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tv   [untitled]    June 18, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT

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supervisor avalos: good morning. welcome to the city operations and neighborhood services committee. my name is john avalos. we will be joined shortly by supervisor mar. can you share with us your announcements? >> yes, mr. chairman. all persons attending this meeting are requested to turn off cell phones and pagers. if you wish to submit speaker cards, please put them by the container at the rail in front of you to your left. if you wish to submit copies of materials for members of the committee, please submit an extra copy for the file. supervisor avalos: thank you.
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if you could please call out item one. >> item 1, resolution authorizing the recreation and park department to retroactively accept and expend a grant administered by the california state parks and recreation department in the amount of $2,700,000 for the 17th and folsom street park project. supervisor avalos: thank you. we are joined by supervisor kim. this is an item in your district. do you have any comments? supervisor kim: thank you, colleagues. i do not have a lot to say. yes, this is an accept and expend for a retroactive grand
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for a new park we will be building on 17th and folsom street -- a retroactive grant. this is part of the neighborhoods plan to create more neighborhood space in the eastern side of san francisco, and this neighborhood, as you will probably see, has very little green open space. i believe that we have someone from rec and park here to present. >> good morning, committee members. in the grant writer and manager for the capital division -- i am the grant writer. the item is an accept and expend for $2.8 million for the development of the 17th and folsom park. the project was identified in the eastern neighborhoods plan as a potential park side. in 2009 and 2010, the san
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francisco planning department and recreation and park department staff collaborated on a grant application to fund a development on this project on a portion of this property. the remainder of the property will be developed by the mayor's office of housing. we did hold four public meetings, and the project was designed with the community's support. currently, the property is a temporary parking lot, and we are currently working with mta to identify areas within the community for additional parking. the recreation and park department is requesting that you recommend the approval of this accept and expend to the board of supervisors. supervisor avalos: ok, thank you very much. once this is approved and moving forward, what is the timeline
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for the project? >> we will be hosting another community meeting in september or october to get final input on the design. the project manager is here to answer additional questions. supervisor avalos: very briefly, just a time line. just curious when it is moving out. >> we hope to begin construction in the next year. that is the goal. supervisor avalos: thank you. very good. any member of the public that would like to comment on item 1? seeing none, we will close public comment. we can move this forward with recommendation without objection. please call item two. >> item two, resolution approving a cooperative agreement between the city and county of san francisco through its port commission and the san francisco bay area rapid transit district, authorizing bart to install, use, and maintain security barriers under the ferry plaza platform under the
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east side of the ferry building along the embarcadero for a term of 66 years, subject to bart's right to request an extension before the end of the 64th year of the term. supervisor avalos: thank you. we are joined by the legislative aide to board president david chiu. >> thank you. you have before you a cooperative agreement between the port of san francisco and the bay area rapid transit district, known as bart, of course. this is a cooperative agreement related to improving security barriers around a bart facility on port property. to go over any questions you have, we have a commercial manager from the port of san francisco, and she will go over it briefly. we also have bart staff here as well to answer any questions. >> good morning, supervisors.
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i am with the port of san francisco. you have before you a cooperative agreement between the port of san francisco and the san francisco bay area rapid transit district, known as part -- bart. bart currently maintains a facility known as the san francisco transit structure, located on and under the very platform east of the ferry building, on property owned by the port of san francisco. bart has existing barriers on the platform but now proposes to construct enhanced surface and marine barriers within the boundaries of the san francisco bay and the plaza platform to protect its continuing transit use. as this is a bart project, bart not only is responsible for the funding of the project, but it will also be responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs. bart will also be responsible for any claims or issues that
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arise from the general public or the area stakeholders regarding the barriers. bart must obtain port building permits for the project, which require that federal, state, and city regulatory issues be procured, such as ceqa and san francisco bay conservation development commission documents. for the surface barriers, port staff have reviewed the design and layout and also accepted the ceqa determination, and bcdc's approval has been required. when bart submit their request for the barriers, they will be required to provide similar approvals. port and bart have agreed on the various and to establish
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conditions under which these proposed barriers will be addressed in respect to the review procedures, construction, design, access, relocation, maintenance, and indemnification. the cooperative agreement is 66 years along with bart's right to request an extension before the 64th year. on october 26, 2010, the port commission by resolution 1071 approved the cooperative agreement subject to the approval of the board of supervisors. bart's barrier project will benefit the harbor trust and the city by protecting bart's public transit system and the general public while assuring transit to the waterfront and to the city. the project will be fully funded and constructed by bart, whereas no harbor trust funds or city revenues will be used or spent on this project. for this reason, no fees other than the building permit fees
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and fees for staff time will be required from bart for this project here we have members from both the port and bart to answer questions -- for this project. we have members from both the port and bart to answer questions. supervisor avalos: thank you. appreciate your presentation, and we will open this up for public comment. seeing none, we will close public comment. this, we can move forward with recommendations as well. madam clerk, if you could please call item three. oh, we can move this forward as a committee report, yes. thank you. >> item three, hearing on the functions and status of the department of public works street tree program, including
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but not limited to the roles and responsibilities of the department, regarding street trees, planting and maintenance plans, status of partnerships outside agencies and individuals, and the sustainability of the program. supervisor avalos: thank you. this hearing i had called earlier this year. it was based on conversations i have had with the director and dpw staff about proposed changes to the street maintenance program. i saw the changes that were being proposed as part of just our budget deficit and our struggles to maintain a level of services that meets our needs here in san francisco. the street tree program i know has undergone a series of cuts over the past -- i would say six years.
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and the ability of the city to maintain street trees has been compromised greatly because of that. yet, at the same time, we have, i think, a real responsibility to maintain our trees around the city, especially in light of air quality and efforts to beautify our neighborhoods and make them cleaner. so i would like to call this hearing so we can hear what the proposed changes are. also, if dpw has the ability to touch upon what the actual staffing changes have been over the years in the street tree program. that would be great to hear. i expect we will hear a lot from people around the city who have concerns about the potential loss of staffing and maintenance of the street tree program. the alternative that has been
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proposed is that property owners will have greater responsibility for maintaining trees on the sidewalks in front of their homes. that is also not something that i think is realistic in terms of being on top of that and the city being on top of homeowners and perhaps having a program that will work. also, since it will not work, i worry we will not have an ability to maintain our trees whatsoever. i will let dpw present. we will have questions, and then we will go on to more questions from the public as well. >> good morning, supervisors. joining me today, we have quite a number of staff. i do have a presentation that i would like to share with the board that will explain the
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situation we have facing us at this time. and why we have put forth this proposal. dpw, under article 16 of the public works code, has jurisdiction of all trees in the public right of way and is charged to realize the benefits of trees over san franciscans. dpw believes a healthy urban forest enhances our quality of life and reduces water, air, and noise pollution. management includes planning, planting, maintenance, and removal of trees on the public right of way. we care for public trees and enforce the code for privately
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maintaining trees. because of public cuts, -- of funding cuts, dpw is not able to care for all the trees which are currently our responsibility. we believe transfer of maintenance responsibility to property owners, while not ideal, is necessary to meet our responsibility under the urban forestry ordinance. you can see for the next chart, they are currently over 100,000 trees planted on our sidewalks. of the 100,000, 65,000 are currently privately maintain by property owners. under dpw's jurisdiction, we have 27,800 that the department has been maintaining in addition to the 7500 trees that are on the medians. the proposal is to transfer
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23,700 trees to private property owners. supervisor avalos: just a question on the $65,000 number on privately maintained street tree. where are those generally located? is that on the sidewalk or sidewalk and street? >> the 65,000 trees that property owners are maintaining now are in front of the property or on the side. supervisor avalos: of the 65,000, just an estimate or percentage, how many of those trees in front of people's
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property -- how many homeowners or property owners know they are responsible for those trees? like, what percentage of the homeowners to have trees in front of their homes would expect to have responsibilities? >> i would not say i know the percentage, but i know our department does go out regularly to investigate a safety hazard a tree may be closing. it is recommended that trees be pruned every three to five years. with our current resources, our cycle has increased to a 10 to 12 year cycle for maintaining many of the trees. dpw's resources for tree maintenance continue to decline,
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and i will show you in a graph from 2007 to where we are now and kind of where we are headed. lack of maintenance of these trees threatens safety of property, including sidewalk damage. we had 19 arborists and headed to 2011-2012 budget. we are reducing staff to seven arborists. the graph shows that as we reduce -- as we decline in staffing, we see an increase in the tree maintenance cycle. we are headed to a 15-year maintenance cycle. what i would like to note on the graph is the optimum tree care cycle is the green line, which
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the letters are covering. the green line is between two and four. that is the optimum. over the last five years, we actually have not had the right amount of resources to maintain these trees on a regular cycle. supervisor avalos: is this 19 fte's in 2007-2008 -- is that the highest count you have had for a tree maintenance, or if you go further back, what would you say would be the trend going backwards? >> i would say before 2007, about 19 tree care staff has been about the level. what happened over that time is the department along with the city leadership has promoted an increased the number of trees in the right of way through several programs.
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the purpose of tree maintenance transfer is to align dpw's assets with the available resources, to allocate responsibility to property owners. what we have now is about 60,000 property owners are actually maintaining trees in front of their houses, and you have another 23,000 or so that the city is maintaining. provide caretaker for trees and to protect public safety. the urban forestry ordinance -- that is a public works code 800-814. i would like to highlight a couple of responsibility for
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maintenance of these trees. section 8 05 in particular. it reads, "it shall be the duty of the owner of lots or portions of lots immediately of birding on or adjacent to any street to maintain such a street tree. the duties shall include both routine and major maintenance of the street trees. b reads "the department may determine to undertake the regular routine and/or major maintenance of certain street trees to promote consistency in the maintenance of trees." e read, "the director may determine to relinquish responsibility for seven trees
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or portrays prior to release pushing maintenance, responsibilities, the part michelle perform all necessary major tree maintenance as of the day designated by the director. all maintenance and tree- related maintenance shall be the responsibility of the property owner." those are the three items in the public works co we would like to highlight today. supervisor avalos: do you know how many other jurisdictions have similar rules and laws are rowntree maintenance -- and around tree maintenance that give responsibility to the property owner? >> a few years ago, that responsibility was turned over to property owners. there are other municipalities that have property owners be
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responsible for their trees. supervisor avalos: do you know what is happening in oakland? >> i'm not sure how much of the trees are property owner and how much are city. >> they both have landskip assessment districts. so property owners pay a special tax every year, and the city has maintenance responsibilities for i believe all the trees and sidewalks. supervisor avalos: would you say that is generally how this is covered in places around the state of california, or do you think it is part of our general fund effort? >> it is a whole mix of things. there's a special california code creating landscaping and
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lighting district. there are a number of municipalities that have those. there are some districts, some municipalities have parcel taxes dedicated to trees. there are some places where it is part of the general fund responsibility. some places are largely private responsibilities except for trees that are fronting public buildings. in california, it is a whole hodgepodge. outside of california, it is mostly municipal responsibility. i grew up in minneapolis. all the trees were maintained by the park board. all the street trees. the cardboard had their own tax levy liked the school district does. they could levy property taxes in order to pay for this things, but that is not an option in california. supervisor avalos: ok, thank you. appreciate that.
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>> the tree maintenance plan, the plan is to relinquish 3700 healthy, recently approved, or established trees to property owners over seven years. 3400 trees are ready to relinquish in the first part of this fiscal year. that is from now to december. the day after december, 6000 trees a year would be made ready for relinquishment with necessary maintenance. so before we can turn over a tree to a property owner, we do have to make sure the tree is in good health and that the tree is actually prove healthy and the sidewalks are actually in good condition. supervisor avalos: how what a property owner know that their tree is not already in their responsibility, and which ones
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are actually the responsibility of the city that will be transferred in the city, and which ones are their own responsibility? i think that is generally not well known. >> there's a whole process of hosting the tree, informing the property owner of the city's intent to relinquish the tree, and there is a whole process that the agency would go through. supervisor avalos: i guess i understand there would be that information as provided, but i would think a lot of property owners do not know whether their tree falls currently under their responsibility or is already under their responsibility or is currently under the responsibility of the city that they will be transferred. i think that is a common -- >> i can show you in one of the slides here, they are scattered all around the city, and i can show you where the 2300 or so trees are and how they overlap.
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it is all over the city. those trees -- the property owners -- those were trees that the city took responsibility for or planted under certain corridors, and some of those trees are fronting private property. >> i know we have organizations that do tree planting, and there's a whole robust effort to plant trees in our neighborhoods, and over the past, i would say, three years i have been really paying attention, there have been a lot of trees planted in the excelsior. that is in district 11, which i represent. but 23,000 trees that will be transferred -- are those trees that were earlier planted by the city, or was it planted by an organization or a combination -- >> it was mostly a combination of trees that were planted by both friends of urban forest,
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dpw, or even in some cases [inaudible] this will be the formal process of turning [inaudible] supervisor avalos: ok. >> [inaudible] what you see on the screen is a map of where privately maintained trees are all around the city. you can see they are all over the city in almost all the neighborhoods. we do have private property owners maintaining the trees. supervisor avalos: it looks like a forest. i wish it was like that. that would be great.
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>> it should be all green or more green. we're working towards. what you see here, trees that are currently maintained by dpw. in some of these neighborhoods, a good number of these trees were a good part of the trees for tomorrow. you can see quite a number of trees were planted. you can have quite a number of trees along the a lot, gary, and some of the trees they -- along balboa, gary, and some of the trees there. you can see some of the major corridors, there were trees that were planted. also, south of market, we would like quite a number of trees. thore


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