Minutes of April 21, 2011 Commission Meeting
1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Halsted at the MetroCenter Auditorium, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California at 1:16 p.m.
2. Roll Call. Present were: Vice Chair Halsted, Commissioners Adams, Addiego, Baird (represented by Alternate Vierra), Bates, Gibbs, Goldzband, Jordan Hallinan, Hicks (represented by Alternate Johnson), Lundstrom, McGrath, Shirakawa (represented by Alternate Carruthers), Spering (represented by Alternate Vasquez), Wagenknecht, and Ziegler. Legislative member Charles Taylor was also present.
Not Present were: Association of Bay Area Governments South Bay (Apodaca), Sonoma County (Brown), Alameda County (Chan), San Francisco County (Chiu), Department of Finance (Finn), State Lands Commission (Fossum), Contra Costa County (Gioia), San Mateo Count (Groom), Governors Appointees (Randolph & Moy), Senate Rules Committee (Nelson), and Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (Sartipi).
Vice-Chair Halsted reported the following: One important name was not included in our roll call today, Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan, who unexpectedly and suddenly passed away on March 27th.
I am sure we all have our own special memories of Charles, share in a great sense of loss and offer our condolences to his family. Our Chairman Sean Randolph attended the memorial service for Charles on April 9th and asked that I read the following statement into the record of today’s meeting:
“I know that I speak for the entire Commission in expressing a deep sadness and sense of loss at the passing of our friend and colleague Charles McGlashan. Charles was always engaged and passionate about the things he believed in. He left nothing on the table. Charles brought those qualities to the Commission, serving on our Enforcement Committee and representing us on Joint Policy Committee.
As strongly as he might feel about an issue, he had grace and humor––and an unforgettable smile. We will all miss his contributions to our work and his company.”
We will adjourn today’s meeting in memory of Charles. Let us all now join in a moment of silence as a tribute to Charles McGlashan.
3. Public Comment Period. Vice Chair Halstead called for public comment on subjects that were not on the agenda. Comments would be restricted to three minutes per speaker.
Jill Templeton commented that she was from Charles McGlashan’s district and a good friend of his aides.
She moved to the Strawberry Point development in 1958 and it was a place that everyone went to with their dogs. In the 80’s BCDC became involved with the shoreline.
In January some residents wanted to change public access and require all dogs be on a leash at all times rather than under voice control.
I don’t think that this measure is justified based on once incident of an over-zealous dog bumping someone. This is setting a precedent in public use change driven by a few people rather than the public at large.
Linda Page commented: Commissioner McGlashan’s death was a terrible loss. I met him once and he was a fabulous person and his smile was beautiful.
The practical issue with the dogs on leash at all times is that law enforcement cannot patrol the area because it’s federal property and they’re not allowed to patrol it and secondly, they just don’t have the manpower to patrol it.
I hope that we remain off-leash in the area.
Julie Finley commented: I like to walk my well-behaved dog off-leash. I’ve suggested different time spans for off-leash and on-leash dog walking and this has been rejected without discussion or consideration.
The original permit stated that reasonable rules could be enacted if they did not unduly interfere with reasonable public use of the public access areas and would tend to correct a specific problem that the permittee had identified and substantiated.
We do not believe that a specific problem that requires that all dogs be on a leash has been substantiated.
Alternatives to all dogs on a leash have not been taken up by the Homeowner’s Board at Strawberry Point.
Ms. Helen Haug commented: I’ve been a resident of Strawberry Point for 18 years.
I’m here today to represent the handicapped at Strawberry Point. I feel the path is unsafe because there is no leash law and no monitoring.
We do not have safety on the path because of the current activities engaged in by a number of dog owners.
Julia Chu commented: On December of 2010 I was on the path walking and a dog attacked me. It was running at full speed and the owner was socializing and the dog took me as a target.
According to the dog owner it knocked me down and my head landed on the path and I was knocked unconscious.
I asked the dog owner, how can you value your dog’s interest over the life of other human beings?
I will carry the pain of my injuries perhaps for the rest of my life.
This is not an issue of dog owners versus non-dog owners or homeowners versus non-homeowners; it is an issue of public safety versus some inconvenience for some dog owners who value the interest of their dogs over the life of human beings.
Your role is to make sure this public path is safe and has safe access to everybody not just to the non-leash dog owners.
Many people fear the criss-crossing of dogs running across the path and elsewhere that they don’t go to this area anymore. This hazard can be controlled if the dogs are on a leash.
Joel Coopersmith commented: I am the president of the Homeowner’s Association.
The Board has been talking about this for a couple of years. In 1991 most of the houses weren’t there and as the community has expanded the number of dog owners has increased dramatically.
The hazard of being hit by a dog at the park has also increased dramatically. Ms. Chu’s incident capped the issue for the Board. We pay for the maintenance of this area.
At our last meeting I made very sure that I asked all the non-residents who came to the shore if they have ever felt that their public access has been denied or have they ever been intimidated so that they would feel like they couldn’t come there? And there was nobody who felt this way.
This area has now become a dog park. It’s an area that older people and people with children should be able to go to without worrying about being mobbed by a bunch of dogs.
Ms. Erika Chapman commented: We are asking BCDC to allow everyone to access this space including people who don’t have dogs.
This is an unfortunate situation that has gotten out of control and people are getting hurt and many people are unable to use this area because of the current situation.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan stated: I lived in Redwood Shores for a long time and eventually the dog owners got together and built a dog park.
BCDC does not have a whole lot of jurisdiction over what a homeowner’s association is doing in any particular area. It is not our job to police whether a board had an appropriate hearing.
Commissioner Carruthers asked for clarification: This is not an item on our agenda is it?
Vice Chair Halsted answered that it was not.
Commissioner McGrath added: We have a report on our agenda but we need take no action unless we want to direct the staff to bring it back for a hearing.
You know, knuckleheads can mess things up for everybody. I don’t take dogs out if I can’t control them. I think that there are problems at this location and anytime that you are bringing multiple dogs to a site the possibility of dogs being beyond the voice control of their owners is great.
I don’t think a place that has a five-foot wide path and has multiple users is the best choice of off-leash dogs. So for that reason I’m inclined to back the staff and leave it as it is.
4. Approval of Minutes of the March 3, 2011 Meeting. Vice Chair Halsted entertained a motion and a second to adopt the minutes of March 3, 2011.
MOTION: Commissioner Carruthers moved, seconded by Commissioner Lundstrom, to approve the March 3, 2011 Minutes. The motion carried by voice vote with Commissioner Vierra, Ziegler and Goldzband abstaining.
5. Report of the Chair. Vice Chair Halstead reported on the following:
a. New Commissioners. A few additional appointments to the Commission have been made since our last meeting.
The Senate Rules Committee has confirmed the re-appointment of William Charles Taylor as the alternate to Senator Elaine Alquist as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Commission.
The Association of Bay Area Governments has confirmed the appointment of San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen to serve as the alternate to South San Francisco City Councilmember Mark Addiego to represent West Bay cities on the Commission. ABAG has also confirmed the appointment of Menlo Park City Councilmember Kelly Fergusson to serve as the alternate to Newark City Councilmember Ana Apodaca to represent South Bay cities on BCDC.
Susan Adams has been appointed to the seat formerly held by Charles McGlashan by Marin County.
I’m sure all of the Commission joins me in welcoming all the new and returning members to BCDC.
b. Next BCDC Meeting. Our next meeting will be two weeks from today on May 5th. At that meeting which will be held at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, we will take up the following matters:
(1) We will receive a briefing on planning for the San Francisco waterfront.
(2) We will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to initiate the process of considering amendments to the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan.
(3) We will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to initiate the process of considering amendments to our Bay Plan dealing with Candlestick Point in San Francisco.
c. Ex-Parte Communications. That completes my report. In case you have inadvertently forgotten to provide our staff with a report on any written or oral ex-parte communications, I invite Commissioners who have engaged in any such communications to report on them at this point.
Commissioner Adams reported: This morning some of the Marin County environmental community talked to me about keeping a close eye on what is happening with the Bay Plan and climate change and the definitions there.
Executive Director Travis added: There is no committee of the Commission. I’ve asked a number of members of the Commission to advise our staff.
Commissioner Gibbs reported: I have had two conversations with Zack Wasserman of the law firm Wendell, Rose & Black & Dean concerning the Climate Change Amendments and also two conversations with David Lewis of Save the Bay on the same topic.
Vice Chair Halstead then moved on to the Report of the Executive Director.
6. Report of the Executive Director. Executive Director Travis reported:
a. Strategic Plan Workshop. As you know, we’re planning to have our next all-day workshop to update our strategic plan on Thursday, July 21st.
We planned the date of the workshop early this year at the time when we were optimistic that the State of California would have a budget in place well before July 1st.
Therefore, at the time of the workshop we would know the level of resources we would have available to us. Well, as you know, there is now considerably less likelihood that California’s budget situation will be settled in the next few months.
Moreover, if we don’t have a budget in place by July 1st, we won’t be able to retain the consultant who facilitates our strategic planning workshop or rent space in which to hold the workshop.
Also, later this afternoon you will be considering two alternative schedules for adopting Bay Plan Amendments to address climate change.
Pursuing either schedule will require our senior staff to be devoting considerable time to finalizing the amendments at the same time we would be preparing for the Strategic Planning Workshop.
Finally, I believe it would be wise to have the amendment process behind us when we embark on developing our next strategic plan.
Therefore, we believe the most prudent thing to do is to postpone the workshop until our budget situation is more certain and after we’ve adopted Bay Plan climate change amendments. This is the course of action we’ll take unless you advise me otherwise.
b. Application Chart. Every two weeks we publish a brief report to provide the public with early notice about new permit applications we’ve received.
You’ll find that beginning with the April 8th report we’ve expanded the list to include applications for permit amendments which are not included in our Administrative Listing and which, pursuant to our regulations, do not require an on-site notice. We hope this expanded list is helpful to the public and to you.
That does complete my report for today.
7. Consideration of Administrative Matters. Executive Director Travis stated that on April 8th we sent you a listing of the administrative matters our staff is prepared to act upon. Bob Batha is available to respond to any questions you may have about the matters on the listings.
8. Commission Consideration of Contract for Cartographic and Graphic Services. Chief Planner Joe LaClair said I’m before you today to recommend that you authorize the Executive Director to enter into a two-year contract with Yuki Kawaguchi, cartographer for cartographic, graphic design and reproduction services.
The staff issued requests for proposals consistent with the requirements of the state control agencies and after reviewing and scoring the two proposals that we received, staff concluded that Mr. Kawaguchi was the most qualified to provide these services.
The staff recommends that you authorize the Executive Director to enter into a contract for $200,000 with Yuki Kawaguchi, Cartographer to provide the Commission with cartographic and graphic services over a two-year period from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013.
Staff further recommends that the Commission authorize its Executive Director to renew the contract for up to two additional years at a cost of $100,000 in each fiscal year, if the services continue to be needed, if funding is available in the Commission’s budget, and the renewal of the agreement does not involve any substantial change in either the amount or the nature of the services provided.
Vice Chair Halsted added: We did not schedule a public hearing on this matter but if anyone would like to speak on it please come forward at this time.
Since no one came forward, she asked for a motion on this item.
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez moved to approve staff recommendation for agenda Item 8, seconded by Commissioner Carruthers. The motion passed unanimously by a show of hands.
9. Briefing on the Commission’s Partnership with the Dutch. Steve Goldbeck presented the following: As provided for in the Commission’s Strategic Plan, you have before you a staff report on the Commission’s partnership with the Dutch dated April 15, 2011.
This report outlines how the staff intends to continue its productive collaboration with the Dutch on addressing sea level rise on San Francisco Bay.
In this collaboration representatives of Dutch research institutes and consultants have worked with the staff to compare the vulnerabilities of the two regions to sea level rise and consider potential adaptation strategies.
This work resulted in the report, San Francisco Bay – Preparing for the Next Level which was presented at a well-attended workshop in September of 2009.
The staff intends to continue this partnership in two ways. First, by participating in the Dutch led, Delta Alliance, that is working towards improving the resilience of the world’s Deltas, and second, by participating in a roundtable to be held by the Dutch consulate on responding to sea level rise.
More specifically, staff has invited the Delta Alliance to join the Commission and its partners in the Responding to Rising Tides, or ART project.
The ART project will apply, to a sub-region of the Bay shoreline along Alameda County, some of the strategies produced by our partnership with the Dutch will be used to prepare a regional strategy for responding to sea level rise.
Now the Roundtable, as proposed by the Dutch Consulate, is intended to bring together representatives of public agencies and private businesses to discuss the challenges of sea level rise on the region and explore the potential for public/private partnerships to respond to that challenge.
I’d like to introduce at this time, Peter Wijsman of ARCADIS who is the West Coast representative of the Delta Alliance.
Peter Wijsman presented the following: I am from the Netherlands and have been working in the Bay area for about two and a half years.
Our 2009 report preparing for the next level, has been very helpful to BCDC and the Dutch Government.
There are similar problems throughout the world related to flood risks, inundation, storm surge and subsidence due to sea level rise.
The Bay area is leading the U.S. in developing adaptation alternatives. It is interesting for the Netherlands to monitor what is happening here because there are a lot of lessons learned through the processes that you deploy.
Some of the cultural differences are that here in the U.S. you find a much more bottom/up approach to developing a plan. Whereas in the Netherlands you will find that citizens expect this development to be a government task and rely on government to take care of it.
The 2009 study created a lot of momentum to start the ART Project and the process of coming up with adaptation strategies.
The Delta Alliance is a spin-off of a Dutch research program that was started back in 2007 to do research on how to make the Netherlands climate proof.
One component within the program focuses on international collaboration and how to take advantage of the efforts that are going on abroad.
The Delta Alliance will be an observer and an advisor to the ART Project.
We will be organizing a workshop within the next couple of months to facilitate the involvement of private industry into this process.
Commissioner Carruthers had a couple of questions: The Roundtable, will that be open to the public?
Mr. Wijsman answered: At this stage we envisioned it not to be open to the public. A public workshop could be a next step.
Commissioner Carruthers then asked: Is it intended to publish the outcome of the workshop?
Mr. Wijsman responded: The purpose of the workshop is to see how we can engage these business enterprises in adaptation planning. We will come back to the Commission to report on the outcome of these meetings.
Commissioner Carruthers added: I represent Santa Clara County and it’s really important to understand what those people are thinking. So how do we find out?
Mr. Wijsman answered: I think along with staff we can certainly look at inviting other stakeholders along the South Bay to participate in this process.
Commissioner Bates added: I think this relationship is really fantastic and I appreciate the Dutch government working in this area with BCDC.
Other than sea level rise are you also looking at other impacts of climate change like high heat days?
Mr. Wijsman responded: That is certainly part of the research program and Delta Alliance is also reaching out to other delta and coastal areas in the world.
The other climate change effects are part of the research program. For California and with BCDC we’ve strictly focused on sea level rise issues.
Commissioner Goldzband added: Holland has had many years of dealing with these issues. In making the physical changes required by sea level rise have you ever come across any way that you’ve been able to create some sort of markets that businesses would be able to move into in order to sustain these adaptation efforts?
Or has it been simply a question of the government paying for all of these repairs and upgrades?
Have there been some incentives built in for people to make these changes that we might look to adopt?
Mr. Wijsman responded: There are a couple of examples in the Netherlands. The flood risk standards that are deployed in the Netherlands are based on the number of people living in a flood plain and the economic goods to be protected.
In the Netherlands the focus is much more on prevention and there is a cost/benefit ratio that is deployed and that is something that could be considered for the Bay Area.
There are a lot of ecosystem services that provide benefits to businesses and the general population that are part of our flood protection strategies.
Executive Director Travis added: We became involved in this because the Dutch used the approach of “giving the first sample away for free.”
They funded this partnership we have had. Peter works for ARCADIS a huge Dutch company that now has more employees in the United States than it does in Holland.
There is so much of what is exported from the Bay Area that much of the rest of the world is drawing upon our processes and research findings.
Commissioner Carruthers commented: We should be paying attention to the term, “ecosystem benefits.” As I understand it, it means that environmental protection can have benefits to society that are quantifiable beyond the core protection of that action.
This is an emerging concept that we need to better understand.
Chief Planner LaClair stated: Gretchen Daily and others at Stanford are doing a lot of work on quantifying these benefits by focusing initially on landside habitats, and have now shifted focus to work in coastal areas to quantify the ecosystem services that are provided by wetlands and beaches and other natural features that provide flood protection and other benefits.
Commissioner Carruthers requested: At some time in the future could we have a briefing on that?
Chief Planner LaClair responded: Absolutely.
Commissioner Carruthers asked Mr. Goldbeck: In the first paragraph of your report you said, “analysis shows that tidal elevations due to sea level rise will largely be linear across the Bay. Tidal velocities and wave heights within the Bay will likely increase.”
Mr. Goldbeck responded: In our partnership with the Dutch we had the benefit of their researchers working with numerical computer models to quantify the effects of sea level rise on tides in our Bay. Today, tides have different heights in various parts of the Bay, due to the physics of how tidal waters move through the Bay. The study showed that sea level rise would not dramatically change those differences in tidal levels. So the change will be mostly linear across the Bay. However, the speed of tidal waters will increase, and waves will be bigger. This could create problems, particularly for small watercraft and for shoreline erosion.
10. Consideration of Optional Schedules for Bay Plan Amendment No. 1-08 Addressing Climate Change. Vice Chair Halsted continued on to Item number 10, consideration of optional approaches for completing the Bay Plan climate change amendment process.
Chief Planner Joe LaClair presented the following staff report: I am before you today to present the staff's recommendation on the schedule and process for the completion of Bay Plan Amendment Number 1-08 addressing climate change and to summarize the outreach and steps outlined in the schedule in our staff report that we believe will maintain a positive momentum towards resolving outstanding issues in completing this important project.
In response to requests from local governments during December and January the staff traveled to eight of the nine counties to present the staff's recommendation on Bay Plan policy changes that addresses climate change and to get input from local elected officials.
In March and April of this year the staff and a few Commissioners have met with several land use attorneys and representatives of business and environmental advocacy organizations to discuss potential changes to the proposed Bay Plan Amendment.
The staff report before you summarizes two optional schedules for the Commission's consideration and discussion.
In addition to meeting the requirements of its regulations governing Commission environmental assessments, the Commission must also comply with the broad policy goals and other substantive requirements of CEQA.
The report also includes a discussion of an additional environmental analysis that the staff believes is needed to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.
Two years have passed since the release of the staff background report entitled Living With a Rising Bay and the staff recommendation has gone through three substantive revisions.
At least a month is needed to revise the background report, respond to over 200 unique public comment letters and supplement the initial environmental assessment. Moreover, recent court challenges highlight the need for this assessment to be as robust as possible.
The intended goal of both schedules is to complete the amendment process by the fall of 2011 and both provide sufficient time for the staff to revise and supplement as needed the initial environmental assessment prepared over two years ago.
The first schedule option provides for a workshop at the Commission's May 19th meeting where representatives of the business and environmental organizations would discuss with the Commission the latest version of the amendment language that reflects the results of the meetings and discussions the staff has had over the past few months.
Following the workshop the staff would prepare its fourth recommendation and publish it on July 1st for a 34-day comment period, during which the staff would meet with local governments to brief them on the recommendation.
The Commission would hold a public hearing on August 4th and then staff would refine its recommendation based on the outcome of the public hearing and publish its final recommendation on September 1st for a September 15th vote by the Commission.
The second option does not include the workshop and would complete the process one month sooner than Option One. However, the date for the vote would be in late August when it is often difficult to get a quorum of Commissioners during the vacation season.
Under this option the staff would commence work on a revised recommendation following the April 29th meeting with the environmental groups and would publish its revised recommendation on June 3rd.
The Commission would hold a public hearing on July 7th after the 34-day comment period, during which staff again would meet with local governments to brief them on the recommendation.
The staff would then develop its final recommendation during July, publish it on August 5th, prior to an August 18th vote by the Commission.
The staff requests that the Commission provide direction on which of these alternatives that the staff should pursue in working to complete this important Bay Plan policy project. And with that I conclude my presentation; I am available for any questions you may have. Thank you.
Vice Chair Halsted thanked Mr. LaClair and called for public comment. She added there were five people who would like to say something and the first would be April Wooden.
Ms. Wooden commented: April Wooden with the City of Suisun City.
Our local government feels strongly that holding a workshop that includes the business and environmental communities that's open to the public is very important.
In addition, our community believes that public hearings in either July or August pose a problem for participation.
So we would encourage you to look at a schedule that holds the public meeting public hearing in September with a vote to follow that.
Mr. John Coleman commented: I'd like to applaud the members of the Commission as well as staff who have been meeting with the various interest groups, the business community, local government as well as the environmental community.
Clearly this has been a controversial exercise on everybody's part. However, the dialogue that has ensued has allowed for greater review of what's going on, and quite frankly, it has been a good process for everybody to be involved with.
We are in support of Option One. We believe that having the ability to have a greater dialogue and hopefully coming to terms with all parties would provide the greatest opportunity to do so and we would support Option One. Thank you very much.
Mr. Scott Zengel commented: I'd like to first start with the comments of thanking all of you for your diligence and for your support and for listening to all sides of the story on the Bay Plan amendment.
So we strongly support Option One and we have heard the same thing from our constituency, as you have heard a little bit today. But we think that is definitely a great way to go, continue on the same track of hearing from all constituents at all levels.
Mr. Scott Petersen commented: Scott Peterson with the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.
We are also here in support of Option One. We do appreciate the public process that has been undertaken by your staff and by many of you commissioners as well and extra hours.
But we think that it's very important to have a final public workshop where the language and the amendments can be fully vetted by you and by other members of the public and we hope that you will vote in support of Option One today. Thank you very much.
Mr. Brent Butler commented: The City of East Palo Alto appreciates the work of staff, the diligent work of staff in translating the documents and the work put in to expanding the outreach, it was very welcomed.
The City has also entertained a revision to the amendment that was provided to Council along with what was a fairly balanced approach of providing information based on some of the material that was provided by the Commission, including the precautionary principle, the development of the original amendments.
And the City Council adopted a recommendation by the Planning Commission that I have brought with me.
Two of the important components of that resolution were the acknowledgment, or the desire to see acknowledged in the revisions, some level of embracing a shared commitment to biodiversity, the preservation of the species.
We do recognize that some of the communities such as East Palo Alto have a disproportionate responsibility of resource protection.
So what I have provided today is just a packet you will have an opportunity to be seeing. And based on what I have heard today I feel that Option One would be the one that our community would most eagerly like to see adopted by the Commission.
Vice Chair Halsted asked for further comment on this item.
Commissioner Vasquez added: Yes. I'd like to entertain a motion to adopt Option One but also provide a little more flexibility, maybe in that last public hearing. Giving a little more flexibility maybe in that date of moving it if that's possible. Are those dates hard?
Executive Director Travis added: The direction we got from Chair Randolph was to move this as fast as we could because he felt the Commission was getting impatient. And so we are bringing you two options, both of which we think disappoint him because they are moving slower than he would like. But we will take direction from the Commission.
Commissioner Lundstrom replied: The July/August meeting, whether it's June/July or mostly July/August meeting with local governments to brief them on the recommendation. Most of the folks that you have met with before don't meet during that time. So I would just suggest that you have some other way of trying to meet with local governments.
Chief Planner LaClair commented: That's a great suggestion. We'll take another look at all the schedules for all the city/county associations of governments that we met with around the region.
Vice Chair Halsted added: I think the sooner we can land upon the schedule the more likely most of us are going to be able to plan on and I would appreciate that.
Executive Director Travis commented: If we slide those dates so that we would have the hearing in September and the vote in October are you more comfortable with that?
Commissioner Vasquez replied: I certainly would. It is a difficult period, July and August. As indicated, many staff take that time off. I know for our own Board of Supervisors we go dark for about three weeks.
Commissioner Carruthers added: Santa Clara County is the same.
Commissioner Bates commented: I'm one of those people who are anxious to get this over with. So I would suggest that I would support Option One.
I know I'm going to miss the August 4th meeting because I am not going to be here and I think that's going to be a problem so I would like to give the staff the flexibility. And even though I want to get it over with I think October makes more sense actually.
Commissioner Goldzband added: So on behalf of my Chairman I would argue that it should have been done by now. And on behalf of my Chairman who wants this faster I will say, if we know now on April 21st these dates then I would respectfully suggest that the cities and counties respectfully look at these dates. Respectfully realize that we have been doing this for a year, if not longer, and that we simply get on with it.
I have little faith right now that the October date doesn't slip. And I think that that's a real black eye upon this commission.
I think we owe the process some respect. And I think the folks we are working with need to also recognize the pressure not only that the Commission is under but the pressure that all of the constituents are under. And I think that the option afforded in Schedule One is the best one as is.
Commissioner Wagenknecht commented: I was perfectly comfortable with Option Number One. I'd like to move this and see that there is a final date.
Commissioner McGrath added: I have rearranged my schedule to make every one of the meetings. I wanted to vote on this last year. I was not convinced that this was not entirely a stalling tactic. I don't believe that anymore. I believe that people on all sides have come to the table in good faith.
But to keep that up there has to be some pressure. We are close.
And I think to do that we go with Option One; we go with a workshop. What has been a benefit in extended discussions has been clarifying misunderstandings and I think we have made huge progress in that arena. I think everybody that has participated has been quite articulate and quite beneficial but I think that has to have some plausible end.
I think with enough knowledge and enough continued discussions I think everybody else who thinks this is important should be able to hold the dates.
Vice Chair Halsted replied: There is a motion on the floor with a one month delay and that would be October 6th.
Commissioner Addiego replied: I would like to second that motion.
Vice Chair Halsted added: Addiego seconded. Commissioner Carruthers.
Commissioner Carruthers responded: I really strongly recommend that we be open to a revision of that schedule based on the information that the staff gets regarding local government schedules during the month of July and August.
And so I would be open to voting on this motion as it is if it carries with it the provision that upon the staff checking with the local government organizations regarding their schedules during that; that we be open to a revision if information from that review warrants it.
The adoption of Option One with whatever the extension was that had come up.
I'm ready to adopt the thing now. But how we do it is as important as what it is.
Vice Chair Halsted added: I understand. There is a motion, it has been seconded.
Commissioner Gibbs replied: I have a question regarding the May 19th workshop?
At that point, and there is a meeting with representatives of the environmental community April 29th. So will there be available to the public, to local governments, to everybody who has an interest, to all the stakeholders and all the members of the public, a new draft based on what happens at the April 29th meeting?
Chief Planner LaClair answered: Yes there will. We will report on those areas of agreement. And if there are areas of disagreement remaining we will articulate those.
Commissioner Gibbs added: Thank you. I have always felt that the workshop is very important. We have had a small group of Commissioners providing advice during these meetings. There is another group of the Commission that has not and I think it is very important for them to have the chance to interact with the members of the environmental and the business community in that type of forum.
It is also the case that we have been doing this for a very, very long time now. The language has gone through a lot of revisions based on the comments of all these members of the community.
And I think it is safe to say that what will be available for the May 19th workshop will express the direction of the staff, the members of the Commission who have been working with the staff and these interest groups.
And certainly, if it is now April, I think we can get out sufficient notice for everybody who wants to and who should be commenting to come to that meeting. Then there is also going to be a public hearing later and also all of these interested parties have not been shy about sending in ex-parte communications.
I think I am in support of Option One. Not only because it will involve everybody else here but also because we do need to move.
Vice Chair Halsted added: Thank you. I also would support Option One.
Commissioner Vasquez queried: When does that 34-day review end?
Chief Planner LaClair answered: It ends on the day of the hearing unless the Commission extends it. The schedule that we have laid out contemplates concluding the public hearing at the Commission meeting so that the staff can then commence preparation of a final recommendation.
Commissioner Vasquez asked: So there would be additional things that could be added to it at that public hearing then?
Executive Director Travis added: Yes, but we can't prepare our response to comments until the public comment period closes. So if you keep the public comment period open, it lengthens the time between the hearing and the vote.
Chief Planner LaClair added: I think what Commissioner Vasquez said was to move the public hearing, move the public hearing to September.
Executive Director Travis commented: Well that puts you at August. That's where I'm confused.
Might I respectfully request you should either decide to adopt the schedule as we put it out or move everything a month, so you would have your hearing in September and your vote in October.
Commissioner Jordan Hallinan added: I know I am not going to be here on May 19th and I am very disappointed about that. Do we have a really good majority of the Commission that is available just for that one particular meeting?
I would love to see it moved. But I do think that we have done the outreach, which was the biggest thing that we were being accused of not having done properly. I don't think anybody could say that we haven't done the outreach. I think the sooner that we get it done the better.
Commissioner Addiego commented: The date needs to be certain. I'm worried about looking at local governments and their availability.
But I do want to say that I am supportive of Option One. I'm intrigued by the dynamic that we are setting up, three of each species, business and the environmental community, and being part of that workshop.
I think Commissioner Vasquez is correct when it comes to the local government I am aware of that a little bit later might be better. Staff can be a challenge so that's why I did support Commissioner Vasquez's initial motion.
Commissioner Bates commented: I am really willing to be totally flexible. You might check with the local government representatives here today how many of them are actually off during the month of August.
If you go ahead with Option One, which I am okay with. Because I think the May 19th meeting is going to be a very important meeting. And out of that May 19th meeting, the discussions that ensue and the language, I think will come together in some way or it won't come together but at least we'll have something to move forward to.
If you want to go forward with Option One, I'll be happy to vote for it if you need my vote to pass it. But I would prefer that it was in September just because I think it's going to be better for local governments.
Executive Director Travis commented: You should either accept Option One as it is now, understanding that it is going to present some significant problems. Or you should just accept the more realistic one, which is to have the hearing in September and have the vote in October.
Vice Chair Halsted commented: The motion is by Commissioner Vasquez that we move ahead with Option One but have the hearing in September and the vote in October.
Commissioner Addiego responded: I'll second that.
Commissioner Goldzband added: I will vote against the motion because I don't think it is what my Chairman wants and it is certainly not what I want.
But I would also say that the thing that really concerns me is the habit that this Commission has, and has had ever since I joined it back in 1996, of extending public hearings.
So I will vote against it and I'll simply caution the Commission to please take caution with regard to looking at the public hearing, expanding the meeting until nine o'clock p.m. if that's what we have to do, but closing the public hearing. Thank you.
Commissioner Gibbs added: I want to thank Commissioner Goldzband for his good humor and I want to second his remarks.
I won't be voting in favor of this because I think at the end of two years we don't want to have it kind of devolve into an issue of whether or not we had it while people were on vacation or anything like that. And if we have to delay it for 30 days that's probably best.
But I will not be in support of any more extensions for any reason whatsoever. And I think whatever kind of outreach we need to do to allow public agencies and interest groups and everybody else to submit their comments in writing if necessary then we need to do that outreach. But we need to take a vote in October.
The Reporter requested: Madam Chair, excuse me, just for the record. On the record would you please state for me what the motion is, I am not certain.
Vice Chair Halsted responded: Thank you. The motion, as I understand it, is to approve Option One with two changes to it. One would be that the public hearing will be held in September and the second change is that the final vote will be held in October.
MOTION: Commissioner Vasquez moved to approve Option 1, which is to hold a workshop on the amendment language in May, with two changes – (1) hold a public hearing on the amendment in September, and (2) a vote in October; seconded by Commissioner Addiego. By a show of hands the motion was adopted with a vote of 13-2-0. Commissioners Gibbs and Goldzband opposed the motion.
Vice Chair Halsted then moved on to Item 11.
11. Consideration of Strategic Plan Status Report. Executive Director Travis presented the following information: I will call to your attention four deadlines that we have asked be changed and also to remind you that we did decide earlier today we are going to postpone the Strategic Plan workshop.
I would like a motion, second and approval of those changes.
MOTION: Commissioner Lundstrom moved to approve the changes, seconded by Commissioner Wagenknecht. The motion passed by a voice vote with no abstentions nor opposition.
12. New Business. No new business was discussed.
13. Old Business. No old business was discussed.
14. Adjournment. Upon motion by Commissioner Adams, seconded by Commissioner Goldzband, the meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m., in memory of Charles McGlashan.
Approved, with no corrections, at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Meeting of May 5, 2011
R. SEAN RANDOLPH, Chair