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tv   [untitled]    July 10, 2014 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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>> [gavel] >> like to call this meeting to order. [gavel] [gavel] [audience chanting] >> deputy sheriffs? [gavel] [outbursts]
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[gavel] >> i'd like to call this meeting to order. deputy sheriffs, deputy sheriffs? i'd like to close this -- [gavel] >> i'd like to call this meeting to order. i would like to ask memorandum members of the public if you're going to be in this chamber if you could please sit down. otherwise if you could step out of the chamber so we could continue on with the business of the board today. we have a lot of business. [speaker not understood] >> if not, deputy sheriffs, deputy sheriffs? [speaker not understood].
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[speaker not understood]. [gavel] >> i'd like to ask for order in the chamber. like to ask if anyone is not willing to abide by the rules of the chamber, which obviously calls for silence unless you have public comment, to please leave the chamber. thank you. with that, i'd like to open up this meeting. welcome to the san francisco board of supervisors meeting of tuesday, july the eighth, 2014. madam clerk could you please call the roll? >> yes, mr. president. supervisor avalos? avalos present. supervisor breed? breed present. supervisor campos? scam poems present. president chiu? chiu present. supervisor cohen? cohen present. supervisor farrell?
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farrell present ~. supervisor kim? kim present. supervisor mar? mar present. supervisor tang? tang present. supervisor wiener? wiener present. supervisor yee? yee present. mr. president, all members are present. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, could you please join us in the pledge of allegiance? i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> colleague, we have our june 3rd, 2014 meeting minutes. can i have a motion to approve those minutes? motion by supervisor kim, seconded by supervisor campos. those meeting minutes are approved. [gavel] >> are there any communications? >> there are none today, mr. president. >> if you could read our consent agenda. >> items 1 through 5 comprise
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the consent calendar. these items are considered routine. if a member objects, an item may be removed and considered separately. >> kiloton, i want to sever item 4. with that, unless there are any item to be severed, supervisor tang. ~ colleagues >> items 12 and 13, please. >> i think we just called the consent agenda which is items 1 through 5. >> apologize. >> no worries. madam clerk, could you call the items 1 through 5 with the exception of item 4? >> supervisor cohen? cohen aye. supervisor farrell? farrell aye. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar aye. supervisor tang? tang aye. supervisor wiener? wiener aye. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos? avalos aye. supervisor breed? breed aye. supervisor campos? campos aye. supervisor chiu? chiu aye. there are 11 ayes. >> those ordinances are finally passed and motions approved.
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madam clerk, can you call item 4? >> item 4 is appointing r. geary [speaker not understood] to the [speaker not understood]. >> colleagues, can i have a motion to excuse -- recuse supervisor wiener from this vote? ~ motion by supervisor mar, seconded by supervisor tang. without objection, he shall be excused. [gavel] >> and with that, madam clerk, can you call the roll? >> on item 4, supervisor cohen? cohen aye. supervisor farrell? farrell aye. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar aye. supervisor tang? tang aye. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos? avalos aye. supervisor breed? breed aye. supervisor campos? campos aye. supervisor chiu? exhaust aye. there are 10 aye a. >> motion is approved. [gavel] >> item 6. >> item 6 is ordinance amending the general plan by updating the recreational and open space element of the general plan; and making findings, including environmental findings, and findings of consistency with the general plan, and the eight
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priority policies of the planning code, section 101.1 ~ an ordinance to amend the general plan [speaker not understood] making requisite findings ~. >> colleagues, any discussion? supervisor breed. >> erred this item was controversial, but i guess no one has anything to say about it. i just wanted to talk about my vote today for this particular item. i'm prepared to vote for it, vote in favor of it today, but i am doing so reluctantly. starting a few weeks ago i heard from supervisor farrell hans [speaker not understood], however i did not hear from the san francisco planning commission, the recreation and parks department or department of environment about this particular issue. my staff and i reached out to them. and when we finally scheduled a briefing no one from the rec and park department bothered to show up. i'm very upset because if this is how the departments are interacting with the board of supervisors, [speaker not understood] i can only imagine
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how they are treating members of the public. it is very surprised to me so many residents and activists are upset and concerned about the [speaker not understood]. i take your concerns very seriously. my staff and i met with many of you on multiple occasions asking for more information and questions, studied the document and took your questions and took your questions directly to city staff [speaker not understood]. i understand your concerns are [speaker not understood], and i understand why you are a bit wary of the departments involved. but i do not see a clear basis for rejecting de rose. the issues has been policy 4.2. so, let me briefly address that. we spent a lot of time reading the direction backwards and forwards and it does not do what opponents believe it does. it's not a mandate and not a blank check. 4.2 does not give any city agency the authority to do anything other than create an inventory and develop a
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management plan. any steps to change that management plan change a use type, acquire property, start a project, or make any other note worthy changes regarding public or private property would require its own extensive public process. that would involve technical research, community engagement, environmental review under ceqa, and approval from public bodies such as the planning commission, the rec and park department, and potentially the board of supervisors. and this new version of the rose actually strength entitles the community engagement process by adding a new objective that specifically outlines engagement methods and goals. i have to make a decision based on the language in front of me, not based on others' distrust for a particular program or approach to land management, however warranted their distrust may be. putting aside the fact the word native never actually appears
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in policy 4.2 let's consider the verb, it says the site should be examined. relative importance should also be assessed. the planning commission may require. consideration should be given. this is a broad policy overview, not a specific mandate. we unfortunately do not have the authority to amend the rose, merely to accept or reject. given that constraint and the reasons i've mentioned i will reluctantly support it, but i want to be clear that i will look very carefully and very skeptical at any future nature area project that attempts to override or ignore significant public concern. so, with that, colleague, i think it's important that we all move forward with this particular document. and i know that it's been ongoing for several years now and am looking forward to seeing its implementation. thank you. >> supervisor yee.
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>> thank you, president chiu. colleagues, first of all, i'm going to recognize all the work of the planning department staff and the community members, including rose common group. i have some significant concerns for this element. and i want to acknowledge that 90% of it i totally would accept and agree with. but as someone who for a long time has worked to ensure equity and access to open space, i am questioning the methodology that was used to determine high needs area, that we would prioritize for open space acquisition fund. [speaker not understood] will see a significant amount of growth in the next few years and has no access to any open space. it is not included as a high needs area. at the same time, areas bordering [speaker not understood] park one of the largest urban parks on the west
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coast, will be considered high needs. in addition to that, i have heard a lot of concerns from my constituents in district 7 about policy 4.2, and its impact on property owners. i think that there is a value in recognizing and protecting biodiversity, but i don't believe that it should come at the expense of property owner's rights. colleague, i will be voting against this ordinance today and hope that in the upcoming weeks the communitition and my concerns can be addressed by any planning department through amendments. ~ communities >> supervisor mar. >> thank you, president chiu. i wanted to thank the planning staff and other city leaders for spending so many years on this element. i think that updating the element to include biodiversity as a goal and other issues are really critical. i wanted to raise a concern
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about objective 2 policy 2.1 and ask john ram, our planning director to explain. it seems a reading this we're expanding the definition of high needs areas that would be prioritized for open space and it's expanding it with additional criteria that allows more middle income neighborhoods to be considered and it seems to be not prioritizing in an equitable way the lowest income communities like the committee for better parks in chinatown or in lower income neighborhoods. and i'd just like to ask if [speaker not understood] or john ram could explain the rationale for the change with objective 2, policy 2.1. >> mr. ram? >> thank you, supervisors. john ram with the planning department. i think to clarify, supervisor mar, the median, the household income criteria has not changed. what has -- there has been
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other criteria added to identify the high needs areas such as areas of population growth and density and senior citizens and children's -- areas of population of young children. so, the idea is to overlay all of those factors created the high needs area map, but the actual income levels that are proposed in this version of the rose are the same as they were in the 1986 version. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> supervisor campos. >> thank you, mr. president. i do want to thank all the agencies that worked on this item. i will be voting against this proposal today. while i understand the objectives, i respectfully submit that i think that this is yet another example of how some of these agencies that we're talking about are disconnected from the reality of what's out there in our communities and specifically i think this is yet another example of the rec and park department not really understanding what its priorities should be and, quite frankly, the fact that the
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comment that was made by supervisor breed -- and i appreciate the comment -- i think that the fact that there is no specific mandate or specific requirement doesn't leave a lot of confidence given how rec and park has approached a number of issues over the last couple of years. the idea that we would be spending so much time and energy trying to remove trees from san francisco is something that i have yet to understand. i don't understand how it is that an agency decide that this is what its priorities should be, and there are a number of issues that should be rayed with respect to this document, including the equity issues that basically do not address the very important point to making sure there is an equitable distribution of resources.
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~ raised i have received a number of comments, e-mails, calls, pretty significant from people not only in my district, but throughout the city all pointing to the fact that this is a poorly conceived document that really has failed to provide even the most basic adequate level of public involvement and community input. i think this is a mistake and i really hope that we as a board do not go down this path. i think should this pass, this would be one of those decisions that in a few years we're going to look back and ask, you know, what were we thinking if that's where we end up. so, i strongly oppose this plan and i hope that other colleagues join me in sending a very clear message that this kind of public policy deserves,
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requires better community involvement. >> supervisor wiener. >> thank you, mr. president. so, these general plan elements, i have a real issue with the way i guess it's in our charter, approaches general plan elements. you have unelected departments that formulate a document that is part of our general plan for the city, and it comes to the board and we have a -- we can vote the whole thing up or the whole thing down, and we have no power or ability to say, we like this but we need to make a change here. and, so, i would say it's incredibly frustrating and this is -- the row has been very frustrating to me because the overwhelming majority of the
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this document i think is superb. i don't agree with the previous comments about rec and park. i think rec and park although i don't agree with everything the department does, i think overall does a phenomenal job managing our park system which is a very controversial thing. ~ rose we all have strong and conflicting opinions about our park system, but i think the department does a very good job. as i mentioned, the overwhelming majority of this document i completely support. and even within objective 4 about biodiversity, the butt being of it, the large majority of it, has not even been subject of much controversy. we haven't really even heard from anyone about that on some questions for staff about policy 4.2, which has been really at the heart of a lot of public consternation about the
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rose. policy 4.2, for the benefit of members of the public, takes the biodiverse city policy goals and basically talks about non-city lands or -- whether it's another government agency or a private property. and it says should, but should is a fairly strong term in terms of coming from our general plan. so, the city should ensure that a comprehensive inventory of all natural areas owned by city agencies other than rec and park and by private land holders is developed in order to preserve the city's biodiversity and natural areas more holistickly. so, to do a comprehensive inventory of all natural areas including those owned by private land owners, that has caused quit a bit of anxiety in terms of people not understanding what that means. ~ quite a bit
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frankly, it's very vague and broad so i'm not sure i fully, even know what that means. and then a few paragraphs down, it talks about the city, for properties that are not in the jurisdiction of the rec and park department, so including private property, the consideration should be given to a joint management -- to joint management through a conservation district or a governmental entity that controls the management of these areas. so, i guess for -- i don't know if this is for planning or for rec and park, assuming it's for planning, what do these -- what are these policy goals? can you just explain them? there are people who are concerned, you know, is my backyard somehow going to be classified as a natural area and then i'm not going to be able to do what i want with my backyard? what happens if this comprehensive inventory of all natural areas, quote-unquote,
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occurs and someone's private property is listed on there? and then also what does this joint management idea mean? i think people can understand when it's another government entity, if bart owns a piece of property and want to help them manage that natural area, but when you start talking about private property, it takes on a different meaning. so, can you -- could you comment on those questions? >> certainly, supervisor. thank you. the bottom line is what we are trying to do is determine which areas of the city are essentially left in their untouched state. an inventory is simply that. an inventory of properties, just to understand the geography of what is a quote-unquote natural area. and it is -- and the rose is calling for a management plan. it doesn't specifically say what that management plan should say. it doesn't say we should cut down eucalyptus trees or create sand dunes. that's not what it says. there is an entirely separate process going on right now that is the creation of this management plan that will be
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much more specific about what, what the public -- publicly owned natural areas should -- what should be done with those airs az. and how, how -- what department and other agencies should treat those natural areas. the reason for the reference to private property is simply that is prioritizing potentially if those private properties are undeveloped and the rose -- in other sections of this policy, it is simply arguing those might be areas to acquire to add to natural areas if possible. it is not suggesting what we should control what people do in their back yards. it is simply a reference to privately owned undeveloped parcels that might be part of a natural area's inventory. and suggesting that those might be prioritized for acquisition in the future. >> okay. it doesn't -- it's a little bit
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broader than that. again, i think parts of the concerns about section 4.2 is that it is very broad. there are some similarities to the old section 2.13 from the 1986 rose, but it goes beyond that, which i think is why it's causing some concern. the other question about section 4.2 is, unless i'm missing something, in the old section policy 2.13 from the 1986 rose, there is a sentence that says -- this is talking about natural resource area management plans and it says, the plan should establish a consistent set of management policies and practices to protect and enhance the resources and should also identify policies governing access and appropriate
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recreational use and enjoyment of protected natural areas to ensure the natural resource values are not diminished or impacted by public use. that reference is not in the proposed 4.2. and one of the other concerns that we've heard about policy 4.2 is that -- that in an effort to protect biodiversity, which we all support, that there is going to be a reduction in certain kinds of recreational access. that area will be defined as a natural area and it's no longer -- can be used for certain kinds of recreational uses. and, so, that language was in the old policy from 1986, appears it is a balancing recreational use and protecting biodiversity. it's not in section 4.2. just wonder if you can comment on that. >> i think one could argue
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that, that -- that specific direction was too specific and the reason itses was pulled out what so we could refer to those specific policies and actions in the natural areas and management plan rather than referring to it in the rose. in other words, i think i would argue that this language in the old version of the rose is actually more restrictive than the new version, and that's what -- the idea in the new proposed draft that's correct we take a step back and refer to the specific actions in the management plan rather than the specific actions that would be -- would be required in the actual rose document in the general plan element. the, the management plan will determine what areas have access, how we will determine public access, that sort of thing, not this document. >> okay, thank you. >> mr. ram, if i could just follow-up with one question. there have been a number of members of the public who have raised again issues around
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policy 4.2 and suggesting that the rose doesn't adequately protect neighborhoods that are most desperate for open space and references have been made to, to supervisor kim's district as well as my district to ensure that they get the highest priority when our city uses the open space fund to acquire new open space. could you address that contention that has been articulated? >> surely. what we did in this version of the rose is actually take a more sophisticated cut at what we identify as high needs areas. and we looked at a number of factors that are series of maps in your document that show things like where children live, where seniors live, where future development is happening, where people of low-incomes live and we overlaid those to create, to create the high needs map that you see in map 7 on page 24. it is a more fine grained map and definition of high needs areas and a kind of gradation, kind of five tiers showing where we are in most need of new open space and where we are in least need of new open
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space. and it's a little finer grain and also identifies things like play grounds and other types of open space as being deficient in some parts of the city. which is why some of the areas, for example, [speaker not understood] golden gate park are identified. again, compared to the old version of the rose, it's a more fine grained set of criteria that we have overlaid to create this final high needs map. >> thank you. supervisor kim. >> i'm just going to follow-up on that question from president chiu. i think, you know, what i had a lot of -- when i had the overall issue with the final map that came before us is at land use committee is the dark green that dots along golden gate park. and it just makes no sense at all. and i understand that you put in the number of data points and then the map just got spit out. but if you see that they say the highest priority needs for acquisition and renovation are the blocks surrounding golden gate park and that's the map by
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which the board of supervisors is going to make policy decisions on where it acquires open space. i think then you have to redo the map. if that's what the data spits out -- i understand there are a number of different factors that you looked at, and i'm not advocating against more open space by golden gate park. it just doesn't make any sense. when you represent a district that has the fewest parks and the smallest parks, along with president chiu, you know, you get concerned that that's the policy document that's going to be guidelining not just this board, but future administrations and future board of supervisorses. ~ board of supervisors. >> thank you, supervisor. i appreciate that and it looks strange to have high needs areas or relatively high needs areas near the park. ly say part of the reason for that is the very high concentration of children and seniors adjacent to the park. it's hard to see on the small map. if you look at the gradation of the colors, the darkest colors exist in district 6 and
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district 3 where the highest he needs are. it's a little hard to read on this map, but that is, that is kind of the intent of -- that's really the result of the analysis. >> right, and so i understand that you put in a number of different data points and the map that came out was the map that is before us, but i think it's just problematic that, that we didn't kind of further refine the map after that. and to see -- and i get that a lot of youth and seniors live around golden gate park, but i don't see as a policy maker that would mean we would then prioritize that area for acquisition. now, if we need to be building more play grounds in golden gate park or if we need to build more trails for seniors and resources for seniors by the park, that completely makes sense. but it just felt like a lot more refinement needed to happen with the map because this is going to be the guiding document for the board and the administration. so, it would have been nice that -- it would have just been important i think to take an extra couple of steps to refine
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the data points. >> i'm sorry. i think we can continue -- you can look at these parks individually as they come before you. this map is identifying areas of both acquisition and renovation. so, to your point about, about building playgrounds within the park, that would certainly be covered as part of this prohe is is. and presumably if those play grounds were to happen within the park, some of the areas around the park would become lighter green in the next version of the map. ~ process >> any additional conversation? supervisor wiener. >> just a couple more questions. for mr. ram or mr. ginsberg. if an inventory is done about natural areas that exist on, say, private property, i guess that inventory would be initiated by the planning department or perhaps by rec
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and park. so, how, how will that inventory -- how would that inventory be initiated and how would it be performed? >> my first -- first of all, we are doing a natural areas management plan for the properties that are under control -- >> i'm talking about private property. >> the inventory, if it moved forward, it would probably be initiated by the department of the environment. we haven't figured out the implementation of that stuff yet. >> and then what would be the -- what would be the -- what would be -- once the inventory is done, whoever does it, whether it's environment or whoever performs t they would come up with -- produce -- it would be an a administrative act. they would produce an inventory saying here are all the private property natural areas. what happens if you own property and it's listed on there?