Minutes of November 4, 2010 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Chair Randolph at the Ferry Building, Second Floor in San Francisco, California at 1:10 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were Chair Sean Randolph, Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners, Chiu, Gibbs, Gioia, Gordon (represented by Alternate Groom), Jordan Hallinan, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, Maxwell, McGrath, Moy, Nelson (represented by Alternate Ranchod), Reagan, Sartipi, Shirakawa (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Thayer (represented by Alternate Kato), Wagenknecht, Wieckowski (represented by Alternate Apodaca) and Ziegler.
Not Present were: Resources Agency (Baird), Association of Bay Area Governments (Bates), Sonoma County (Brown), Department of Finance (Finn), Governor’s Appointee (Goldzband), U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers (Hicks), and Marin County (McGlashan).
3. Public Comment Period. Chair Randolph asked for public comment.
Laura Thompson stated: As Manager of the San Francisco Bay Trail Project I will comment on Item 8.
Condition number 2(b) (3) is supported by our organization and we thank BDCD staff and Rec and Park Department for including this in the Marina Renovation Permit.
Andy Thornley with San Francisco Bicycle Coalition commented: We also support Condition 2(b) (3) and express appreciation to BCDC staff for working with us on bringing that into this recommendation.
4. Approval of Minutes of October 21, 2010 Meeting. Chair Randolph stated a change needed to be made in the draft minutes. At the bottom of page 11 the vote on the permit application was 15-4-0. Commissioner Hicks and Ziegler did not abstain, rather they did not vote because as federal representatives they are not eligible to vote on permit applications.
With that revision he entertained a motion and a second to adopt the Minutes of October 21, 2010.
MOTION: Commissioner McGrath moved, seconded by Commissioner Halsted to approve the October 21, 2010 Minutes. The motion carried by voice vote with Commissioners Carruthers, Groom, Ranchod, Sartipi and Apodaca abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair. Chair Randolph reported on the following:
a. Today’s Agenda. There is one change in the final agenda for today’s meeting. Item #10, a briefing on oysters and sand mining has been postponed.
b. Election Results. A number of current and former members of the Commission were involved in races in last week’s election. They include:
Commissioners Bob Wieckowski and Rich Gordon have been elected to the California Assembly.
Former Commissioner Leland Yee was re-elected to the California State Senate.
Former Commissioner Jerry Hill was re-elected to the California Assembly.
Former Commissioners Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Jackie Speier have been re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
I’m sure the Commission joins me in congratulating the winners. And if we missed anyone, I apologize.
c. Harbor Safety Committee. Commissioner Joan Lundstrom serves as our representative on the San Francisco Bay Harbor Safety Committee. She has done such an excellent job that the Committee has elected her as its Chair and she has received awards for her outstanding performance. Her current term expires January 2011. We would be remiss if we did not take advantage of her willingness to continue to serve on the Committee. Therefore, I would like a motion, second and affirmative vote to concur in my re-appointment of Commissioner Lundstrom as BCDC representative to the Harbor Safety Committee of the San Francisco Bay Region.
MOTION: The item was moved by Commissioner Carruthers, seconded by Commissioner Reagan and passed unanimously by voice vote.
d. RAPC.Commissioners Tom Bates, Alice Lai-Bitker and I represent the Commission on the Regional Airport Planning Committee. Commissioner Lai-Bitker will be leaving the Commission because her term on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is coming to an end so we need a replacement for her on RAPC. Fortunately, Commissioner Geoffrey Gibbs has indicated that he is willing to fill this role. Therefore, I would like a motion, second and affirmative vote to concur in my appointment of Commissioner Gibbs to the Regional Airport Planning Committee.
MOTION: Commissioner Gioia moved the item and Commissioner Halsted seconded it. It passed unanimously by voice vote.
e. Next BCDC Meeting. Our next meeting will be in two weeks on November 18th. At that meeting, which will be held at the Metro Center in Oakland, we will take up the following matters:
We will receive a briefing on the economic impact of holding the America’s Cup races in San Francisco Bay. We’ve had to twice postpone this briefing so we’re going to take it up at the beginning of our meeting.
As part of continuing our public hearing on making amendments to our Bay Plan to address climate change we will hear from a panel of key stakeholders.
We will receive two other briefings, the first the status of the Subtidal Goals Project and eelgrass restoration and the second on oysters and sand mining, which as I mentioned, we’re postponing from today’s meeting.
f. 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 ex-parte communications were reported.
We’ll move on to the Executive Director’s Report.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Travis provided the following report:
a. Personnel. We are pleased to have Javier del Castillo return to our staff for a second internship in our planning unit doing GIS analysis. Javier received a Masters Degree in urban and environmental planning from the University of Virginia. After his first internship with us ended a year and a half ago, he worked in the home mortgage business. He’ll be with us at least until next spring.
7. Commissioner Consideration of Administrative Matters. Executive Director Travis stated that on October 21 the staff sent the Commissioners a listing of the administrative matters the staff was prepared to act upon. Bob Batha is available to respond to any questions the Commissioners may have about the matters on the listings.
8. Vote on Amendment No. One to BCDC Permit No. 3-07, for the San Francisco Marina’s West Basin Renovation Project, San Francisco County. Max Delaney made the following presentation: The staff recommends that you approve the San Francisco Marina West Basin Renovation Project.
In addition to the upgrades listed in the document pertaining to renovations the project will also include the construction of new public access improvements.
The project will result in a net increase of approximately 37,340 square feet of floating fill and a net reduction of approximately 6,558 feet of solid fill in the Bay.
Upon the request of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the Bay Trail staff and others we have included Special Condition 2(3) (b) in the recommendation.
The staff recommendation also includes a number of conditions designed to minimize the project’s impacts to the Bay and surrounding areas.
The staff believes that the project is consistent with the Commission’s laws and policies and should be approved.
Chair Randolph asked the applicant if they had read the recommendation and agreed with the staff recommendation.
Mary Hobson, the Project Manager from the Recreation and Park Department stated: We thank BCDC staff for helping to bring this project forward which is a culmination of over a decade of study, public debate, cooperation and compromise.
We are in support of the permit conditions put forth by staff and hope that you take favorable action today to allow us to move forward and complete this project.
Commissioner Ranchod added: Max could you respond to the letter from the Marina Community Association.
Mr. Delaney responded: There was an environmental review prepared on this project in 2007 and certified in 2007, after this the project was modified and the floating breakwater was included in the project to replace a fixed breakwater that was originally evaluated in the EIR. The floating breakwater was evaluated in an Addendum to the EIR in 2010.
The environmental review has been fully completed at this point.
Commissioner McGrath commented: I know very well how dilapidated the docks are. The two yacht clubs there are among the most active in the world. So I think this is an important project.
After looking at this and talking with the staff, I think it is a net improvement in safety in going to a floating breakwater.
As a CEQA practitioner looking at public review the public does have the ability to comment on all significant impacts and all changes in a project that have a significant impact.
In my view having a slightly longer breakwater that is safer has fairly minimal additional visual impacts. So this doesn’t require separate review in the CEQA process.
I am fully in support of this.
Commissioner Chiu stated: I want to thank the staffs involved for working together to come up with some very good amendments.
Chair Randolph asked that any Commissioner who didn’t attend the October 21st meeting by a show of hands indicate that they had read the minutes of the meeting and were prepared to vote on the application.
Chair Randolph then asked for a motion.
MOTION: Commissioner Halsted moved the item, seconded by Commissioner Lundstrom. A roll call vote was taken
VOTE: The motion carried with a roll call vote of 18-0-0 with Commissioners Chiu, Gioia, Jordan Hallinan, Lai-Bitker, Lundstrom, Maxwell, McGrath, Moy, Reagan, Sartipi, Wagenknecht, Groom, Ranchod, Carruthers, Kato, Apodaca, Vice Chair Halsted and Chair Randolph voting “YES”, no “NO” votes and no abstentions.
Chair Randolph announced that the motion carried and thanked everyone for their votes.
9. Continued Public Hearing on Bay Plan Amendment No. 1-08 Which Would Revise Various Sections of the San Francisco Bay Plan to Address Climate Change and Add a New Climate Change Section to the Plan. Executive Director Travis began by stating: Before we open the public hearing I want to call to your attention to a memo our staff sent to you recommending that we engage in more public outreach as part of this Bay Plan amendment process.
Our recommendation is in response to a request you made to our staff at our last meeting when you agreed to keep open the public hearing and asked us to refine the process we had earlier developed for moving toward adoption of suitable amendments.
As you know, over the past year and a half we’ve held a number of public hearings on the proposed Bay Plan amendments, held workshops to better acquaint the public with the issue, got feedback from stakeholders and advanced our partnerships with other federal, state, regional agencies, and most importantly, with local governments.
At the request of the regulated community, we held additional hearings and extended the public comment period several months so they could formulate their own proposed language for the Bay Plan.
We opened the public hearing on the staff’s most recent proposed amendments on October 7th to respond to requests for additional public comment opportunities we kept the hearing open and held a second hearing on October 21st.
We held a workshop for local governments on October 29th and we’ve provided you today a summary of that workshop.
We held a special meeting on the amendments on November 2nd and we’re holding our third hearing today. Just to be sure everyone who wants to comment has an opportunity to do so, we recommend that you hold the hearing open to your next meeting on November 18th and even the meeting after that on December 2nd if there are still people who want to comment but have not had an opportunity to do so.
Also our staff has already begun working with local officials on the Commission so that during November and December we can hold special workshops in all nine Bay Area counties so that local government staff and members of the public can become more familiar with the issue of sea level rise, better understand how the Commission is approaching this issue and give us input on their views.
At our next meeting on November 18th, our staff will provide you with some broad optional strategic approaches for addressing the concerns that have been expressed about amending the Bay Plan.
At our meetings in December we will try to help you focus in on the key policy areas and offer you alternatives for addressing policy differences. You can then provide us direction as to which policy alternatives you prefer.
Our staff will then take all the input and policy direction and prepare a fourth preliminary recommendation for yet another public hearing in February or March and a vote in March or April.
While this process is long and laborious, we believe it more than responds to the requests to slow the process and provide for more public input.
We believe the end product of this exercise should not just be amendments to our Bay Plan. Rather, there should be two outcomes.
First, a broad recognition that sea level rise can have significant impacts on Bay Area communities and resources.
And second, a shared commitment to address these impacts in a responsible fashion through an effective regional adaptation strategy.
We recommend that after making any refinements you find necessary the Commission vote to endorse this expanded public outreach process so that our staff will have clear direction on what you expect of us and the public will have a clear understanding of the schedule for further consideration of the proposed Bay Plan Climate Change Amendments.
Public Comment Period: Chair Randolph mentioned that there were 15 speakers, the first being Ms. April Wooden.
Ms. Wooden stated: I’m the Community Development Director for the city of Suisun City. We appreciate you keeping the comment period open and extending the outreach efforts.
Ms. Laura Thompson added: I’m representing ABAG’s Bay Trail Project. I’m here to comment the shoreline public access and BCDC’s role in completing the 500-mile Bay Trail System.
Our collective goal is to ensure that the region does not lose this valuable resource and that it continues to expand. We endorse BCDC’s approach and will continue to work with your staff through this process.
Mr. Mark Green commented: I’m here as the ABAG President and also as the Mayor of Union City.
The inundation map of 213,000 acres has everybody concerned about what’s considered to be an expansionist mode by BCDC.
I think the language needs to be clarified as to what BCDC’s intent actually is.
Paul Campos addressed the Commission: I’m with the Building Industry Association and we’re concerned about an expansion of BCDC’s jurisdiction versus what is the regulatory reach of the Bay Plan policies.
The scope of projects subject to BCDC’s CZMA review is wide and any Bay Plan Amendment that you adopt, as a matter of federal law, is Bay Plan policy and therefore binding when BCDC reviews any project that in its determination affects the Bay. This is not a geographic test, it’s an effects test.
Commissioner Gibbs responded: With respect to BCDC’s jurisdiction or lack thereof, we ought to establish a process that entails two things.
First, any party such as Mr. Campos that would like to provide a basis for their assertions to our counsel should do so.
Second, we’d like our counsel to provide us an independent review of these assertions so that we can make a judgment as we move forward.
Ian Wren of San Francisco Baykeeper said: I’m here to support the amendment and express disappointment with the filibustering that’s occurred and which has failed to produce any kind of constructive progress.
I feel all parties have been provided with ample time to prepare for this policy and find it troublesome that some cities feel they can continue to kick this down the road which signals to me a disregard for appropriate flood risk management in the region and sustainable development within our communities.
When I worked with developers in England helping them abide by and implement British sea level rise policies, contrary to being a moratorium on development this helped them design innovative projects that could accommodate water, if necessary, and avoid the most at-risk and uninsurable areas.
I encourage BCDC to remove references to specific flood return frequencies until revised FEMA maps are released.
Michael Endicott with Sierra Club California presented the following: We would like to see this policy move forward as quickly as possible.
We are concerned that this debate gets turned into one about jurisdiction rather than about science and guidance.
If local governments do not respond to this now they will not be able to cope with it later because the expense of trying to stand up to sea level rise will cost a lot more.
Sarah Aminzadeh of Coastkeeper Alliance added: Projected seal level rise and the associated impacts will profoundly change the ecosystems and the communities that our water keepers work to protect.
From a public safety and economic standpoint I’m here to ask two things of BCDC.
First, do not slow down this process to adopt the Bay Plan Amendment.
Second, make sure that these amendments reflect key best practices of coastal planning.
David Tam with SPRAWLDEF presented the following: Our activity before the Commission has been focused on BCDC’s disappointing approval of the Potrero Hills Landfill Expansion Project; however, I will speak on Item 9 today.
We concur with previous speakers to get on with the development of the Bay Plan and not get bogged down in pseudo disputes over jurisdiction.
Evelyn Stivers who works for the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California presented the following: I am here today because we are very concerned about how sea level rise will impact people that currently live in affordable housing as well as how the new guidelines will affect new development.
We are very concerned about making sure that the current neighborhoods are protected as we do not want to see a repeat of what happened in New Orleans.
Dave Harrison added: I’m the Dredging and Safety Director for the Operating Engineers Local 3 and we understand that sea level rise is very real.
We don’t believe that stakeholders have been allowed to fully participate in the process.
We do not agree with the amendments as they are currently proposed.
Scott Zengel of the Bay Area Council commented: We are not trying to indefinitely get rid of this process. We know that sea level rise is inevitable. We are trying to get it right.
My primary point is that in addition to going out and educating local municipalities BCDC also needs to give them time to have feedback and know what they should or should not know.
We are not sure how the ART process, Adapting to Rising Tides, fits in with all of this and we’d like clarification on that as we see it as completely disconnected.
BAAQMD recently hurried up and put together tools and policies before they were ready and we’re dealing with the ramifications of that now. If you just allow a good public process then this will all be solved and you won’t be jumping the gun.
Commissioner Gioia addressed Mr. Zengel: Scott I’m on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board and we delayed the implementation of the rule until January 1st. And there’s been further discussion about allowing more time to develop some tools. So, actually, you are not seeing the impacts on that because we delayed the implementation of it.
Mr. Zengel responded: On behalf of Jack Broadbent asking Jim Wunderland to bring together two constituencies to resolve the problems pertaining to the tools, the tools were released a little too early.
Commissioner Gioia replied: It’s going to get delayed until March or April. It’s important to note that when we close a public hearing here it doesn’t mean there’s not going to be future opportunity for input.
What it means is that we have to close the hearing so that staff can take all the comments, information and suggested changes and come back to us with any new version of this plan next year and then have additional public hearings.
Mr. Zengel responded: My main point is that if the public hearing is closed they won’t be able to give input.
Commissioner Gioia added: The Commission is made up of local government representatives who are in contact with local government and we are making a concerted effort to outreach to as many people as we can.
Commissioner Carruthers commented: I’m helping staff set up meetings in Santa Clara County with city managers and I think comments or concerns that come out of those meetings will be considered and used.
Commissioner McGrath asked Mr. Zengel: Is it not clear enough that local governments and the land use authority and what might be necessary to sustain their land uses get inputted into our process in a manner that’s continuously able to be modified?
Mr. Zengel responded: We understand that there are a lot of local governments who have not been involved in the process and therefore have not understood or analyzed these changes.
Commissioner McGrath answered: Scott, the policy does not establish any prescriptive land uses directly; rather, it establishes a process run by local government that allows them to define their own adaptive plan. I wonder if that’s not clear.
Mr. Zengel responded: A lot of local governments don’t have the resources, capability or capacity to analyze this continuously down the line. So what they are looking for is input into the process to make sure that the guidelines that you come up with are understood and clear.
Commissioner Gioia added: Section 5 is one of the two sections of the policies where most of the comments have come in.
So the heart of this policy is saying, here are some principles, let’s go forward and spend a fair amount of time, probably a couple of years, to develop a regional adaptation strategy.
It’s important to note that this section says, we are going to work together with local government and the Joint Policy Committee to come up with a strategy.
Local governments want to provide the greatest input on the interim policies which are in Section 6.
I didn’t see in here that Foster City is not going to be protected. At some level some of the fear is reasonable and some of the fear is unreasonable.
I think there has to be a level of realism and focus on what really are the issues as opposed to throwing everything up on the wall.
Mr. Zengel added: I think the three levels are awareness, education and analysis. They are concerned that there’s not time for analysis.
Scott Peterson addressed the Commission: I’m representing the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Clearly, there is a need to mitigate the existing concerns and the ongoing concerns of developers, local authorities and others.
Nicholas Targ stated: I’m an attorney with Holland & Knight, a member of EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and I served with EPA as the Associate Director and Counsel to the Office of Environmental Justice.
The courts give great deference to BAAQMD standards and since there is no hardship exemption under CEQA there is a presumption that they would apply notwithstanding the language that’s included, and here the CZMA and the consistency determinations are also likely to pick up the Bay Plan amendments as do the CEQA requirements.
The staff report Living With a Rising Bay states that low-income residents will be disproportionately affected by sea level rise in five Bay area counties.
Some of the ways that the Commission can help these communities are: solicit views from these communities, translate summaries of documents into other languages, keep the hearing period open during outreach, identify in the Bay Plan amendments how those impacts will fall on low-income communities and identify feasible mitigation measures, call out where BCDC doesn’t have authority, and identify where there are going to be areas of impact that are significant and can’t be mitigated.
CEQA gives BCDC the obligation to mitigate significant adverse impacts to the extent feasible for all communities.
Commissioner Reagan added: The comment about the unintended consequences of including some of the sea level rise language in the Bay Plan for areas that are not now subject to BCDC jurisdiction needs to be addressed with the staff bringing us alternatives.
I hope that one of the alternative recommendations will be that recommendations dealing with sea level rise in areas outside of our current jurisdiction will be put into an advisory rather than in the Bay Plan so that we don’t have this unintended contagion with the CZMA issues that were brought up.
Executive Director Travis responded: We’ve identified six different options and that is one of them.
Another option is to remove amendments of existing language dealing with sea level rise that have been in the Bay Plan for 21 years.
I don’t know why people haven’t been confused for 21 years and, if the Commission is doing this to use federal consistency to get jurisdiction over this, it’s taken over two decades for the Commission to do this.
In any event, we will bring those options to you without a recommendation for you to consider at our next meeting.
Commissioner Gioia responded: There hasn’t been any suggestion here by the Commission to remove the Bay Plan policy.
Executive Director Travis answered: No, but what we’ve heard is, Commission, if you adopt these new policies, they will, one, give you the authority to use your federal consistency over a broad area and, two, in fact, not be advisory, they will force local governments to do things, and three, can be used by NIMBYs to use CEQA to stop projects.
The existing Bay Plan policies do discourage development in low-lying areas and people are saying that that’s the wrong thing to do and they’re bringing us policies that would modify that restriction.
Commissioner Gibbs commented to Mr. Targ: You stated in your testimony today that you were asked to come and talk about environmental justice and your background. At the November 2nd meeting I remember you talked about environmental justice and your background. Mr. Targ responded: I was asked to provide comments, in fact, challenged by the Commission to provide additional comments.
Commissioner Gibbs answered: Since you asserted that this Commission had jurisdiction over environmental justice issues you were asked to provide a legal memorandum of that authority or any other evidence you had of that authority, and second, you were asked if you were here testifying in a personal capacity, as a partner for Holland & Knight on behalf of Holland & Knight or representing any clients that you would care to identify. You did not at that time.
Mr. Targ responded: Mr. Gibbs I represent at least five different entities that are going to be substantially affected by the policy and I am not going to call out who those are.
And I have just called out ways that under CEQA BCDC does have authority to address social equity issues.
Commissioner Gibbs replied: And we would invite you, again, to submit that formally in writing and thank you for identifying, today, in fact, that you do represent at least five parties with interests before the Commission because two days ago you were unable or unwilling to make that statement.
Mr. Targ responded: I didn’t see the relevance, consider this a down payment.
Commissioner McGrath added: I found the comment of the housing advocate more immediate and on point, that is, giving an example of one of the things we should be concerned about which was de facto redlining.
What happens due to sea level rise with low-lying properties where there may not be the tax base or the political will to provide protection and what happens because of the policy adoption?
I think your testimony would be far more persuasive if you identified what impacts of policy rather than sea level rise concern you and what we might do about that.
I’ve asked you for that in writing because I actually read every single written communication that comes in.
Mr. Targ responded: I won’t respond other than to say that those kinds of issues should be included in the environmental assessment that’s prepared under the functional equivalence of CEQA to back this proposed amendment.
Commissioner McGrath opined: What I read the staff to be saying is that their authority in areas outside of the Commission’s direct jurisdiction was very limited.
I understand the flooding issue in communities also as a hydrologist and am very concerned about it but there are a limited number of things we can do.
Commissioner Carruthers added: I trust you’re submitting your comments in writing because you had some interesting things and I couldn’t keep track of them all.
Mr. Targ replied: I would be very pleased to.
Commissioner Gioia stated: BCDC is striving to address issues concerned with low-lying, low-income areas that will be inundated.
In fact, some of the low-income communities around the Bay that could potentially be inundated are exactly prime candidates for protection under these policies.
Mr. Brent Butler commented: I’m a planning director for the city of East Palo Alto, and my comments do not represent the official comments of the city.
Some of the communities that have alluvial fans such as the city of East Palo Alto, and Palo Alto are concerned as to the impacts of sediment and sediment transport and the residual impacts on the need for the substrate for specific types of endogenous fish.
So my concerns go specifically to the fact that the social policy considerations are considerable insofar as the low-lying areas have historically been where the low-income have resided.
If you refer to the 2003 Office of Planning and Research General Plan Guidelines they specifically call out some of the guidance for reaching out to communities such as East Palo Alto. They have not yet been addressed.
Ms. Ellen Johnck of the Bay Planning Coalition commented: I am very pleased with the outreach, the dialogue and the process that is critical to coming up with a sound guidance document.
Further deliberations by our Coalition on ideas of how to improve the language are ongoing.
We have consensus on our belief that there should not be any language in this document that precludes any proposals that would stimulate investment or innovation of any kind. There should be no ironclad principles that you have to provide public access in the future. The words “practicability” and “feasibility” should be used.
And even though some of the wording already exists in the Bay Plan there seems to be these swings in how you’re presenting the intent of this document.
Commissioner McGrath commented to Ms. Johnck: You had the word, “practicability”.
Ms. Johnck responded: Well, this guarantee of public access in the future no matter what.
Commissioner McGrath asked her: So if something comes before us that has a public access, way with a levee to protect that development, you want the language about public access to be relocated somewhere practicable?
Ms. Johnck replied: Well BCDC has said that you must provide public access, that even in the event of a 55-inch sea level rise it would have to be guaranteed.
Commissioner McGrath added: I would think that mitigation would be required to interfere with the public interest, not subject to practicability. If you didn’t mean to put a practicability test in that perhaps you could be a little more careful in your comments.
Ms. Johnck answered: So I would say if there’s an adverse effect and that’s identified, mitigation will come into play and the language has to reflect some kind of adaptive management strategy.
We need to continue working on this subject.
Mr. Evan Reeves commented: I’m with the Center for Creative Land Recycling and we are in the education phase right now and hope to get into the analysis phase.
We have significant concerns with the in-fill and brownfield components of the amendment, particularly of them being overly restrictive and impractical as it applies to lower-income communities.
Executive Director Travis mentioned that because of the difficulty of scheduling the nine county-based hearings over the next two months, the schedule would probably slip over into January.
Chair Randolph asked for a motion and a second to schedule a vote on the Bay Plan the first meeting in April of 2011.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker enquired as to the response of local governments insofar as attendance in up-to-the-present workshops and/or hearings had been.
Chief Planner LaClair responded that attendance varied from 15 to 40 participants at the three public workshops in September 2009 and that, at the October 29, 2010 meeting, he had counted 25 cities, three counties, Caltrans, MTC, ABAG and some advocates representing different interests from the sign-in sheets.
Commissioner Lundstrom commented: I strongly support the process.
I think that the general public does not realize that sea level rise is now and that we have to do something about it.
In order for the Bay Plan Amendment not to be some nice document sitting on a shelf somewhere local governments need to have a buy-in into it.
Commissioner Groom added: I think that extending the process will have us ending up with a better process.
Commissioner Ranchod commented: I want to express my strong support for this proposal of holding the workshops in the nine counties.
The Commission should give some thought to translating materials of the proposed amendments into languages other than English. There are some key languages that we could make sure that someone has translated materials so that those communities can have access to this.
Executive Travis added that this was not something that BCDC had funding to do. Hopefully communities with significant citizen bodies that are using a different language have a capacity to do this.
Commissioner Reagan commented: There are some broad outlines of some policies that could be put into general plans. But the tools to actually execute those are dependent on new development occurring and there’s a lot of existing infrastructure out there that will not have the additional tax increment generated to be able to protect this.
I think it’s going to take some time to come up with the tools to do the planning for the communities that I represent that don’t have the resources and don’t have an existing county flood management agency.
Commissioner Gibbs addressed the issue of environmental justice: We should be concerned with three important points insofar as environmental justice is concerned.
First, what is the extent of BCDC’s authority to consider environmental justice considerations?
Second, I hope that staff can be directly in touch with the lady that testified today concerning physical protection and evacuation plans of low-lying, low-income communities in order to get both specific language and proposals.
And third, I encourage the availability of these documents in other languages that are spoken around the Bay and this is something that should happen sooner rather than later.
Commissioner Gioia added: I think the hope is to get more local government understanding of these policies is important.
I do think there’s greater fear than there’s reason for that fear to exist and there is a need for some possible changes.
The hope is to have as many people on board with regards to a regional plan as possible and that the real meat of this proposal is the development of an adaptation strategy with the involvement of local government.
As to the areas outside of our jurisdiction we have said that these policies are advisory and some have raised the issue that they will still have impacts and that’s why we’re trying to accommodate local government as we make these changes.
Commissioner McGrath added: I endorse the staff recommendation and your comments about early April. I think it is wise for the reasons laid out in the staff report and the comments made here.
Commissioner Lai-Bitker commented: I think this idea that some people have that BCDC is involved in a power grab is a myth. In the last couple of years we have taken a leadership role in raising awareness of sea level rise.
MOTION: Commissioner Wagenknecht moved for the endorsement of the staff approach with a vote in early April, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers the item passed 20-0-0.
10. Commission Briefing on the San Francisco Bay Native Oysters and Aggregate Mining Activities. This item was postponed.
11. Consideration of Strategic Plan Status Report. Executive Director Travis mentioned that we are recommending a number of deadlines be postponed and extended.
We are short staffed and that is impacting us.
We’ve had to invest a lot of resources in dealing with this Bay Plan change.
With the extension there are some subsequent things dealing with legislation and other things that should be postponed.
I would welcome a motion and approval of these changes.
MOTION: Commissioner Reagan moved to approve the changes, seconded by Vice Chair Halsted. The item passed unanimously by voice vote.
12. New Business. There was no new business.
13. Old Business. Commissioner Ranchod mentioned that back when the Commission had the Strategic Planning Workshop in April, one of the comments made was that it would be real important at some point to develop key performance measures or outcomes for each of the three year goals and the ongoing goals.
We didn’t have time to complete that. I hope that if we aren’t able to do that before we engage in the next annual process that we make sure that we build that in for next year.
14. Adjournment. Chair Randolph entertained a motion to adjourn. Upon motion by Commissioner Wageneknecht, seconded by Commissioner Lai-Bitker, the meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of November 18, 2010
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair