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tv   [untitled]    July 15, 2012 12:30am-1:00am PDT

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is pending. >> was there a state of any sort? >> there was no stay. >> was it requested? >> that i am not aware of. >> is the removal of these trees part of the construction contract? >> yes. >> will give giving notice to proceed to the contract, it will be to demolish these trees as well? >> that is correct. >> the appellant stated july 16. what is july 16? >> i am not certain as to where the appellant got the information from. >> thank you. >> i totally appreciate the fact that we are moving the project forward.
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we have obtained all the approvals, including the eir. the project is poised to move forward, so it is the city's decision as to when it is prudent to move forward. >> do you know when that will be? any estimate on when that will be? are you still considering that based on the lawsuit? >> we're still considering a lawsuit, yes. >> thank you. we can take public comment on this item. can i see a show of hands? ok, wonderful. whoever wants to start, you can step forward. if you would not mind lineup on the far wall. it would be great. we would like to move this forward as quickly as possible. if you have not already filled out a speaker cards and you are inclined to do so, it will help
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us in the preparation of our minutes. >> my name is zack stewart. >> one second -- how many minutes? >> 3 minutes per person. >> i flunked the architectural exam the first time i ticket. because i put the building on top of some trees. i am an architect and a landscape architect and a general contractor. all the foresters have always made me save the trees. saving trees -- there are a lot of ways to do. i think i would have rather been a truck driver driving one of
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those big semis to deliver the palm trees to the embarcadero. the embarcadero needed big trees to make it work as a great avenue. so does columbus avenue. the amount -- it is really interesting to watch the big trees being delivered. obviously, you can take these trees, which are not that big, set them in the parking area, put them back after construction. or you can just manage the trees, as i have been forced to do by many foresters, to keep them alive. my 50 years' experience in this is that it is not a good idea to have all those millions of people that are riding cable
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cars when we are supposed to be a green city. president hwang: thank you. next speaker, please. >> i am an arborist. i worked in the area for 43 years. every kind of tree, many of the department' before going into my own business. the things that are being described as not so good about these trees could be said for any of this tree. if we took out these for the structural problems, we should remove almost all of our street trees. they have not had the budget to be able to maintain them to the ideals standards. ironically, it is for privately owned trees, i do not think dpw will let people remove them for
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the same reasons. they would say, sorry, you have to do a tree protection plan. it can be managed. there were buildings here before. the root system may not be as advanced as -- the best thing to do good to be an exploratory trench along the proposed construction is down and find out where those routes -- roots are. if they are not massive, the tree could be flat and on both sides. these are trees that evolved with hurricanes. that is why they are so forgiving. if the roots can be retained, i think the trees could be retained. those lovely trees that are being proposed are going to take decades to have the same
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impact. thank you. president hwang: next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, board of appeals. i am here to try to save three of the five trees. the smaller ones are not so dear to my heart. i have lived a block and a half away from this parcel for 46.5 years. i am very close to it. houston street. my first knowledge of what was happening on 701 at lombard street, they keep calling it 800 columbus and 850 columbus. some of us think that is a way to confuse the public. this has been 701 lombard street since 2003. the city pay for it with open space funds and have planned for
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years to have a park there. that is not what we're here about. a friend of mine notice on march 12, 10 days after the three trees for posted, this is kind of significant. the library wanted five trees taken out. miss short denied two of them. we knew nothing about it. we just knew that three were posted. apparently, the labeling came off of the picus' -- off of the ficus. we appealed with three trees. they appealed the two trees they had been denied. the appeals got mixed up. there were both occurred on the same day, but the real focus was on what the library wanted. the judge was an employee of dpw and then he turned over his
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notes. it bothers me a little bit bad dpw chief was asked to judge his employees, but i'm not going to pursue that. there is an urban forestry ordinance. article 16 of the public-works code and it defines what significant trees are and what street trees all are. the ficus trees i am fighting for, they fall into both categories. there is some very clear definitions of it. breast height in excess of 12 inches, the height in excess of 20 feet. they definitely qualify for that. it also says that interested organizations have to be notified. i am a founding member of two of the organizations and the registered them with the city. coalition for a better north beach library. we were not notified.
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there is a handwritten list in the brief that shows some names. my name and my daughter's name. we were not notified about the trees. we were just notified that our appeal was going to be heard. i hope you'll consider this, thank you. president hwang: do you care to state your name for the record? >> i am sorry, joan wood. >> i am a native of north beach. many people in the neighborhood have been very attached to the trees for a long time. the pattern of street trees on lombard shows this alignment along the entire lombard street. you'll see the pictures of the alignment on columbus avenue. these are all trees about the same age.
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size, height, all very significant. the appellants have requested a stay. the city declined to accept that. in public records request, we found e-mails between the city departments designed to remove the trees as early as april. that, i think, will be presented to you later in the regatta. -- rebuttal. we understand the city's desire to move ahead, but the litigation proceill in the works. the hearing was held, there is a decision pending. after decisions, litigation may
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continue, we do not know what the outcome of the hearing will be. the public records request that we have received over the last years have also uncovered some interesting information. unlike other projects, like 1190 mission or swinerton's project, they do not have the same opportunities as this project. dpw's project manager for the library project can talk to the dpw director or they can coordinate between the urban forestry department agency and the project architects. that will be shown in a selection of e-mails that we found recently to public records request. throughout the course of the
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project, there have been changing assessments of the conditions of the trees. they were based on internal prodding of their own departmental people. in 2010, the department of urban forester reported that the three ficuses did not want removal. in february 2012, the urban forest inspector said one tree could be saved. and there have been changes since. given the litigation -- frankly, it's is given the condition and the significance of the trees, the dpw order needs to be overturned so that the process can be a fair and independent one. following the codes and ordinances. president hwang: next speaker,
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please. >> good evening. i'm a 25-year resident of north beach. my visual aid today is my son, frankie. here is the t-shirt he was wearing when this project started. he was 04 years old. in the last 10 years, i have attended nearly every meeting about the new library. meetings at the library, meetings at the pool, meetings at the clubhouse, meetings at a church, meeting set a school, meetings in this building. i have felt very well-informed about the process the entire 10 removal, i want to assure you, as part of the great library project, is not a problem and not a surprise to
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many of us in north beach. those of us in the neighborhood who use the library, who use the pool, and you have children reduce the same facilities, know that trees near the pool have been replaced before. trees grow again. i feel, after our tend your request, residents are really excited and welcoming of the -- after our 10-your request, residents are really excited and welcoming of the new library. thank you. president hwang: next speaker, please. >> i am in north beach property owner. my wife and i moved to north beach in 1992 right after we got married. we love don taylor and columbus, i could look out my window and see -- we lived on taylor and
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columbus, i could look out my window and see those trees. recently, one of my neighbors did some construction. i like your plans, but there is a tree, could you please keep that tree? i am looking at the plan, looking at the library, looking at the park. it looks like we will lose three trees, maybe five. i am still a little confused. i have two kids, born in north beach. all these little details, whatever, let's does have a really nice park, green grass, more trees. anyway, thank you. president hwang: next speaker, please. >> hello. know what is going to come here and say they are against trees. -- nobody is going to come here
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and say they are against trees. this is another veiled attempt to stop the construction of the new library. i am a mom and we have grown up in north beach and have used the dilapidated library. we're looking forward to a brand new library. we also remember that last year, one of the trees next to a north beach pool fell down during a large wind storm and hit a car. i believe there is an arborist report that says three of the trees are highly compromised and need to be removed. thank you very much. president hwang: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is elizabeth do you. i have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. my son refused to come here tonight.
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orlando, they are not doing their job. this is the second time i have spoke in favor of the fact that we will get a better library. we cannot wait to have those wonderful things in our neighborhood. my son may be married by the time it gets here. thank you very much. president hwang: next speaker, please. >> i have planted almost 400 trees in north beach over 300 of them street trees. i am asking you to uphold the permit. i am trying to figure out ms. easton's point of view. she obviously thinks she knows better than the planning commission. better than the board of supervisors, better than the mayor's office, it betterthose h beach, better than those of us
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who have been working on this project for 13 years. i just do not get the point of view. have you are worried about the trees on columbus and lombard, i have got a list. we have got trees that have been illegally removed. we have trees that are in a compromised condition. there is plenty to do, and the amount of time that has gone into protecting these could have done a lot to protect the broader forest, but they do not need to worry about this site. 15 trains will be planted, five for each of them. over 30 trees will be planted. we are going to rip up 13,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete. this site is going to be fine. in addition to the urban forestry, we get a better sidewalk, better conditions on the street. we control light and shade for the new building. we have a sidewalk that will be
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optimized for the bus shelter and bus stop, for the utility poles and the crosswalks, and we are going to give it up for what proved fourth three varieties of the species that the city no longer allows to be planted in san francisco. they are called heavily weighted with many weak branches, including bar, basil nunes. -- basel wounds. the odds are not good for these trees. the next two trees but have suffered catastrophic damage and have been removed. others have been removed up and
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down. three or four ficus are in serious condition and look to be dying. we now have documents from carl short and others acknowledging the poor condition of these trees. if a kid gets squashed, or if the city gets squashed, the city will be additional liable because the city had non about this condition. this is so we can gaze on them for another two or five years, or we can move ahead with our neighborhood, something for our children and grandchildren. please let the permit stand. thank you. president hwang: thank you. next speaker. >> hello. my name is judy irving, and i am the vice president there, and i am speaking to you mainly as a documentary filmmaker. i made a film about the wild
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parents of telegraph hill. i would like to bring another aspect into this -- the wild parrots of telegraph hill. i would like to bring another aspect into this conversation. the tall mature canapes in other cities, like new york, chicago, and even denver. there are a lot of birds that need tall trees, and to say that planting basically 15 little saplings is going to make up for taking out yet more of our call, mature canopy is disingenuous. there is a huge difference between tall, mature, healthy trees that can be pruned and little saplings in 24-inch boxes. that are going to take decades
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and decades to get big, so i would ask that you please consider keeping these trees at least until the in addition is settled. this was like the department of public works talking to the department of public works, and with everyone agreeing with each other because they are in the same department. it just does not seem fair. there are three arborist reports on these trees. it said, one of them, that they were fine. and that one was carl short, -- carla short, and now they are all bad. there are ways of saving these trees.
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many, many people are forced to save trees during construction projects. to remove these trees just for the sake of pouring concrete sets a really bad precedent, and i ask that you consider saving them. thank you very much. president hwang: thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello, commissioners. my name is -- i actually work for the city. i am a neighbor of north beach or over 20 years and have been involved in this project for 13 years. yes, it has been 13 years. president hwang: i does want to clarify. you are speaking as an individual? >> as an individual and neighbor.
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so you heard a lot, and i do not want to consider -- continue this analysts conversation. i am part of the group that supports everything around, and we work hard. there were two failed ficus several feet away from these, and we replanting the mccaw olives. this is a matter of time. a matter of time. we are talking at most 85 years with the way everything goes around here, so are you looking to the past, or are you looking to the future, is what i would ask you. supervisor campos: -- president hwang: thank you. is there any other public comment on this item? >> commissioners, madam chair, i
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am speaking on my gun. if indeed these have been dubs a significant trees, and they have not been evaluated or considered as such, then i urge you to have them legally and administratively done so in the manner described in the code. these trees as well as other ficus trees are, indeed, damaged and in poor condition. the reason is several things coming together at once. one is that the dpw has flyin detailed these trees for a very long time, and that is bad because it lets the sunlight into the bark. usually on a miniature ficus', there is enough -- on a mature ficus, there is enough -- the
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sun comes and and causes a disease, a cancor, and it can be easily treated. i have gone through this with the university of nevada agricultural extension. i do not know these trees exactly, if they have been diagnosed with that, but if they are damaged and in poor condition, they may very well have been diagnosed with this, so if you could have them re- evaluated as significant trees, it would be much appreciated. thank you. director goldstein: is there any
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other member of the public who would like to speak on this item? seeing none, we will move into rebuttal. you have three minutes of rebuttal. >> would you be willing to accept an exhibit by me? president hwang: what is in the exhibit? >> this is about the people in public works. president hwang: why was it not submitted a with your submission? >> because i did not get it until yesterday. president hwang: 1 not? >> why not? because i did not have the information. if not, i can put it up. president hwang: put it up on the screen.
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has dpw seen this as an exhibit? >> no. i never copies for them. president hwang: maybe you should and m1 also. >> even if i'm going to put it on the screen? president hwang: that would be nice, as a courtesy. the first one is from carla shorted to deborah morgan, and it deals with the trees that have been inspected and noted that three of the five were noted with public notice. two of the trees were denied based upon their condition, so that is the reason that this is here. president hwang: is that an
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exhibit to a submission already proved that email? what is the date of it? >> this is dated march 5. 2012. this is before the hearing on april 23. president hwang: ok. and what does it say again? it is from his short? >> this is an assistant. ok. do you want me to read it again? president hwang: we wanted in the record. i am wondering what it says. >> it says than ever inspected the trees and have posted some for public notice. some were in good condition. bay would issue a denial letter, and you can appeal the decision, but the reason i wanted to put this in here is that there were two trees that were in too good of condition to be given the