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tv   [untitled]    July 17, 2012 7:00am-7:30am PDT

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expressions of this agreement to commons. if i can ask folks to respect that, that would be helpful. is there anyone else who wants to speak in support of this project? seeing none, why don't we hear final words from the appellant? you have up to three minutes for your rebuttal. >> thank you for your time and attention. your taking this very seriously. i also know that a lot of you care about kids, as to arrive. from hearing the opposition speak, you would think we all hate kids. i have two kids, ages 8 and 11. my son plays soccer. i think vikings is a great program. what you heard is the kids need more fields. i could not agree more wholeheartedly. that is why we want to provide
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the kids with 9.5 acres of artificial turf fields at west sunset, and also restore beach l.a. with seven -- beach chalet with go for proofing and good drainage that will make beach chalet and west sunset pliable, and restore both fields. the opponents are characterizing it as the status quo or the project. nothing could be further from the truth. we want to provide more acreage, more play hours. for the first time tonight, you heard the planning department's staff say that the hybrid alternative provides less play hours. they said 9500 hours for their project and about 8000 hours additional for our project. there is a total playtime for both fields of about 20,000
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hours. we are talking about a variance of 5%. but they also admitted that they subtracted baseball. soccer is no more important than baseball. the point is to get kids playing sports. we should not be favoring soccer over baseball. but my kids play both. they're both important. if you add the baseball hours in, you get 900 more hours of play time with the hybrid alternative than you do with the city alternative. the important part is this analysis is not in the eir. the decision the board is making tonight is is the eir adequate. it is not. if there is something written on a piece of paper that nobody has ever seen, the plate hours -- the first time we are hearing that tonight. it is not in the eir. all the testimony you heard tonight -- none was addressed to
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the adequacy of the eir, which is what was before the board tonight. there was no analysis of safer alternatives. it did not analyze the hybrid alternative. there is no dispute about that. the only evidence in the record is the evidence we produced. our alternative produces more play hours. please select the hybrid alternative, because we care about kids. president chiu: thank you. let me ask if there are any final questions to any of the parties tonight. supervisor campos: thank you, mr. president. i have a question not for the appellant. it was more a question to the city attorney's office. i do not know if this is the time to ask. but procedurally, through the chair, normally, for purposes of the benefit of people who are
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watching, when you have this kind of appeal, you have the eir that is decided at the board. at some point, the substantive agreement or project comes before the board of supervisors. i wonder if you can talk about the process regarding this proposal, this project, what happens if the eir is approved or not approved, a firm or not firm. >> department's staff may be able to speak better than i can about any specific approvals. i am sure there will jump in if i get this wrong. the eir was certified during a joint hearing at the planning commission and the rec and park commission. the planning commission gave its approval actions, which included a general plan referral and approval of the coastal zone permit. the rec and park commission took
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action to approve the project. the coastal zone permit approval by the planning commission was also appealed. that appeal is currently pending before the board of appeals. under chapter 31 of the administrative code, no city decision maker or entity can take an action to approve or further a project where an eir is currently on appeal. that appeal has been pending the of the eir appeal of its resolution. should the board of appeals hearing can go forward if you approve, assuming the board of appeals upholds the coastal permit issued by the planning commission. then there would potentially be a further appeal of the coastal commission, if the coastal commission determined it had jurisdiction. but i do not believe a further approvals are required within
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the city, except for possibly approval at the recreation and park commission awarding a contract for construction. that is not currently pending. supervisor campos: this would not come back to the board of supervisors wants the eir is voted upon? >> that is my understanding. supervisor campos: a question i certainly have thought about is the idea that there might be coastal commission issues similar to some of the issues that are here, and that maybe we should explore a continuance, pending the outcome at the coastal commission. i wonder if you can address that issue? i certainly was open to that possibility, but i do not even know if that is legally possible. >> assuming the coastal commission has jurisdiction over this permit, it could not act on
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an appeal until the city finalizes its own process. they asked only on a finalized permit by the city. the city cannot finalize until the board of appeals appeals are resolved. the coastal commission will have to rely on the city-certified eir, if it is going to take any action. that would include upholding the coastal zone issue by the city, should it be appropriately appealed to the coastal commission. >> -- supervisor cohen: may be mentioned as a 0.5 hours ago. please refresh my memory. i keep hearing this alternative hybrid plan. could you talk to meet a little bit about why you are against
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the hybrid plan? specifically, the west sunset baseball fields? it is not an option. is that correct? >> we have talked about this a couple of different times throughout the hearing tonight. our goal is to maximize our apply for kids. you heard a ton of compelling testimony about our shortage of fields. any sort of hybrid alternative, which would need its own set of environmental approvals -- we would have to start from scratch. you have come up with 1800 hours of less play. to put that in perspective, that translates to about 30 hours per week, on average, or about 900 hours -- 30 hours per week. 30 hours per week, on average.
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what one hour of play means -- it impacts 30 kids. that is 30 hours of let's play a week, multiplied by 30. that is 900 kids getting that much less of an opportunity to play. because an hour of play does not affect one child. it affects two teams on one field. in some cases, three teams on one field. >> when you set 1800 hours of less play, we are talking about less play on the current number of fields that we have right now, not on the potential future field. >> it is in comparison to the smaller project at beach chalet. you can fill in the gaps for me. beach chalet is essentially a
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soccer field. those bills of the need to rest and are closed for a number of reasons. west sunset is a mix of baseball and soccer. the fields are designed very differently. they will result in fewer additional -- 1800 fewer additional hours then we would get if we did this project at beach chalet. supervisor cohen: how often and how long do field need to rest? >> it varies by the field. the beach l.a. field is closed every monday. it is closed about 10 weeks in the fall, as well as a few weeks in the summer for reseeding. one of the four fields is always closed, because when you play
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soccer, it wears out in front of the goal, so you keep having to move for the goal is located. beach chalet is a rectangle, and we are moving them along the x axis. we have to keep one closed in order to rest it. they just wear out like crazy in that area. that is why that are closed more than the west sunset fields. >> supervisor, in our project, we have also been looking for geographic diversity in our different neighborhoods. south sunset is just a few blocks away from west sunset. tonight, you heard about a few different issues. some people believe this project is not appropriate for golden gate park. you heard other concerns. the argument essentially is, the
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problems with the project in golden gate park are some of good enough for west sunset or some other neighborhood. i find that a bit troubling. supervisor mar: i do not think the hybrid is a realistic alternative. i know we did not even talk about other issues. i did want to ask -- i have studied this to death. president chiu: if you have a quick question, i would like to close the hearing before we move into motions. supervisor mar: i know the issue of the brightness or dimming of the lights and the flexibility with ours has come of a number of times from people testifying, but also from supervisors. i would like to ask the the rec
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and park department come back to the board with grants after six months, after indicating different stakeholder groups, especially organizations of others that live around the area, with some plan that adjusts the lights and hours, so it is really listening to input from residents and stakeholder groups. i am wondering if the rec and park department would do that. i feel strongly that mitigating of the lights and ours is very important to the neighborhoods around the field. >> in all our projects, we work with our community and neighborhoods to address concerns about lighting. in all of our fields, we have schedules about when the lights are on or off. it is a mix of community need and interest with scheduling constraints. we will engage in this project.
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your suggesting that six months after the fields are open, when we have had a chance to operate them and use them, that we report back? >> yes -- supervisor mar: yes. it takes about 10 months to install them. that would be six months after the opening of the field. >> we would also typically engage in that conversation along the way. we have no problem with that. supervisor cohen: a month ago that i have some concerns about the brightness of light and how that disrupts flight patterns of birds. you might have said this eight and a half hours ago and i missed it. if you could reiterate it, is the flexibility -- and forgive me for the folks that are out there. i do not know if there is a certain time of year that birds
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fly. i assume they do not migrate every day. there is a migratory pattern. is the flexibility with respecting their migratory pattern, and the depth of output these lights are putting out? is there some way we can all live together? >> the good news is, with respect to the light, we have already -- we have worked throughout this project to make a number of changes that are unique to this particular field, to minimize the light from different lighting technology, with a cone shape to reduce like spillage. we are placing the lights in different parts of the field, all to minimize what impact. i can defer to my colleague or
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the planning department. the eir determined no significant impact from the lighting as a result. supervisor cohen: was there a lighting expert, when we are talking about diffusion of light and farm? -- and fog? it is ok. i am not working either. the microphones are not working. long night. >> we worked with an environmental consulting firm that has contracts with all of the areas of expertise that are needed to complete the analysis. in this case, the consulting firm was environmental science associates, which has completed many eir is in san francisco. their expertise was in house. supervisor cohen: who paid for
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the consulting services? >> the recreation and parks department. all of our environmental impact reports -- the consultants are paid by the project sponsor. in their contract, they are working under the direction of the planning department. we just do not have the capability to manage the contract for every eir that is done in the city. that is the procedure that we have. president chiu: are there any questions to the parties involved tonight? this hearing has been held and closed. supervisor mar: i want to thank rec and park and planning staff for many hours of work. i think it was important enough,
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because golden gate was out stake. children and adults soccer players' livelihood was at stake, but golden gate is the treasurer of the city, so this was necessary. i know we are deciding on the adequacy and completeness of the eir, but i have spent so much time visiting soccer fields and other play fields, meeting with not only environmentalists and many of the appellants, who i have nothing but a tremendous respect for, but also visiting with soccer families and advocates for better play fields, and improving them so we can even start to meet the different needs identified by the study several years ago, with the 60 or so fields we need, whether it is baseball diamonds or soccer fields. i know that we have very limited space in san francisco. the bottom line is that we do
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not have enough play fields. part of it is increasing play time on the existing fields, and renovating them. this is a perfect spot for that, given that it would triple the play time. it is an important spot. but i know that golden gate park is treasured and sacred to some. some people put forward what i would call a false economy. some said more of us loved nature than soccer, and others were saying, what will be your legacy protecting the park? will the legacy be protecting the future of kids? i feel that is a false dichotomy. i feel very strongly about protecting golden gate park, queued not only to the plan. i feel we absolutely need to improve the hours of playtime for children, to address obesity and other crisis issues
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within our families in the city. my goal in the richmond district is to have an improved beach chalet soccer field that not only richmond district families can access, but many families from around the city. the key to having a viable communities is having more play fields. this is a perfect spot for them. i know that, on the environmental issues that were raised, i know that he cares deeply about families. i have seen him on the soccer field in many different instances. i think our planning staff have addressed the various issues to show there were a number of alternatives considered for sites, which included enough reasonable alternatives that i feel it was complete and adequate. i looked at the other issues, and even the historic resource
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significant impact. but i think the negations a recommended in the report were adequate. -- the mitigations recommended in the report or adequate. i will move to support the project, supporting the affirmation of the final eir. i am going to move to support, to table item 42, which is reversing the eir certification , and to table item 43. president chiu: supervisor mar has made a motion, seconded by supervisor chu. supervisor chu: i want to thank all the members of the public who came out, and supervisor mar for making that motion. with regards to what some opponents have said, i agree
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that i do not think the opponents do not like children. i think people have different opinions about how the space ought to be used. for me, many people who came out to speak were from my district. even though the beach -- even though the beach chalet project is not in my district, i feel a lot of ownership over what happens in that area. a lot of residents in the area would be important. -- would be impacted. west sunset is in my district. on both sides, we had many residents who were not for the project, and also who supported the project. for me, it came down to whether or not i thought the environmental document was adequate and complete. on all the points mentioned by the appellants, i think the eir was an adequate document, and a
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complete one. i think the document did analyze lighting. it would impact a historic resource. that was something the document did recognize. for an eir to be complete, it does not have to find no historic impact, but that it identifies what it was. they talk about health impacts in detail. we also discussed at the coastal commission action is a separate action. we did recognize it is a project in the coastal zone. on the biggest point that was raised, there was a notion that it failed to consider the hybrid model. with that issue, i simply do not think it poles wait. we had a number of different alternatives provided in the environmental document. we analyzed the current proposal. we analyzed west sunset with the artificial turf. we analyzed beach chalet with
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grass and the limited lining. we also analyzed beach chalet with grass and lighting. i think it does provide a reasonable range of alternatives that we did take a look at. it does not have to be exhaustive. it just has to be a reasonable range. even if we were to say a hybrid model was what we wanted, you could certainly pick and choose from all of those different items, and get to understanding what some of the impact would be. in terms of meeting the requirement of studying alternatives, even the hybrid model, i do think it was adequate. the question is not whether we think a hybrid model is better, whether it is a superior proposal. it is whether or not it was analyzed. we did have a number of alternatives analyzed. i do want to thank everybody for coming out. i think the environmental document was complete and thorough.
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i will be supporting the motion. supervisor wiener: thank you. in a number of ways, this is one of those projects that does not happen often. in some ways, both sides are right. i think everyone agrees we need more soccer fields in the city generally. i think everyone agrees the situation at the show l.a. -- at beach chalet does not meet the needs of the community. i think there is unanimity around those. there is also a shared desire to preserve open space, and to have a natural presence in the city. i believe there is unanimity around that. the goal is to balance all of
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that. there has been overstatement of the impact on the unnaturalness and open space in a park near other lit areas, in terms of the highway and other areas around there. i will be supporting the motion. i agree that the eir is adequate. in fact, i think it is more than adequate. and we needed to spend $1 million of scarce park money to do this. i will not get on my soapbox about ceqa and san francisco's, i believe very conservative
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approach into throwing project into eir's death that do not need to be thrown into the eye are's. -- eir's. we have had several significant park matters come up since i have been on. in every single one we see the personal attacks on the department. we saw that expanded to the city field foundation and even to somebody who is deceased. john fisher, donating lot of money to help improve playing fields to route san francisco including in my district in mission playground. we see charges of fraud and corruption. i just want to say to anyone who is a part of that group who said those kinds of things that may be listening, it completely
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degrades the public process. it is not an argument on the merits anymore. it is personal attacks and it does not help your cause. it is not persuasive. i hope in the future we recognize that we should be having these disputes on the merits. agree or disagree, and i do not always agree with rec and park, but these are hard working public servants who are trying to manage the department in an era of dwindling public resources. i do not think the opponents are anti-kids. they are deeply passionate about preserving natural areas in golden gate park. i am sympathetic, even though i fall on the other side of this project. i just want to talk briefly
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about what our parks are and changes in our parks. we hear a lot about keeping car parts exactly the way that they are and they should not changed. of course we need to embrace our parks for what they are. these parks change because our city changes. it is not what it was 50 or 100 years ago. the needs of our community are constantly changing. parks of first and foremost are for people. it is for the use of the people of san francisco and visitors and people and adults. keith if that means to sometimes make a physical change to a park, we need to do that. park, we need to do that. i do not believe in freezing