pfeifer was present and spoke and citizens were also present and spoke at the time.
Mr. McCrea spoke: If I might, to follow up on Commissioner Doherty’s question. I want to spell out a little bit about how we advise the Design Review Board to advise you when it comes to getting into issues regarding fill. Their role is to comment on the adequacy of public access, not to determine whether the fill is the minimum amount necessary; that is your realm. But we do recognize that the Design Review Board is our expert in architecture and planning and in landscape architecture and that they might be able to help inform your decision about whether the amount of fill is the minimum necessary for the intended use. In this case, people standing around, standing at the railing, enjoying the view, sitting down, getting out of the way of others. So they are not making a decision on minimum fill but they are giving you additional information.
Usually their advice is clear and unequivocal. Usually you have a good idea of what they are thinking; and in this case, you don’t. I am not sure that it would gain us much by going back and asking the question again. I think that perhaps the decision is yours to determine whether or not the fill for the belvederes is necessary and is the minimum necessary. We can go back and look at it at the staff level again. Now with that I see that our Chief of Permits Bob Batha is standing.
Chief of Permits Batha commented: We asked the applicant to calculate how much fill would be involved with just the belvedere portion. I think it is 260 square feet, which is smaller than most single family boat docks around San Francisco Bay, but it gives you an order of magnitude that we talked about.
Commissioner Addiego complimented the authorship of Sausalito residents: I was wondering if we could revisit the lease because understanding the applicant’s explanation, they can’t put up an awning but they can rebuild the entire dock under the existing lease. But when we looked at the one slide that included the lease boundary lines, a portion of this project for a period of time, the relocated, temporary, floating gangway, is outside of the lease line; if I am reading it correctly.
I just wanted to compliment the people who have joined us from Sausalito. I serve in the City of South San Francisco and we have some very eloquent, articulate citizens, but whoever came up with the “contorted, arthritic knuckle” as a description of a belvedere, I can’t support a belvedere in the future. And the woman who wrote that the ferry landing design, the gate would be perfect for San Quentin because it gives a “keep me imprisoned look”. There are a lot of great authors in Sausalito.
Mr. Buehmann spoke: The City issued an encroachment permit to the District to build the temporary terminal and maintain the temporary terminal and operate it during the construction.
Commissioner Sears commented on the duality of her roles: I bring a lot of hats to this particular conversation. I am obviously on this Commission, I am a member of the Golden Gate Bridge Board, I am a Marin County Supervisor for Southern Marin and I am a resident of Sausalito. It’s the perfect project for me.
Obviously, the conversation has made clear that this is a particularly challenging project in trying to deal with the two areas of greatest concern to our Commission, the minimum necessary fill issue and the maximum public access. It’s particularly challenging, as the discussion has made clear, because we have two completely different permits and only one of them is before us.
For those of us in Sausalito, those of us in Southern Marin, we feel very strongly about being able to make land use decisions and design, have input on design and on projects. And I think looking at these materials, myself as a Sausalito resident and a county supervisor, I think one of the things that may have caused particular concern for our residents was the picture of the landside improvements.
And I have to give credit to the Golden Gate Bridge Board. You get off a ferry and you walk onto land, right? It is not illogical to want to consider what is on the landside and how will that be part of a project? But it is even more important than that for our residents of Sausalito to be able to have a really good planning and design review process about what happens on the landside.
Now I can tell you as a long-term resident of Sausalito, there have been lots of ideas about what should happen in that downtown plaza area over the years. This is a long, ongoing conversation and it is a very, very important conversation.
My concern with the idea of linking these projects, although it makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, even though there’s two permits and only one of them is in front of us, is that we need to make sure that the City of Sausalito and its residents can have the best planning process that they need to have and want to have.
We also need to make sure that those of us who take the ferry can get on it safely. That people who are disabled and in wheelchairs can get on and off the ferry safely. We saw pictures of the state of the current facility; it is not in good repair. Anyone who has walked down that gangway lately or over the course of the last 15 or 20 years has thought, gee, this is a little bit rickety and I wonder if it is ever going to get improved. So to me it is very important that the Golden Gate Bridge be able to pursue the waterside improvements that they really need to make for safety and operational reasons.
That said, I think it is very important that the Golden Gate Bridge has expressed the willingness that it has to talk about some of those design issues that are of concern with respect to the gate, with respect to the color of the railings and with respect to the size. That brings us back into our bailiwick, really is the size and whether we really are looking at the minimum necessary fill.
I would support cutting back the size of the project to what the Golden Gate Bridge Board initially suggested.
Kudos to staff, always looking in our interest about maximum public access, appropriate in most projects but perhaps not so appropriate in this one because of this bizarre and challenging bifurcation of the waterside and the landside permit.
I think as the Sausalito planning process proceeds that there will be a public access component to that. That is property that is right there on the water. As our staff indicated, if there is an issue that there is not opportunities that come out of that public planning process to increase access, there may be alternatives elsewhere in the Bay that the Golden Gate Bridge can fulfill expectations that we may put on them for enhancing public access.
I would encourage us to proceed with this particular permit to really focus on the minimum necessary fill issues and to encourage the Golden Gate Bridge to do what it says it wants to do and is willing to do; and to have that conversation about, does that really look like a prison gate? A San Quentin gate, and how could that be enhanced just a little bit?
Acting Chair Halsted commented: I think those are sound ideas. I would love to see us pursue those.
Commissioner McGrath took the floor: I really appreciate Commissioner Sear’s comments and the response by staff. I think if we are going to bring this down to focus on minimum fill necessary, and that’s this Commission’s job. Then I do think we need some things from staff on the question of the gates to be able to make that decision.
Let me run through them in order. First of all, there is a question of the industrial nature of the gate and the orientation of the gate. They both look kind of forbidding to me. I can also understand the need for at least eight feet in both directions and can it be done under less. That is some analysis that I would like to see from the staff.
Does it really benefit much in terms of fill and in terms of looks to reduce the amount of fill? That is something I would look for in a recommendation from staff.
On the look of it, understanding that aesthetics is a dangerous area to get into, particularly by engineers because we have no sense of aesthetics in general; what I would like to see is photos from the same spot on land of the existing gate and a good photo approximation of what is proposed so that we can see the question of orientation. I think one of the most telling comments was about that.
Next, I am absolutely convinced that you need a longer gangway and you need a wider gangway. Whether it is 16 feet or 24 or 40 feet I think becomes the question. The facility there is not adequate for ADA accessibility and we have a responsibility to make it so.
Is it too wide, I guess, is the question. And again, we want to a recommendation from the staff.
Then the other thing that got a little bit of attention but hasn’t had much attention here is the width of the float and the questions of, is the float necessary in order to have the necessary equipment on it to provide ADA access? I think it probably is but I want to be able to make clear findings about that.
And then finally on the belvedere, wherever I have been on a bicycle, people sit down on benches and sit and look. To me the 315 square foot for a belvedere to have this pier accessible by non-ferry users who are also a trust use, at times when it is not busy with passengers, is probably a pretty good use of fill. It may well be that there is another place on the Sausalito shoreline where this is already provided. I would like some analysis of the existing public access facilities. I would encourage the District and the City to try to work on design to have a common vocabulary.
Acting Chair Halsted asked: Is there any further public comment? (She received none)
Thank you very much. It has been a very educational and instructive public hearing. We will look forward to the staff coming back to us with recommendations at a later date.
I would entertain a motion to adjourn our meeting.
12. Briefing on Bay Plan Policies Applicable to Proposed Sand Mining Activities. (This item was postponed.)
13. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Gorin, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, the Commission meeting was adjourned at 3:28 p.m.
LAWRENCE J. GOLDZBAND
Approved, with no correctios, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of January 15, 2015.
R. ZACHARY WASSERMAN, Chair