tv [untitled] March 25, 2014 4:30pm-5:01pm PDT
i think you can tell from the commentary it's a very important issue. [speaker not understood] based on how it treats its most vulnerable. we can't imagine san francisco [speaker not understood] with privatized city college, we can't imagine sharp park without the frogs and snakes that are living there right now. it seems like a no-brainer, the environmental impact report is the basic step that should be taken. we may not be able to [speaker not understood] and other current [speaker not understood] system. we can do our part in the meantime and i urge you all to do that today. and we need our wetland. we need our creatures and you have a lovely place. thank you very much. good evening, supervisors. thank you very much for hanging in there on this marathon public comment. i know it's been a long
evening. hopefully you will hear what i have to say. it's very important to me. my name is don crouch. i live in the city of pacifica, and to me this is not a [speaker not understood]. to me sharp park is a community i live in with my family. two minutes is not enough time to go over the science on this, so, i'm not even going to try. [speaker not understood] is very important in pacifica. it is part of our community as i mentioned and it belongs to the city of san francisco. we have no control over it, you guys do which is why i took time away from work and came here tonight. i'm not a member of the wildlife equity institute, but i'd like to point out that u.s. fish and wildlife service is frequently too under staffed to deal with issues like this item before you [speaker not understood], and they should be the ones addressing this with san francisco rather than wildlife equity institute. if it were not for the efforts of groups like we, projects like this would be able to get
by without addressing proper c-e-q-a or without addressing the c-e-q-a laws properly and not have flawed negative declarations challenged as is done in this case. for myself and my family, i ask that you look at the area and the wildlife and the community and not just see a bunch of regulations. there's people that live there. my family lives there. please proceed with diligence by obtaining an e-i-r. it's the right thing to do for the wildlife and our community. thank you very much. hello, good afternoon, my name is ann silvester. i'm a resident of san francisco. i've been following the sharp park story for several years now and i've come to the conclusion that the people of san francisco do not need to damage the environment and endanger [speaker not understood] species. not enough.
[speaker not understood] strategies to do that. this precious asset was given to the citizens of san francisco by [speaker not understood] to enjoy, not to wreck. let's abandon this whole strategy and go back to the common sense plan to transfer sharp park to the golden gate national park. mr. avalos, you remember when [speaker not understood] vetoed that transfer a couple years ago. as they put it to the citizens of san francisco because it's our property. thank you. ~ mayor lee good afternoon, supervisors. thank you for hearing all of our concerns here today. a lot of information has already been provided about the reasonable alternatives [speaker not understood] at sharp park. the thing that's interesting is we're not considering the fate of the entire golf course here today. this is very simple, it's about getting more information about
alternative that [speaker not understood] manage one particular pumphouse project so that we can move forward with an informed decision on the best way to manage one specific part of this property. we're not asking you to take a vote on whether or not there is golf there. golf will continue no matter how we move forwardth with this e-i-r. we're not even asking that the outcome of the environmental review. we're just asking you to do your due diligence because we have alternative. we have presented concerns about [speaker not understood] in the park. and it is an intense management strategy to go in and dredge a wetland. please look at the alternatives after a full e-i-r and then make your decision then. but without that full e-i-r you are only given one option and i think because of the [speaker not understood] there, supervisor campos said about the treatment of our fellow travelers here on this planet, they at least deserve to have all alternatives considered. thank you. >> thank you.
next singer. good afternoon, board of supervisors. ♪ where do all the frogs go we got no city [speaker not understood] back to the open arms of polluted [speaker not understood] and if some city says they'll love you and they'll always be there and care i know they will be there and thank you always be aware ♪ thank you thank you, [speaker not understood]. my name is larry edmonds. i live in san francisco.
first at ethics, now i'm here in the peninsula. y'all been there before. frog stand for fully rehe lying on god's services. so, when a frog jumps, he fully relies on god's services. so, they're very important ~. and the california green garden snake, seems like we all need this ecology and land in this city and county. things like it's no place for animals. you know we have screaming green parrotts, family parrotts who sing through the city. and now we may not have the green gart error the red frog. this is what i want to ask you. if you give a fish -- if you give me or anyone a fish, you have fed me for a day. if you teach me to fish, then you have fed me until the river
is contaminated or the shoreline seas for development. but if you teach me to organize, then whatever the challenge is, i and we can come up to we can [speaker not understood] together with the people [speaker not understood] that we will fashion our own solutions. you started out talking about community organizing today, and i think this is part of what community organizing is for the bayview, whether it's pacifica, whether it's the sunset or the tenderloin or the mission. it is really all about cesar sanchez, [speaker not understood]. it's time for people to organize new civil rights, make thing this earth provides for us all. i hope that's the message tonight. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker.
hello, good afternoon, supervisors. my name is douglas yip and i have lived in san francisco for 63 years. i would like to thank the citizens that came here for public comment on this issue. i think it's very important that the supervisors know that they are being observed. so, this way they know for the record it just isn't the federal government observing them. secondly, i would also like to say that since san francisco prides itself, so much as being a green environmental city, why would two major agencies be against a full e-i-r? if you look at it logically, if you have nothing to hide, you would just do the e-i-r, get it over with, and then the opposition would just be satisfied and there would be no argument.
when you oppose an e-i-r, one has a suspicion, a suspicion there is something there. and i use for my other example something called treasure island which had plenty of e-i-rs and now we know that it still grows at night. so, i would say that why not do an e-i-r. this way it would be logical -- logical that we pride ourselves as being an environmental city because if we went to all the trouble time and effort to deal with something as basic as bottled water, why can't we do an e-i-r and it would just alleviate all the disagreement? as i always say, there's a long litany in san francisco of errors done by the planning unit and also by the park and
rec starting with a w. >> next speaker. any other members of the public wish to speak in support of the appellant? okay. seeing none, at this time why don't we go to presentations from our city departments. first with a presentation from the planning department. you have up to 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, president chiu, members of the board. i'm rick cooper, senior environmental planner with the planning department. joining me today are sarah jones, the environmental review officer and [speaker not understood], the environmental coordinator for the final mitigated negative declaration or smd which is the subjects of your appeal today. don [speaker not understood], director of planning capital management, lisa waynn, open space manager, and stacey bradley, a planner at the recreation and park department are here as well to address any
questions you may have about the background, scope, or timeline of the proposed project. we say in the memo dated march 17, 2014, responding in detail to the issues raised in the appeal. the decision before the board is whether to uphold the department's decision to issue an ssmmd [speaker not understood] or return to the department for the preparation of an e-i-r. i'd like now to turn my presentation over to kay sushi who will briefly address the main points of our presentation. thank you. >> thank you, rick. president chiu, members of the board, i'm [speaker not understood] of the planning department. and to continue the department's [speaker not understood] the proposal would not result in any significant impact on the environment that could not be mitigated, that a mitigated negative declaration was appropriately prepared.
the [speaker not understood] is very limited in scope as all of you know. it involves habitat enhancement and minor infrastructure improvement at sharp park [speaker not understood]. further includes components that are analyzed in and required by [speaker not understood] issued by u.s. fish and wildlife service. and includes construction of [speaker not understood] realignment of personal existing golf cart task, removal of sediment and emergent [speaker not understood] and connecting channel that links the pond to [speaker not understood]. construction and maintenance walkway, horse stable ponds, [speaker not understood] and [speaker not understood] existing retaining walled with concrete retaining wall at the exist being compound. the primary purposes for the proposed project are to restore habitat in several locations within the wetland complex for the california red leg frog and
san francisco garter snake and improve safety for worker by improving access to the pump intake structures. [speaker not understood] the opinion, the u.s. fish and wildlife service issued a statement to authorize the proposed activity with conservation measures which were incorporated into the project and smmd as appropriate. the department's responses to the concerns raised by the appellants can be [speaker not understood] as outlined in the appeal response. i'll touch on some of the nine points in my presentation here. to summarize the points, i'll address the appellant has presented no such such evidence that [speaker not understood] would result in [speaker not understood] environmental impact. despite the appellant's assertion, mitigation measure bio m2b is enforceable.
[speaker not understood] because the project will not result in any significant impacts that cannot be mitigated. the appellant's assertion that [speaker not understood] would ip crease the [speaker not understood] wealth land complex is incorrect. [speaker not understood]. the appellants have said [speaker not understood] 2b is not enforceable. [speaker not understood]. this is not correct. first, the [speaker not understood] was approved by public hearing by park and rec commission january 23rd, 2014. and the commission adopted the mitigation monitoring and reporting program for mmip. ~ for the project as additional project approval. san francisco recreation and parks department and the planning department, city departments are themselves appropriately -- appropriate regulatory bodies in the c-e-q-a to ensure that mmlp is
fully enforceable. as for the appellant's assertion, it must be considered as part of the environmental review for the project. let me first clarify it is the planning department that conducted the environmental review for the project and not the rec and park department and determined that the -- any old terms not required under c-e-q-a for the project. however, this does not preclude that rec and park department from proposing any other alternative to the project. these agencies not because of c-e-q-a to consider [speaker not understood] alternative, there are no significant impacts identified resulting from the project. [speaker not understood] level [speaker not understood] surrounding the project. as discussing the smmd with implementation of the identified mitigation measures, the project would not result in any significant impacts.
this consideration of alternative -- the consideration of alternative to the [speaker not understood] is not required under c-e-q-a. the appellant also implies that there are one or more alternatives that are superior to the product in terms of the frog and snake at sharp park. under c-e-q-a, these agencies require to disclose the environmental impact of the project [speaker not understood] whether or not there are any other occurrence hees ~ occurrences [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. the appellant also asserts that the [speaker not understood] will increase the rate of water
flow of the wetland complex and this would result in adverse impacts on endangered species [speaker not understood] by wetland complex. this assertion is not correct. as mentioned previously, no changes at all are proposed to the pumphouse operations as part of the project that the project would not increase or expand the pump operations. [speaker not understood] and the amount of water flow for the wetland [speaker not understood] is controlled by the ingoing [speaker not understood] which are managed by san francisco recreation park department. and these existing [speaker not understood] would not be altered [speaker not understood]. therefore, the appellant's assertion that the [speaker not understood] would expand the operation of the existing pumps and change the velocity of the water flow in the complex is not correct. the appellant has not presented any hydrological or hydraulic
modeling prepared by a qualify professional that it would increase availability or amount of water flow in the laguna solano complex. finally, the appellant asserts that smmd failed to consider cumulative projects because removal will be undertaken by rec and park department and the smmd did you not include any analysis of future sediment removal. however, the rec and park department does not have any plans for future sediment removal. the smmd fully analyzes scope of the project. before i conclude, i'd like to briefly acknowledge that [speaker not understood] it is clear from the speakers that there is a great deal of concern about the effects of the progress at sharp park, and
i found the speakers' further testimony -- i especially note, however, that no new information has been raised that change our conclusion that smmd was appropriately issued and prepared. a couple points i'd like to just make for the record. first, further environmental review would not change the result of our analysis and conclusion, nor it would provide further information for a second potential impact for environmental review topic. and in conclusion, the department has found that with mitigation, the proposed project would not have a substantial impact on the environment and would fit in the criteria for a mitigated negative declaration pursuant to the c-e-q-a guidelines. staff believes that the appellant has not provided any substantial evidence to refute
the conclusion of the smmd. for these reasons the department, therefore, recommends the board uphold smmd and deny the appeal. that concludes our presentation. thank you. >> thank you. i have one question to start off the conversation. i know we have a number of colleagues with questions, but the appellant mr. plater had raised in his opening arguments the exchange that he had with fish and wildlife staff around the fact that there weren't resources that have been identified to implement the mitigation measures. could you directly address that contention that there had not been communication with the federal agency on whether or not these mitigations can occur? >> absolutely. under c-e-q-a, as i mentioned previously, san francisco park and rec -- rec and park department as well as the
planning department can be enforcing agency, that can make sure this mitigation measure in bio2b is enforceable and implemented. so, regardless of the level of availability of staff at u.s. fish and wildlife service, this mitigation measure is enforceable and we'll make sure that this will be implemented. >> so, you're saying that we will be spending local resources to enforce the mitigation measures? >> yes. >> okay. >> that's correct. >> supervisor wiener. >> thank you. and that was actually one of the questions i had. just to be very clear, the city is responsible as the wrote et sponsor for implementing the mitigation measures, right? >> that is correct. >> okay. and i think that is important because i think it would be an odd scenario if we have a federal agency over whom we have no control in term of their budget and resources
saying we don't have the capacity to do this. so, therefore, somehow the project grinds to a halt or finally changes the environmental review. it seems like a rather arbitrary way to proceed. so, i think it's an important point that the city is responsible for implementing the mitigation measures and that's regardless of whether fish and wildlife has the ability to help or not. >> good afternoon, supervisors. sarah jones, environmental review officers. yes, that's correct. the mrrp identifies the city as the responsible party for implementing this mitigation measure. the mitigation measure stipulates that various reports or different results of the process be submitted to fish and wildlife for their information. there's no reason that fish and
wildlife would have allocated resources to this effort at this time. it would be similar to us assigning staff to a project that we he don't even have in front of us ~. also, fish and wildlife was consulted during the preparation of the mitigated negative declaration and, of course, it was circulated to them in its draft preliminary phase. >> great, thank you. so, another questions i think was referred to in the presentation, but i think it's important we need to be clear about it. there was a lot of discussion in the appellant's presentation about the alternative or alternatives to the project. and just to be clear, i understand correctly, in order to get to the alternative analysis, there has to be a
significant impact. is that right? >> that is correct. i mean, we as the lead agency is not required to analyze [speaker not understood], unless any significant impacts are identified by the environmental review process. >> okay. and that's a nontopic here, right? there were no significant impacts identified? >> we have measures included in that smmd. we did not identify any significant impacts on the environment. >> okay. thank you. and then also i think you mentioned this, but i have a question for rec and park, for planning, that in terms of the pumping volume or pumping protocol, that would not be affected by this project? maybe ms. waynn can comment on that. i think it's important to have the facts and the actual c-e-q-a law clearly articulated.
>> yeah, lisa waynn, recreation and parks department open space manager. that's correct, we have pumping protocols that have been approved and outlined by the fish and wildlife service that we are following and we have no intention to veer from what, what their guidelines include. so, pumping protocols are very, are very detailed and they include surveying around the wetland area for vulnerable [speaker not understood] and adjusting the water level to protect those egg masses through the winter months when the animals are breeding. and we have -- we can't say for certain, but, you know ~ one year we'll have more or less water removed from the site or what the water levels would be in a particular season because it's really dependent on where the frogs deposit their eggs and where we set the water
levels at. i hope that answers your question. >> yes. thank you. >> supervisor campos. >> thank you, mr. president. just going back to the issue of pumping, can you talk about whether or not there is a change in the amount of water that's going in? i know it's one of the contentious -- contentions that are made. so, i'm wondering if you can address that issue. >> absolutely. so, this entire wetland complex is a [speaker not understood] complex system. there is a huge amount of water going into the system itself. that's that, you know, ongoing dynamic situation we have currently regardless of whether or not this project moves forward or not. this project will remove some of the sediment, also vegetation from the horse stable pond in the collecting
channel, but because of the entire wetland system is managed by and dictated by the pump operations, and this will not change the pumphouse operations [speaker not understood]. this project will not change that amount and the velocity of water flow in the system. >> wasn't this a change, though, to the pump in 2008? i mean, that actually increases the amount of water that goes in? >> i'd like to defer to rec and park staff on that question. >> i know this is a little bit in my presentation, but in 2009 we developed protocol that had been in place since that time in response to a law enforcement action by the pond, by federal fish and wildlife service.
so, those pumping protocols have been put in place since 2009 and i'm happy to report that this year we observed no stranding of egg masses. so, the protocols do seem to be working quite well. >> after you install this new pump in 2008, was there a c-e-q-a, was evaluation of that? >> good afternoon. sarah jones again, environmental review officer. c-e-q-a is done when project approvals are being sought. that's what triggers environmental review as a project. so, this was not submitted to us as an approval for ceqa review. >> so, there was no c-e-q-a, no environmental evaluation of the impact of the new pump? >> it was not. c-e-q-a evaluation not not required.
>> that question remains, you know. i'm asking about whether or not environmental review that was done. i'm not asking whether it was required or not, whether you believe it was required or not. just wondering whether it was done. >> it was not done because it was not required. >> okay. all right. so, is, is part of the project expanding pumping operations? because that's one of the claims that is being made by the appellant. is that one of the, the goals, objectives, the points of the project? >> the proposed project, the pumphouse project does not -- would not change the amount of water that would be removed or the rate of water that would be removed.
that is determined -- the rate of water is determined by the capacity of the pumps. there's two pumps. they're either on or off. they operate at a set rate. so, the rate of water does not change and would not change any of this project. the amount of water that is removed from the system is determined largely by the amount of precipitation in a given rainfall year and where we set the pumps at and where we set the pumps at is determined by where the frogs deposit their egg. >> so, what exactly is changed by this project in terms of water or the pumping operations? >> nothing. the pumping protocols, as i said, are spelled out in our biological opinion, our agreement, and our permit with the fish and wildlife service. and we are not changing those pumping protocols. >> so, they're just completely -- so, they're completely wrong when they say that this is changing pumping operations?