No Bookmarks Exist.
Everyone will start the BNRC meeting special meeting for January 30th. 00:00:00
Right now, may we have a call to order please and A roll? 00:00:06
Thank you, Chair Myers. So we're just doing a roll call. 00:00:21
OK. 00:00:27
Andrea Bur. 00:00:28
Present Commissioner Marty. 00:00:30
Commissioner Jennifer Gorm. 00:00:34
Present, Commissioner. 00:00:36
President, Commissioner Myers, President, Commissioner Walking Stick. 00:00:39
President and Commissioner Wooten. 00:00:44
All are in attendance. 00:00:47
And I don't mean to interrupt Chair Myers, members of the BNRC, but George Purse has a family item that came up today, your normal 00:00:56
liaison, so. 00:01:00
Deputy Director Hala Beats and she's presenting today, will be leading the meeting. At this point, George may show up in a little 00:01:04
bit. I just wanted to let you guys know that. Wonderful. Thank you. Welcome, Debbie. 00:01:09
OK. Next I'd like to approve the agenda I believe. Rebecca, you have comments? 00:01:14
Yes, thank you. 00:01:24
So I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, if I may. 00:01:29
On section. 00:01:40
You said there's the emergency tree. The reasons for changing the title, the emergency tree. 00:01:42
Point of order Chair. Just this is the approval of the agenda. Oh yeah, That's why I didn't know you were saying the agenda. So 00:01:50
that's why I thought you had. I didn't understand. OK, OK, Sorry. Alright. 00:01:56
I'd like a motion to approve the agenda, please. 00:02:02
So moved. 00:02:06
2nd. 00:02:08
Thank you all in favor. 00:02:11
Aye. 00:02:14
Any opposed? 00:02:18
OK, agenda approved. 00:02:22
Commission and staff announcements. 00:02:26
There are no staff in the. 00:02:29
Thank you. 00:02:32
Chair Miner. 00:02:37
I have an announcement. 00:02:39
Kathy, yes, I just wanted to bring to the Commission's attention that the boards and commissions handbook is undergoing A 00:02:42
revision. It was supposed to be heard on the at the council meeting last Wednesday, but was postponed, was pushed forward till the 00:02:49
next meeting, which I think is February 7th. 00:02:55
And I think it would behoove us all to take a look at that. 00:03:03
I agree. Thank you. 00:03:08
Any other announcements from commissioners? 00:03:11
Andre. 00:03:14
Yeah. Regarding the monarch count, we are at 2200. 00:03:17
Approximately last count we had we started at 6500 I believe in November. 00:03:21
And as far as our seal signs, my understanding is that Noah has said An. 00:03:28
Period for pupping season from February 1st to July 1st. 00:03:35
So I just want to put it out there. I know George is working on. 00:03:41
On signs, but I just wanted to put it out there that we. 00:03:45
February 1st, coming up in just a couple of days. 00:03:48
Thank you. 00:03:52
Rebecca. 00:03:55
I also have looked at the Commission handbook and I'm very grateful for it. I think it's amazing and my Many thanks to. 00:03:58
The mayor who has spearheaded this and the previous city manager who started it. 00:04:06
#2 is. 00:04:12
Our outreach subcommittee seems to have dissolved and we don't any longer have a newspaper, so. 00:04:14
I met with the city manager and what he suggested is that we do the outreach via the individual subcommittees and he's willing to 00:04:20
put any announcements that we have into the city manager newsletter that we work with the other institutions like the library, the 00:04:26
museum. 00:04:32
The Chamber of Commerce, the Audubon Society, and PG Harbor Seals. 00:04:39
Collaboratively and utilize their. 00:04:44
Networks to get. 00:04:47
Information out there, there's next door, there's the city, social media, but this is to be done by the individual subcommittees. 00:04:50
And in that regard, one of the tasks of our outreach subcommittee that we did not accomplish was the seasonal event calendar. It 00:04:56
still needs to be done. 00:05:02
And so I have a big ask of my Commission if there would be anybody who would spearhead that. I think it would be a matter of 00:05:08
giving a framework for it. And then perhaps in one meeting we could have a discussion and everybody input their ideas and then 00:05:14
going home and kind of inputting that data. 00:05:19
Chair Myers, this is. 00:05:28
I think this is a topic for an agenda item rather than an announcement. 00:05:33
Because if we need to discuss it, this is an appropriate time. 00:05:38
OK, I wanted to put it out there in case anyone was willing to spearhead it. And I was kind of, you know, hint, hint, nudge, nudge 00:05:41
it, Commissioner, done. 00:05:45
OK. And then the last announcement is that the California relief is and I talked with George about this is having a. 00:05:53
A special It's not a learn over lunch, It's a. 00:06:04
Special event because they are gifting the software and the training. 00:06:09
To teach communities and cities how to utilize degree inventory, do a tree inventory, collect the data, and then monitor the the 00:06:17
canopy, the tree inventory and so. Hopefully he's going to attend. I'm going to attend. If anybody else wants to attend, I'd be 00:06:22
happy to send you the link. 00:06:28
Thanks. 00:06:34
Any any other Commission announcements? 00:06:40
Council liaison announcements. 00:06:45
Good evening, Chair and members of the BNRCI have no announcements tonight other than. 00:06:51
Kind of re emphasize. 00:06:57
Kathy Wooten mentioned about the BCC manual. It is available and it is coming to us on our February 7th meeting. 00:06:59
I know you've got a long discussion, so have a good meeting. 00:07:06
Thank you. 00:07:11
No announcements. 00:07:16
OK, now let's open this up for general public comment. 00:07:20
Terry Myers I do not see anyone with their hands currently raised. Oh, I retract that statement, Mr. Walking Stick. 00:07:30
Just a reminder that this this. 00:07:44
Section for general public comment is for general public comment, not for the. 00:07:48
The tree ordinance. So if any any hands are raised or comments are related to the tree ordinance. 00:07:54
I would. 00:08:02
Please hold your questions or comments until we get to that section of the agenda. 00:08:04
Chair Myers I no longer. 00:08:14
OK, no. OK, a walking stick has left the meeting it appears. But I do see Inga with her hand up, so. 00:08:16
Inga, you have the. 00:08:24
All right. Thank you very much. I want to thank you all for speaking into your Mics and to remind those soft spoken Commissioners 00:08:26
as it gets later on. You must speak directly and be close enough. 00:08:33
And the pleasure needed, but we are not able to hear you in the. 00:08:42
Hello. 00:08:50
Hello can anybody hear me? Just trying to figure out the technical issues so. 00:09:11
Chair, I'm not sure if you want to take a short recess potentially. 00:09:18
While we try and figure this out. 00:09:22
We do have it in the back trying to figure out why we cannot hear the zoom in the chambers. 00:09:27
Appreciate everybody's patience. 00:10:29
Troubleshoot these technical difficulties. 00:10:31
That we're having with Zoom, so if you could all bear with us a moment. 00:10:33
Barb. 00:10:45
That's interesting because they apparently. 00:10:48
So, OK, Inga, we can hear you now. OK, wait. 00:10:51
Yes. 00:10:57
Seems like we can hear you now, so we're going to let you restart your public comment and we will start the timer. 00:10:59
Thanks for your patience. 00:11:08
Thank you very much. This is hilarious because I was thanking you for speaking into your microphones and and to remind those who 00:11:09
are soft spoken to, please do speak in directly to not too far from your unidirectional microphones. So then I found myself unable 00:11:17
to be heard. So what can I say? But it's good to find it out at the beginning of the meeting so that we can participate in the 00:11:25
rest of the comments. So thank you very much. 00:11:33
Commissioners. 00:11:41
And staff. 00:11:43
Thank you. 00:11:46
OK. Next I'd like to move to approval of the Minutes. 00:11:51
May I have a motion? 00:11:56
Aye, so move. 00:11:59
OK, I have some changes, proposed changes to the Minutes. 00:12:03
So #3. 00:12:09
Second paragraph starts Commissioner Brisson. It's an Audubon Christmas bird count. 00:12:12
Little particular. 00:12:18
And. 00:12:22
It says Audubon bird count. It's Audubon Christmas Bird count. Yeah. And I can. I can give you these notes if they're approved. 00:12:28
7. 00:12:39
I actually thought George gave an excellent presentation as well, but it says Commissioner Brisson gave an excellent PowerPoint 00:12:43
presentation. 00:12:47
I changed it a bit. 00:12:51
I said gave a PowerPoint presentation Illustrating Harbor seal life cycle requirements. 00:12:55
As well as specific threats to the Hopkins Rookery, noise and general disturbance were cited as particular threats that can be 00:13:01
dealt with through signage. So I basically thought we could replace that first sentence starting. 00:13:09
Commissioner Brisson gave an excellent PowerPoint presentation. 00:13:16
I think it's a little more. That's absolutely fine. I accept the changes and I would appreciate you giving me your notes. OK? 00:13:21
Oh, I also want to add for George in that 7B. 00:13:30
His photographs specifically showed lack of signage. 00:13:36
In that space. So I'll give you my notes as long as these are approved. 00:13:40
Uh, number. 00:13:46
B2 Trisha McCann it starts. 00:13:49
My understanding she kind of advised with signs that less is more. 00:13:56
So I just thought we should add. 00:14:01
And at the very end, Commissioner discussion. 00:14:06
Very last paragraph, Commissioner, Bristol moved to recommend that City Place permanent year round signs. 00:14:10
Also the Hopkins Coastal Trail comma including Ocean View Ave. 00:14:17
Which is important and that's it I think. 00:14:26
That's it. 00:14:29
OK. So with those proposed changes? 00:14:32
And you'll get you'll get Andres. 00:14:36
I'd like a motion to approve the minutes. 00:14:40
Ouch. Interpreted minutes. 00:14:47
So moved. 00:14:50
All right. Agenda approved. 00:14:53
Now we can move on to the regular. 00:14:55
Regular agenda. 00:15:05
Did you want to take a formal vote on the Minutes? 00:15:07
All in favor. 00:15:12
Aye. 00:15:14
Any opposed? 00:15:24
OK, it's 7 to 0. 00:15:28
OK, regular agenda. 00:15:33
All right. I believe that is me, so I'm going to quickly share my screen. 00:15:42
All right. Good afternoon, commissioners. I'm going to quickly introduce myself. There's quite a new face, quite a new number of 00:15:54
faces here that I haven't met yet. My name is Joyce Halby. I'm the Deputy Public Works director, and I'm here to bring forward to 00:16:01
you the proposed revisions to Pacific Rd. Municipal Code Title 12, which is Trees in the Urban Forest. 00:16:07
And I have Al Weiss here with me. He's the city's arborist. He will be here to assist me in answering any questions. 00:16:15
And so I want to quickly introduce him as well. 00:16:22
So the recommendation associated with this item tonight is for you guys to review the proposed changes and provide the city staff 00:16:26
with feedback. I do want to quickly note that this is going to be a longer presentation. I want to walk you through the proposed 00:16:31
revisions. I want to give you kind of our logic and our rationale behind that and kind of do a deep dive into what it is that 00:16:36
we're proposing here and why. 00:16:42
So I ask that you bear with me while I go through these slides. 00:16:48
OK. So some topics that we're going to cover today, obviously at a very high level, what is Title 12? What was the impetus and the 00:16:52
reason for making changes? 00:16:56
What revision process did we go through to get to the proposed draft that we have before you today? 00:17:00
How Title 12 aligns with some of the other other implementation documents like our fee schedule, the urban forestry standards, 00:17:06
things like that. 00:17:10
I'm going to give a high level overview of those notable proposed changes that we're recommending and I'm going to quickly touch 00:17:14
on. 00:17:17
The public input opportunity in advance of this meeting. I do want to note that the agenda report has all of the appropriate 00:17:21
links, so the Pacific Grove Municipal Code as it's currently written, the proposed revisions in both a track change and clean 00:17:28
format so when it's easier to read than the other. But both are linked there for reference so want to make that clear as well. 00:17:34
So what is Title 12? It is essentially a very robust section of our municipal code that outlines all of the rules governing trees 00:17:41
within the city's jurisdiction. That is, everything from how to get a permit. Which trees are protected? How do you appeal a 00:17:46
decision of the arborist? 00:17:51
What are the contractors requirements and so much more. Again it is a very robust. 00:17:57
Tool that helps us protect and preserve the trees within our urban forest. 00:18:02
So that brings us to our next question, Why would we propose changes? This is kind of twofold. The first piece is that revisions 00:18:08
were made pretty substantially in 2012 and 2013 and now we've had about 10 years of implementing the new revised code and we've 00:18:14
noticed some challenges, some areas for improvement and some areas for development, both the arborist and his day-to-day 00:18:21
implementation as well as city staff. 00:18:27
Additionally, in response to community demands over the last few years for improved tree regulations, our City Council set forth a 00:18:34
goal. 00:18:38
As a part of as a part of their work, plan to revise Title 12 comprehensively. 00:18:43
So again, we have been directed to City Council kind of go through. 00:18:48
Comprehensive revisions. And so that is why we're here before you today. 00:18:52
So I do want to note that the revisions are a collaborative effort. It was not me by myself in my office rewriting the code. It's 00:18:58
a big endeavor and obviously we're relying on the various people at the city who have expertise in order to make these revisions. 00:19:03
That includes Al Weisfish, who has. 00:19:08
Over 10 years of being the city of Pacific Groves arborist, he's got a lot of knowledge on the challenges and the implementation 00:19:14
of the code is exist today. We've worked closely with our city's Attorney's office who has reviewed all of the proposed changes 00:19:19
that are before you today and we've had many meetings with them to discuss this proposed revisions. We've also consulted with the 00:19:25
various departments that are. 00:19:30
Integral and implementation of the code on the day-to-day that's code enforcement, our fire department and community development. 00:19:36
So again, I want to note that this has been a comprehensive. 00:19:42
Endeavor. 00:19:46
That we've undertaken here. 00:19:48
As a part of the revision process, we've also done quite a bit of research. We looked at neighboring local agencies. We look at 00:19:51
that industry. 00:19:55
Best practice leaders? 00:20:00
And kind of saw what they were doing and talked to some of them in terms of what challenges are they facing. A lot of people are 00:20:01
facing issues with replaying compliance and that's no surprise. So we're not the only one facing that challenge. 00:20:07
We've also. 00:20:12
Done this to ensure that we have a comprehensive approach that not only addresses specific roads, specific roads, roads, specific 00:20:14
needs, but also things that align with industry best practices, we really want to create a robust and effective regulatory 00:20:19
framework. 00:20:24
Addressing trees. 00:20:30
In the urban forest. 00:20:31
So again, the purpose of the revisions are to better protect, preserve and enhance the trees and the city's urban forests. I do 00:20:34
want to reiterate that we all have a shared goal here. 00:20:38
We care about the trees in the urban forests and preserving and maintaining that and enhancing that, and we all recognize the 00:20:42
importance and the value of trees in the urban forest. So I just want to make that note that we're all on the same team here. 00:20:48
We're all trying to do better the city and the urban forest in that manner and that is the goal, ultimately, of these proposed 00:20:54
revisions. 00:20:58
OK. Now I'm going to talk a little bit about how Title 12 kind of plays into some of the other documents. We obviously have a 00:21:04
commitment to preserving and enhancing the urban forest. 00:21:09
And that extends beyond these comprehensive revisions to Title 12. The code serves as a backbone for protecting and preserving the 00:21:14
trees. 00:21:18
And that is ultimately what's before you tonight. But there are other additional documents that help us implement and enforce the 00:21:22
code. Those are things like our fee schedule. 00:21:26
Our tree permit application form the actual tree permit that gets issued to the applicant and our urban forestry standards. 00:21:31
So what's before you tonight is the code. But all of these other documents are going to be updated, and although they're not under 00:21:38
consideration at tonight's meeting, they will play a crucial role in implementing the code and we will bring future updates on 00:21:44
those items tonight. So this is kind of an iterative process. Tonight is the code, other changes for these other supplemental 00:21:49
documents to come in the future. 00:21:54
So now I'm going to get into some of the existing challenges and how we've attempted to address some of those challenges through 00:22:02
our code revisions. 00:22:05
So the first challenge I'm going to talk about is gaps. Our existing code has some pretty notable gaps. 00:22:09
There's an absence of review standards for removal and substantial trimming for permits. There's no really robust set of criteria 00:22:15
for approving or denying permits as it currently stands. 00:22:20
There's no process outlined for instances where there's emergency tree removal requests. 00:22:26
And there's an absence of timeline for appealing an arborist decision for denial. So the code clearly states you have. 00:22:32
A window if the arborist. 00:22:38
Your appeal, but that that window is not as clear for a denial. 00:22:41
So our proposed revisions aim to address these gaps by introducing very specific standards. 00:22:46
For review, for trimming and. 00:22:51
A new section for guidance for emergency tree removal requests and greater specificity on appealing any decision that's made by 00:22:56
the city. 00:23:00
There's also some outdated information in the code. That's another challenge. Some really glaring examples are dead website links. 00:23:06
We have links to our old website that no longer exists, so if you click on it, it goes absolutely nowhere. We reference old 00:23:13
documents such as the ISA Hazard Tree Evaluation System, which is an outdated practice and form. 00:23:20
And I'll get into that in a later slide. But our proposed revisions aim to address this challenge by replacing outdated 00:23:28
information and references with industry best practices. 00:23:33
And guiding readers to relevant and current information and. 00:23:39
The next challenge is redundancies. As written, the code exhibits several redundancies makes and it makes it very difficult to 00:23:45
retrieve information and to just kind of walk through the code and get what you're looking for Some of the examples. 00:23:51
Of these redundancies include that there are information on nuisance trees found across multiple sections of the code instead of 00:23:58
in like 1 neat area. So if you're looking up information on nuisance trees, you're having to go to multiple different places. 00:24:04
Again, that doesn't make it easy to navigate or easy to find accurate information. 00:24:10
There are also elements of Title 12 that have been replicated from other code sections instead of simply being referenced, which 00:24:17
is the best practice. 00:24:21
Examples here include regulations on property liens. 00:24:26
So what we're doing to streamline the code is consolidating regulations for specific subtopics into one section. Perfect example 00:24:29
is all of the regulations for nuisance trees housed in one location. 00:24:35
And removing duplicate information from other chapters and appropriately referencing the authoritative chapter instead of. 00:24:42
Copying and pasting that information from another chapter, this is also a best. 00:24:49
Because it's reducing the potential for code discrepancies. 00:24:53
Again, much easier. Ensures that somebody is able to find and reference accurate. 00:24:57
Information. 00:25:02
And I want to reiterate the code as a valuable resource for everybody. It should be easy to navigate. It shouldn't be difficult to 00:25:03
find information. 00:25:06
The next challenge is there are some shortcomings with the. 00:25:12
As currently written, the code organization is again very difficult to navigate and information retrieval is incredibly 00:25:16
challenging at times. 00:25:20
A great example is that wildlife protection measures are kind of nestled within protected tree information. It's not necessarily 00:25:24
the place you would go to look for wildlife protection measures. 00:25:29
Extensive sections on weed and rupture basement regulations create clutter that might be more appropriately placed in other 00:25:34
sections of the code. 00:25:38
And so we are proposing to enhance organizational efficiency and again make the code easier to navigate. 00:25:43
By relocating the weed and rubbish abatement section to Title 11, which deals with health in the environment. 00:25:50
And creating standalone chapters for vital topics such as wildlife protection. So we've extracted that and created its own section 00:25:55
within Title 12 again to draw folks to the information that they're looking for. 00:26:00
This organization will streamline the code and facilitate easier access to that information. 00:26:06
The next item and the next challenge has been the tree appeal process. 00:26:13
So the current appeal system, which I think you're all pretty familiar with, is that appeals of the arborist decision go to the 00:26:19
BRC first and then subsequently, if appealed upward, the City Council. 00:26:24
And this has resulted in very difficult decision making that has been charged with the motion. 00:26:30
And we've seen that specifically in the last year in 2023 when you guys heard several tree appeals back-to-back. 00:26:36
An example that comes to mind is 306 Crocker during this hearing, the BNRC ultimately. 00:26:44
Made a no decision and relinquished. 00:26:50
Decision making authority to the City Council and ultimately. 00:26:54
That no decision made the appeal go forward to the City Council for review and approval, and at this meeting there were several 00:26:57
comments saying that the appeal process needs to change. 00:27:02
So we heard you loud and clear that day we recogn. 00:27:07
So that the current process is difficult and challenging. 00:27:11
And this kind of illuminated A broader issue that the emotional appeals from the appellants. 00:27:14
During these treaty appeal hearings, whether they're advocating for tree preservation or removal, often over shadow the presented 00:27:19
facts and the crucial tree health data that's provided. 00:27:24
So revisions are needed. 00:27:31
And this isn't to diminish. 00:27:33
And of any of the efforts that you guys have made at all, appeal decision making is inherently emotional. You're having to sit 00:27:37
here and listen to please. 00:27:40
Of homeowners. 00:27:44
And their neighbors regarding tree removals, whether it's for them to remove or retain the tree. 00:27:47
But ultimately, restructuring the process to harness the Hearing Officer panel may help address some of those inherent challenges. 00:27:52
That arise from a setting like this. 00:27:59
So we have proposed the Appeals Hearing Board as the appeal authority. 00:28:02
A little bit about the Appeals Hearing board, the members are appointed by. 00:28:07
One officer is selected randomly through a random generator by the code enforcement officer. 00:28:11
To review the case in the. 00:28:17
The format facilitates information gathering in a public setting, so it allows both the appellant and the city to plead their case 00:28:19
provide their information on why. 00:28:24
They feel the tree should be removed or maintained. 00:28:30
The hearing officer ultimately adjourns the. 00:28:33
And that provides them with time to thoughtfully review the information, both the cases presented by the appellant and the city, 00:28:36
as well as all of the data the tree reports, all the supplemental information that's provided to the appeal hearing officer and 00:28:42
that extended processing time. 00:28:48
Reduces the decision making pressure in the moment. It allows them to thoughtfully review that information. 00:28:54
And then they render their decision. 00:29:00
So again, they're able to create kind of a more calculated decision making process based on a thorough analysis of the reports and 00:29:02
the testimonial. 00:29:05
It removes that pressure and emotion associated with the face to face and quick decision making that often has to happen in a 00:29:10
setting like this. 00:29:13
So again, we heard you're pleased. 00:29:17
Appeal process needs to be revised and we thought the appeals hearing board structure still allows folks to make their case for an 00:29:20
appeal, but the structure and format of the appeals Hearing Board kind of removes some of that emotional and quick. 00:29:27
Decision making that's often required. 00:29:33
So we believe that this appeal framework will allow for an improved review process for all parties and is likely in the best 00:29:38
interest of the trees within our jurisdiction. So that is why we made that recommendation. 00:29:43
I want. 00:29:50
To show you visually what the appeal structure. 00:29:51
Is existing and what it is proposed, and to provide a little bit of context to the impact of this newly proposed framework. 00:29:54
I have here a chart that shows you the appeals over the last three calendar years. 00:30:02
So over the last three calendar years, 8 appeals have been brought forth to the DNRC and five to the City Council. So the appeal 00:30:07
process is obviously very important, but it marks a very small measure in terms of the number of actual permits that we're issuing 00:30:15
each year. So again, the permits are listed here, 330, four, 251 and 273 in 2021-2022 and 2023 as opposed to the 401 and three 00:30:22
appeals that were heard here. So I just kind of want to put that. 00:30:29
Appeal framework into context in terms of how many appeals that you're actually reviewing. 00:30:37
Currently. 00:30:42
OK. On to the next challenge that is not unique to the City of Pacific Grove. I think most cities face this challenges repent 00:30:46
replant compliance. So we recognize that replants are essential for the preservation of our urban forest. The current code 00:30:53
requires A1 to 1 replant ratio, but it has a very low compliance rate. 00:31:00
So in the 2023, replant compliance was 22%, in the previous year it was 41%. 00:31:07
We have done attempts. 00:31:14
At RETRO, actively enforcing compliance at the request of BNRC. The last attempt was in 2018. 00:31:16
Had very limited success, only 22. 00:31:24
Of the permit holders from the last two years that had not replanted actually ended up replanting. 00:31:27
After we reached out to them and prompted them for a replant, so that is also not very successful. So our proposed revisions to 00:31:32
the title. 00:31:36
Aim to strengthen the requirements, which include a mandate for a one to two replant ratio when removing a larger, more 00:31:41
substantial tree. So something that's greater than 24 inches. 00:31:46
In diameter. 00:31:51
And we want to include very explicit language that says failure to comply with that replant will result in in lieu fees. 00:31:53
Those in lieu fees would be taken into a community tree fund. 00:32:00
And those funds would be retained specifically for tree planting in public places. 00:32:04
So if they can't replant or we can't get residents to replant, then at least we would have some funding to replant on public 00:32:09
lands. 00:32:13
So a little bit more on that. 00:32:20
The revisions to title 12 are the backbone. 00:32:22
The code is the backbone in terms of protection and preservation for the urban forest, but we have other tools that we can 00:32:26
implement and plan to implement to try and increase that replant compliance. 00:32:31
So as I mentioned, some of those other tools include the fee. 00:32:37
So the city is currently undergoing a reschedule assessment with Matrix Consulting Group and we have been working with them to try 00:32:40
and develop a deposit fee. So when somebody comes to our community development department upstairs to submit for a tree removal 00:32:46
request, we would take in a deposit fee at that time. 00:32:53
The deposit would be refunded if the individual complied with the. 00:33:00
And within a specified time frame on their permit and otherwise, if they were not able to comply or did not want to comply, the 00:33:05
fee would be retained in that community to refund and then used to plant trees in public spaces. 00:33:11
And again, the intention here is to reserve the urban forest and the canopy. 00:33:18
The next challenge, enforcement finds, are limited, and that really doesn't incentivize compliance. 00:33:26
So Title 12 allows us to impose fines for non compliance that range from 200 to $1000 maximum. 00:33:34
So essentially if you do some math, the fee for circumventing the tree process. If I remove my tree without permits and I neglect 00:33:41
to replant, that cost is actually lower than adhering to the permit process and opting not to replant the tree and paying that in 00:33:47
lieu fee. So you'll see here the application fee and the removal of one tree is $176. I opt to not replant a tree on my property 00:33:53
and I pay the in lieu fee. 00:33:59
I'm already paying more than somebody who's opting to not go through the process. So our fee structure just doesn't really make 00:34:06
sense as it relates to tree and it doesn't encourage folks to go through the process. 00:34:11
And again, that $1000 fee is only if it's reported and they're. 00:34:16
So the the fee structure fails to promote compliance and has the potential to promote non compliance. 00:34:22
And so I just kind of want to highlight that that is something that we're looking into improving through that fee schedule study. 00:34:31
A quick note on citation rates. In fiscal year 2023, there are approximately 12 citations issued for unauthorized tree removals or 00:34:37
trimmings, and in the current fiscal year there's been about four issued to date. 00:34:43
So the revisions to. 00:34:49
Will allow us to start to create a more sensible fee structure. 00:34:52
By adding language that avoids us being confined to that 200 to $1000 range, which is specified in chapter one. 00:34:57
And that ensures a more fair treatment for our law abiding citizens who are properly going through the process. 00:35:05
And the proposed revisions will reference the fee schedule which we're currently working on with that Consulting Group, which is 00:35:12
updated annually, so that we can create a more coherent fee structure that kind of incentivizes folks to comply and really make 00:35:18
sense in the larger scale of the other fees that we're charging as a part of this process. 00:35:24
So another challenge is there are several sections of the code that are unimplementable due to limited staffing. 00:35:32
So there are sections that are impractical. For example, currently the code reads that we're required to post all trees. 00:35:40
With approved, substantial trimming permits. 00:35:48
We currently post the trees that. 00:35:51
Have been approved for removal, so we're not posting. 00:35:54
Trimming and that's really not something that we have the bandwidth to do with our current staffing levels. 00:35:58
There's also a provision for a two year survivability check on replants. 00:36:03
We're having a very hard time getting folks to replant. 00:36:07
And don't have the staffing to necessarily go through and and maintain that, which is kind of why we're changing that structure a 00:36:11
bit. But we also don't have the ability to implement that two year survivability check on replants. 00:36:16
To our proposed modifications are aimed to kind of rework those unimplementable code sections. 00:36:22
OK, Now I'm going to touch on some other change elements that you've received emails on tonight. I want to clarify our logic 00:36:32
behind why we're making these changes and really kind of reiterate some points that I think maybe got misconstrued. So we are 00:36:38
proposing changing the reference of arborist or city arborist to public works director or designee. 00:36:44
I want to very clearly. 00:36:51
Reiterate that. 00:36:53
And emphasize that the designated individual. 00:36:55
For all tree related edit matters will remain the city arborist as it is today. 00:36:58
This adjustment moving it from arborist or city arborist to public works director or designee. 00:37:04
Aligns with industry best practices and code standards. So typically the department director who's responsible for discharging and 00:37:09
ensuring that the code is being followed and met is listed with the designee adjacent to it. So you'll see that in other 00:37:15
references of our code in the community development section. 00:37:20
The zoning code and some other sections as. 00:37:26
Again, the department director is ultimately responsible for overseeing the implementation of the. 00:37:30
And compliance with the various standards within Pacific Grove Municipal Code Title 12. 00:37:35
The public Works director, I also want to note, is responsible for our city infrastructure, both natural and built, and that 00:37:41
includes trees, so he is pivotal in making emergency. 00:37:46
Decisions and the code needs to reflect that. 00:37:51
This language is needed in case of emergency and I want to reiterate that this has been reviewed by our city attorney. 00:37:54
And so we talked through this proposed change with. 00:38:00
Another element that we're proposing to change is the protected tree section. We're updating the categories of protected trees 00:38:07
here to reflect natives that are more commonly found in Pacific Grove. We're removing some discrepancies between private and 00:38:13
public tree requirements, which creates greater consistency. We're creating those standards for remove and removal and substantial 00:38:19
trimming that I previously touched on and the more modifying those replant ratios. 00:38:25
Some other elements that you received quite a few emails on that I want to touch on is the removal of the citywide canopy coverage 00:38:33
goals. 00:38:37
I didn't want to note that we did remove this section from the code. It's not something that we're currently tracking or 00:38:40
measuring. 00:38:43
Which is a difficult statistic to track and measure, but it is something that's very explicitly included in Burbank in the Urban 00:38:46
Forestry Standard, which are heavily referenced in the municipal. 00:38:52
And that was kind of our logic of taking it out there. It's not that we. 00:38:58
Not interested in preserving and protecting the canopy. We absolutely are, which is why we're making a bunch of these 00:39:02
recommendations that we've thought forward tonight. But goals are a moving target and so. 00:39:07
Our logic was that goals are more appropriately housed. 00:39:13
In the urban forestry standards and the code is actually the regulation, the implementation for how you get to those. 00:39:17
Goals. 00:39:22
And again, we're happy to add like an element in the general findings about the importance of. 00:39:26
Of Urban Canopy and Getting Urban Canopy coverage. Goals met. 00:39:33
Removal of the tree canopy coverage goals for individual properties has also been removed. 00:39:38
I want to note that this has often been used as a way for applicants to subvert tree plants. They've done their calculations and 00:39:42
said my tree or my plot, my lot has enough trees and based on these calculations I don't have to replant. 00:39:49
And so. 00:39:55
Ultimately, the language in the code as proposed allows the. 00:39:57
Arborist to determine if in fact a property does not have sufficient parameters to allow a replant, and in those cases an in lieu 00:40:02
fee would be taken in and again a tree would be planted on public property with those funds. 00:40:08
So I just want to quickly make note of our logic behind those two things. 00:40:15
And some addition. 00:40:20
Some additional changes the High Risk Tree section we've moved the reference from related to nuisance trees and consolidated. 00:40:22
All of the news history information under one code section. 00:40:29
We've updated the regulations on high risk trees to reference the new emergency action regulations, which is a new code section 00:40:32
we're proposing. 00:40:37
And then we've updated the reference to the most updated version of the ISA True risk assessment forms. 00:40:41
So I'm going to take a moment to kind of hammer home this point. So currently the code references the Hazard Evaluation Form from 00:40:49
the International Society of Oraculture, and this is a very old form. 00:40:55
It creates essentially a numerical hazard reading which is based on various factors, the diameter of the tree, the failure 00:41:02
potential and the target rating. 00:41:06
And with this old form, and there's a reason that they're kind of moving away from this form, is it's very, very easy for a 00:41:11
healthy tree to get a very high rating. 00:41:15
And then that leads someone to believe that then the tree should be removed. And these high ratings don't necessarily reflect the. 00:41:19
The health of the tree. 00:41:26
So you'll see here Here is a screenshot from this old Hazard evaluation form. This is something that came up in several appeals 00:41:28
appeals that you heard. 00:41:33
Being RC heard in 2023 And this. 00:41:38
Again, currently what the code ref. 00:41:42
The industry best practice is now using the ISA tree risk assessment form. This form does not provide a numerical ranking. 00:41:46
It provides a likelihood of impact and a likelihood of failure. 00:41:54
And from there it says it assesses the consequence of failure. So you'll see metric matrix one and two, and then it ultimately 00:41:58
provides an overall tree risk rating, which would be low, moderate, higher, extreme. 00:42:04
The analysis required to fill out this specific. 00:42:10
Is much more thorough. It provides a much more thorough analysis of the various attributes of the tree and provides a much better 00:42:15
holistic. 00:42:19
Of the health. 00:42:23
This is the new industry best practice. That's why we're removing reference to the hazard ratings and the numbers in the code and 00:42:25
referencing this new tree risk assessment form. 00:42:30
So we did in advance of this meeting, make the revisions available for public review. We did that on December 18th. 00:42:39
Again, we recognize that the revisions are extensive and we wanted to provide both the members of the BNRC, the public, various 00:42:48
stakeholders ample opportunity to review the changes into in advance of tonight's meeting. 00:42:54
We encouraged interested parties to submit comments to our public outreach e-mail. 00:43:00
Through the 19th. 00:43:06
And we received a period, a total of 11 emails in that public outreach period. We've received more kind of today and since the 00:43:08
19th. 00:43:12
But eleven were formally received during that window. 00:43:18
And we heavily announced that there are social media, our website, City Manager's newsletter. 00:43:21
OK. This brings me to the end of a very long presentation. I appreciate your your patience with me tonight. I just going to 00:43:27
quickly go over the feedback process and kind of what we're envisioning. We are looking for feedback from the BNRC tonight. 00:43:34
We're not going to rewrite the debt, rewrite the code at the diet. Very complicated to do. 00:43:41
What I am looking for is for comments and NRC consensus. You can do that via struggle on what elements you want us to go back and 00:43:47
look at to change to review. 00:43:52
To explore. 00:43:59
And then the next steps are we would take that information. 00:44:01
Kind of re look at the code with the arborist, the City Attorney's office and see what we're able to change and what comments were 00:44:05
able to accommodate and then we would create a matrix. 00:44:10
Of all of your requested. 00:44:16
Feedback and things you want us to explore in justification of whether or not we were able to accommodate accommodate those 00:44:18
changes and why and then that matrix would move forward when we go before the City Council. 00:44:24
And with that, that concludes my presentation. I appreciate. 00:44:32
Joyce, thank you very much that that was wonderful and very detailed. I think it answered. 00:44:35
A lot of my questions, I'd like to open this up to public comment and I believe we're going to have, I think there's 14 00:44:41
participants. 00:44:46
On the call. So I'd like to remind everyone that their comments should be limited to 3 minutes. 00:44:53
And with that? 00:44:59
We'll take a public. 00:45:01
Did you want to do the online comments? 00:45:05
1st or in person. 00:45:08
In person first. 00:45:12
Thank you. I'm Sally Moore and I'm going to just rather going point by point. I'm going to just give you some overall comments and 00:45:22
changing the ordinance before reviewing the forest management plan seems backwards to me. 00:45:29
That's. 00:45:36
Is to do that. So it seems to me like they should review that and then the ordinances to support and give strength to that plan. 00:45:38
And the changes to the ordinance are way beyond slight. It gives the public works director or designee complete authority when the 00:45:46
directing position is not now or never will be, or at least likely not be, a credentialed arborist. The person listed as city 00:45:53
arborist with the public works is currently contracted as a consultant. 00:45:59
The job description of City Arborist has been removed from the Human resource list. I suspect that means that the Arborist is 00:46:07
going to be a contract position from now on. When the position was posted on the city website, it stipulated that the Arborist 00:46:14
must be ISA certified. That would exclude hiring someone with the Society of American Foresters. The Foresters have a degree 00:46:21
including management and planning. There is an ISA Municipal Arborist title, but there are none of us. 00:46:29
Here who have that title. 00:46:36
In 2015, the city paid $75,000 to have a tree inventory. 00:46:38
Of straightened public spaces. The inventory exists currently as an Excel spreadsheet. When it was created, there were columns 00:46:44
Continuing. I'm sorry. There were columns for continuing status and initials of the staff when I requested that in 2020 those 00:46:51
columns had been removed. 00:46:57
And only two trees had been identified as being cared for. And I think it still exists and there's about 3000 on that list. So 00:47:05
somebody needs to go over that. I'm aware that native trees are a preference. However, when there's a monoculture and disease 00:47:13
strikes, it's devastating. Recently there have been four city trees removed with the reasoning that they're non-native. 00:47:20
There was, let's see, I just jotted some things. 00:47:31
Some time ago part of the ordinance says that there is not to be extreme trimming so that the tree loses its identification of 00:47:35
that type of tree. And if you look at the. 00:47:40
Oaks between 2nd and 4th I think in Lighthouse they look like mushrooms, so I think that needs to be considered. I'm also thinking 00:47:46
that there should be something in there about Realtors disclosing. 00:47:52
What needs to be done? They sell homes without telling people and things get torn down South. That's something that I think ought 00:47:58
to be considered. I'll stop with that. But I do think that that's some things that need to be looked into. Thank you. 00:48:05
Thank you. 00:48:16
Thank you. I'm Paul walking Stick first I'd like to say. 00:48:29
Please urge the City Council to deny the proposed revisions in their entirety. 00:48:34
And 2nd to remove public works from the task of revising title title 12 entirely. 00:48:39
The proposed code removes the authority of the city manager, the City Council, the BNRC, the city arborist, and the public to whom 00:48:45
the entire government is supposed to answer, and transfers that authority solely to the Director of Public Works. Despite all of 00:48:51
the flowery promises, the proposed code revision only serves to remove any challenge to Danville's authority and to insulate him 00:48:57
from the accountability to the public, City Council, and even the city manager. 00:49:04
Because of the complete absence of accountability and the dismantling of our democratic processes, this proposed code is a recipe 00:49:10
for graft. Corruption, petty vendetta is in retaliation by whomever occupies the position of public works director. 00:49:17
To say nothing of the fact that there's a lack of protection for our trees, the deletion of all canopy goals along with the entire 00:49:25
canopy ordinance, and 0 deforestation efforts. Indeed, the revised code provides more ways to cut and remove trees and a 00:49:31
simplified process for not replanting removed trees. In short, the tree code was not written in good faith. 00:49:37
It's simply a vehicle for Dan go to steal authority from our government and then hide from the consequences. 00:49:44
I also like to take this opportunity to express my frustration. It seems that every time the City Council gives the public works 00:49:50
the opportunity to harm the public, they do so. 00:49:55
I have noticed one pattern over the last number of years though, and that's that if you hear the words loud and. 00:50:02
The public is about to be. 00:50:10
You're likely being manipulated. 00:50:11
In poker, we'd call that. 00:50:13
If you hear the words loud and clear, you're in trouble. 00:50:15
So maybe UH, folks at home can turn that into a drinking game or something like that. 00:50:19
Again. 00:50:25
Recommend to City Council that they reject all of these changes and that they remove them from this task. They've done harm. 00:50:27
The. 00:50:34
Revisions will do tremendous harm to our community. There's nothing redeemable here. 00:50:37
Thank you. 00:50:41
Thank you. 00:50:44
Do I start it? 00:50:57
OK, my name is Lucy Moore and I would just like to say something. I I read it. I didn't. I don't have the detailed response of 00:50:59
Paul or or or the first speaker. They made good points. My main concern right now as I read the revisions is the is the language 00:51:06
public works director or designee because. 00:51:13
Although that may meet legal challenges, doesn't it mean it's wide open to? 00:51:21
Those two people, and it doesn't even specify which one. And perhaps the designee is often the. 00:51:29
The arborist, but maybe not so it In my reading of this, it's just way too wide open to various interpretations that are legally 00:51:35
acceptable. That right now is my main comment. Thank you. 00:51:42
Do we have any other in person comment? 00:51:56
We can turn to online. 00:52:02
Chair, you currently have three hands raised. We're going to start with Carmelita Garcia. 00:52:05
You now have the floor. 00:52:11
Thank you very much. Good afternoon. Thank you everybody for your service. 00:52:13
So my comments first of all a request that when. 00:52:19
When another clean copy comes back to the public and council, please number the pages. 00:52:24
It helps. 00:52:30
Figure out my comments and if I ever have to reference to a page number. 00:52:32
Secondly. 00:52:38
The elimination of the City manager with regards to. 00:52:40
An appeal of an appeal, or whatever their role would be. 00:52:44
I would suggest that that be postponed until the new city manager is hired and perhaps they have something to say about it, 00:52:48
whether or not it would be too time consuming for them. 00:52:53
If they have the expertise, whether or not they agree with the presented revision, I think that would be a nice gesture on on the 00:52:57
city's part. 00:53:02
Also. 00:53:09
To please use the proper name of the hearing panel, we are called the Administrative Enforcement Hearing Officer Panel. 00:53:11
I think it's very important that the correct wording of our panel be used so that people have a very clear understanding. 00:53:21
Of who it is. And so that is not so ambig. 00:53:28
The way it is presented. 00:53:33
My other question has to do with and it wasn't answered. I did send it. 00:53:36
Is with regards to the appellant, so. 00:53:41
The Aehop's decision is final, however, with the appellant still have the right to go to civil court. 00:53:44
The hearings that we conduct now, the appellant does have the right to go to civil court if they are not happy with our decision. 00:53:54
In that going. 00:54:03
The AHOP is part of the criteria to allow that appellant to go to civil court and sue the city civilly. 00:54:05
So I believe that should be addressed and answered as. 00:54:14
And. 00:54:20
Also with regards to the public works directors involvement with. 00:54:22
All of the assessments and what have you I. 00:54:30
Any management position person who holds a management position. 00:54:33
Should adhere to what those responsibilities are. 00:54:37
Most of the time, it's not the real hands. 00:54:41
Type of work that this. 00:54:45
Kind of, sort of implies. 00:54:49
The director should be over. 00:54:51
Recommendations and decisions being made. 00:54:54
The designee, whoever that. 00:54:57
And also with regards to the design. 00:55:00
How that person will be selected qualifications and what have you. So thank you very much for your time. 00:55:03
Lisa, Gianni, you now have the floor. 00:55:23
Thank you. 00:55:26
Presentation of the revisions was very, very long, as as Joyce pointed out. 00:55:30
And and that's because. 00:55:39
They saved up. 00:55:41
For one, for one. 00:55:43
And and you're going to make decisions today? 00:55:47
Without spreading out all our comments in front of. 00:55:52
I I just want to point out that the proposed revisions were first announced to be NRC by Public Works in an agenda report in 00:55:58
February of 2022. The NRC asked for regular updates and to be able to review proposed changes in the Title 12 ordinance in 00:56:05
manageable, manageable sections, but their requests were disregarded. A minor update was provided in May of 2022 and then in 00:56:11
December 22 there was a quote. 00:56:18
High level update anticipating that the comprehensive revisions. 00:56:26
Would be ready in the first quarter of 2023 and explaining that the city was embarking on a comprehensive fee study at that time. 00:56:30
There was number involvement of BNRC and the public during the development of the revisions which as you know we're not ready 00:56:37
until the end of the last quarter of 2023. And what's become at the fee study in the last year Pacific Grove has extraordinary 00:56:45
trees, ocean views, beaches, coastal Bluffs, sand dunes, wildlife and more as well as history and archaeology. 00:56:53
Residents, including yourselves of course, treasure those resources and PG benefits from an amazing number of volunteers committed 00:57:01
to environmental stewardship. 00:57:05
Public works has not demonstrated A propensity for environmental stewardship. 00:57:10
There isn't a lot wrong with the existing ordinance that needs changing, but there's a lot wrong with the proposed revisions, 00:57:16
which I've addressed in three emails to you working through the entire draft. I think a collaboration of the BNRC Tree and 00:57:22
Landscape subcommittee with consultants, including, as one commenter written comment suggested, forest ecologist, a wildlife 00:57:29
conservationist, biodiversity specialist, and climate scientists could provide a very good ordinance starting from the original 00:57:36
ordinance. 00:57:42
And considering public comments as well. 00:57:49
Consultants wouldn't need to create a new ordinance. Perhaps the subcommittee could review the strictly. 00:57:51
Inaccurate. Well, I'm gonna have to jump because the time went faster. But anyway, I I don't see how you can accept. 00:57:58
Revisions. 00:58:09
Say something that they say, they say. The words don't really mean what they say. And. 00:58:11
So with regard to the public Works Director and that revisions that ignore canopy critical root zone and the local coastal program 00:58:18
policies, those are not there. 00:58:24
So I I I just encourage you not to accept this and to figure out some way of of approaching this step by step and section by 00:58:31
section. Thank you. 00:58:38
And you have the floor. 00:58:50
Thank you. 00:58:57
I agree with all the speakers. 00:58:59
I did send comments and you have those. What I want to say is that. 00:59:03
A few years ago. 00:59:07
This committee. 00:59:09
Was working on. 00:59:11
This tree ordinance and trying to fulfill. 00:59:13
Some of the goals. 00:59:18
And so they came up with a. 00:59:20
A sub. 00:59:23
That began working on restoration projects for George Washington Park. 00:59:25
Smaller, more manageable areas with lots of volunteers who are eager to help. 00:59:31
And also public works. 00:59:37
And these areas are really successful and have worked very well. 00:59:40
I think that we need to keep the tree issues working that way together and they need to go through the Beautification and Natural 00:59:46
Resources Commission. 00:59:52
Because some people get emotional. We all get emotional. We care about our trees, the whole city. 00:59:58
Is our. 01:00:06
And we all need to be planting trees. 01:00:08
We are losing far more than we ever. 01:00:11
And the ones going in many. 01:00:15
Don't help us either, environmentally. 01:00:18
With the wildlife, so we really need to put more of our native trees and the canopy needs to be restored to this revision because 01:00:22
to be honest, I don't trust. 01:00:28
The city without it being in there. 01:00:34
So the words canopy, that's all of our city. We're not talking about just George Washington Park. We're talking about everywhere. 01:00:37
Needs to be back in the tree ordinance because that's what they are. 01:00:46
And I think if we can all work together, yes, it needs some. 01:00:52
Minor tweaks. 01:00:57
But to redo all of. 01:01:00
Is a mistake and certainly to do it and one fell SW. 01:01:03
Would be devastating. 01:01:07
So I think that we could. 01:01:09
Maybe another part-time arborist? That would be a nice start. We certainly need a forester. 01:01:12
We need people who understand our trees and we need that assessment done first, just like Sally said. 01:01:18
So please. 01:01:26
Reject these revisions. 01:01:28
We need to work in a smaller groups. 01:01:30
And work on yes. 01:01:33
Minor changes to. 01:01:35
But the tree ordinance? 01:01:38
As it is with can. 01:01:42
And some of the protections it has needs to stay thank. 01:01:45
And certainly with you guys. 01:01:48
England. London government. You know the floor. 01:01:56
Thank you. 01:02:02
Chair and Commissioners, I have the benefit of all those comments before which I am going to say I 100% agree with. 01:02:04
Can you hear me? 01:02:14
Thank you. 01:02:16
Yes, we need a forester. Yes, please deny these revisions. You can drive a truck through this legalese of consolidation. 01:02:19
Umm, it is not beneficial to the city. It is not beneficial to our trees. It is a staff assessment of how to make it easier for 01:02:30
them to drive a truck through. 01:02:37
I encourage. 01:02:45
We need a tree assessment. We need a forester. We need the services of a forester. If we can't afford to hire one, which is the 01:02:48
way we're spending money. No, we can't. But we certainly need more than one designee contract arborist. 01:02:57
To get this right. And we need to get it right now, not later. 01:03:06
And we need to be working on it. 01:03:12
But please do not accept. 01:03:14
Highly flawed, consolidated. 01:03:19
Legally. 01:03:23
Document it. It's not going to work, it's just going to destroy. 01:03:26
What we. 01:03:31
It's like bringing a masticator into the tree ordinance. And yes, bring the city manager back in too. 01:03:34
We need some. 01:03:42
And we don't seem to have that. 01:03:44
Currently. 01:03:49
The BNRC I have some faith in you, please. 01:03:51
Consider all the comments that were heard before. Take them to heart. Know that they're very true. 01:03:56
And act accordingly. I appreciate that. 01:04:04
Thank you. 01:04:07
I make menu now. 01:04:12
Thank you. And I going to agree with you, you've heard a lot of good stuff. 01:04:16
So far tonight, I think so. 01:04:21
And in in Full disclosure, I have to say that there are two callers. Before me was my wife. 01:04:24
There is no way in hell I'm going to disagree with anything she says publicly. 01:04:29
So I'll endorse her wholeheartedly. 01:04:34
I sent you a long e-mail, and I'm not going to bother to repeat all of that here. 01:04:38
But I do want to say that these revisions in the proposal will change the pre ordinance dramatically. 01:04:44
It was a long presentation. 01:04:52
Joyce did explain some things, to clarify some things, but some of the things she said also I think raised more questions. 01:04:55
And need to be fully. 01:05:02
Explored more. It's more than you're going to do in one meeting. It's more than you're going to do in one hearing. 01:05:05
You know that well via my e-mail. I was on this panel for years and. 01:05:11
Have been through. 01:05:17
Two tree revisions, one took two years. I don't think you have to go that long. This time we were going from scratch. 01:05:19
But I do think you have to slow down and look at these things section by section because. 01:05:27
Too much detail here. 01:05:32
Digest. 01:05:34
If I were on the panel now, I don't believe I could tonight honestly recommend the City Council do one one thing or another with 01:05:37
this. I'm going to need a closer look. 01:05:41
Think it needs some more discussion. 01:05:45
One of the things that really bothers me is is putting canopy in a side thing and taking it out of the actual wearing of the. 01:05:48
I think that belittles it. 01:05:56
This former city councils have vowed to plant hundreds of trees a year to get Canopy back. 01:06:00
Have not done it. 01:06:07
I think by taking the language out even a little bit further. 01:06:08
I wrote some things out earlier and they're not really relevant now, but. 01:06:18
This ordinance can use tweaks. 01:06:24
That's not what this is. This is a major. 01:06:26
I don't think all of it's good. I think parts of it, or maybe some tweaks are good. 01:06:30
And I think that what it really needs. I don't think the current ordinances are real problem. 01:06:36
I think it needs to be better and forest better applied and. 01:06:42
She twice admitted that it was staff shortages. 01:06:47
There is not so much of that as there might. 01:06:50
And I think that's the major problem. I think this needs a lot closer. 01:06:54
And a lot more. 01:06:59
And I would slow the process down if I were. 01:07:01
And. 01:07:05
All right, make sure we get more trees in the ground, because climate change is barely honest, you know? 01:07:08
It's changing our weather, it's changing our water supply and they. 01:07:14
Way to fight it is getting some roots in the ground that are going to take some carbon out of the air. 01:07:18
Thank you. 01:07:23
Further and one more hands raised virt. 01:07:28
We'll bring it to the commissioners. I'd like to start with Kathy and we'll work our way around. 01:07:35
OK. 01:07:42
First, I'd like to thank. 01:07:45
Joyce for all her hard work, I'm sure this was a challenge. 01:07:46
And I appreciate the presentation. It was very. 01:07:51
I do have some. 01:07:54
First of all, could. 01:07:56
Describe to us what other cities were researched in terms of comparing Pacific Grove to other cities. 01:07:59
Sure. We looked at some local adjacent municipalities. Monterey, Seaside, Delray, Oaks, Marina, Santa Cruz. 01:08:08
Things like that. And we also looked at some larger agencies that are. 01:08:15
At the forefront of tree preservation and tactics related to tree can be coverage Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek. So we did 01:08:20
research on. 01:08:24
And what fees are they charging? How? What trees are protected? 01:08:29
Do they charge a new fees? Do they do a deposit? We kind of looked at various different facets of their code and how they're 01:08:35
implementing and attempting to preserve trees and their canopy. 01:08:39
Carmel, did you look at Carmel? We did take a look at car. 01:08:44
OK. 01:08:49
And can you tell me? 01:08:51
Of those cities you looked at? 01:08:54
How was the decision maker designated? 01:08:57
Was it public works? 01:09:01
Panel. 01:09:04
In terms of what's written in the code. 01:09:05
Yes. I don't have those notes in front of me. It is just off the top of your head. Then it varies. I think a lot of the time it 01:09:08
says city arborist or city forester. I think a lot of those. 01:09:13
UH cities have a dedicated forester on staff or have an urban forestry department, but every city differs. Off the top of my head 01:09:20
it Aries. 01:09:24
I noticed that Monterey has an appeals board, which is what you were recommending. 01:09:31
That's and I think that's a very interesting idea. The one concern I have about that is that it's A1 tier. 01:09:36
Appeal. 01:09:44
Whereas currently we have BNRC Plus. 01:09:46
The City Council. 01:09:49
And I'm not sure I would. 01:09:51
Recommend going to A1 Tiered Appe. 01:09:53
Otherwise having to. 01:09:56
Court. That's just a comment. 01:09:59
What do you think? 01:10:04
Benefit. 01:10:06
In time savings or emotional? 01:10:09
Distress in terms of going to a hearing panel rather than having it held before the BNRC? 01:10:13
Appeal was held before the BNR. 01:10:20
I think the benefit is that the. 01:10:23
Is assessed based on the. 01:10:26
And not just an emotional plea. Obviously, emotions play a role and the appellant and the city are both able to make their case. 01:10:28
But the structure of the appeals hearing officer panel being able to take in the information to adjourn the meeting, to go back 01:10:34
and look through that data and really make a calculated decision and render that decision by mail instead of having to do so in 01:10:40
one public hearing, you know, looking the appellant in the eyes and being forced to make a difficult decision. So I think 01:10:46
ultimately our logic was that. 01:10:52
It is in the best interest of the trees. 01:10:59
In terms of the Pacific? 01:11:01
Permits that have been issued over the last year or. 01:11:04
Can you give me a ratio of? 01:11:09
Permits were issued to take a tree down and how many were denied. 01:11:12
I do not have those metrics off hand, I will say of the. 01:11:18
Tree permits that we get, the majority are. 01:11:21
Removals more so than trending. I'm sorry, I couldn't understand. Sit back a little bit. OK. Sorry. 01:11:24
I don't have the number off the top of my head in terms of how many are denied. That's not data that I have access to at the 01:11:32
moment. But I will say of the tree appeals that or the tree permits that we've taken in, the majority are for removals and a lot 01:11:38
of the time they're already in decline or they're dead or they're on their way out. So it's not necessarily. 01:11:44
That we're getting a ton of applications to remove healthy. 01:11:51
OK. 01:11:56
And you were talking about examples of cities and best practices. 01:11:59
As opposed. 01:12:04
Just cities, Were you looking at other regulations? 01:12:06
Higher level government. 01:12:10
Recommendations or antsy or? 01:12:11
Yeah, we were really looking at the IS. 01:12:14
Kind of forms and standards that they're currently using. Again, the code references that old risk assessment form. 01:12:18
That really doesn't give. 01:12:25
A very accurate depiction of tree health and gives healthy trees high hazard ratings just as a result of the fact that they're in 01:12:27
a developed city. So they're going to be targets everywhere. And so ultimately, off the baseline, you're starting at at least A7. 01:12:34
And so the ISA standard practices are now to use that updated form. That gives them much more comprehensive review of the tree 01:12:43
health. 01:12:47
One thing I noticed is that there was no timeline for the appeals for decisions. 01:12:52
That might be something we'd want to consider if we went that way. OK, so there might be a timeline involved. 01:12:58
Otherwise it could take. 01:13:05
Forever. I believe the code revisions include language about having to hear the appeal within a certain time frame, but I'm not 01:13:08
sure about. 01:13:12
Language about when they have to render a decision, so that's good feedback. 01:13:17
Also in terms of. 01:13:22
And I just lost my train of thought. 01:13:27
Sorry. 01:13:29
OK. Well, those are my basic questions. And again, I thank you for all the work you've done. 01:13:32
Am I on? 01:13:44
So Amy can then mute you here if you. 01:13:56
There you go. I also joined Kathy and a number of the speakers in thanking you, Joyce, for the. 01:14:00
Very, very complicated task that you've completed and you've done it, you've done it very well. I don't necessarily agree with it, 01:14:12
but you've you've done it very well and I also would like to take the issue of. 01:14:19
People's names. Out of this, perhaps we can discuss a position such as a director of public works, but I don't feel that it's in 01:14:28
anyone's interest to make an individual a target by name. 01:14:34
So I would just like to go on record as saying that that doesn't get us anywhere. 01:14:41
I have some real concerns about well staffing, but even before that. 01:14:48
I'd like to talk about Mission and I wonder. 01:14:53
By by definition, Department of Public Works. 01:14:57
How do trees become a public work? I I wonder if maybe we should be. 01:15:01
Considering a. 01:15:08
Excuse me, a separate either a separate heading or a sub heading with its own title under Public Works under the umbrella of 01:15:11
Public Works. 01:15:15
Which would deal exclusively with environmental issues and certainly with that includes trees and that. 01:15:20
I think that the staffing. 01:15:27
Is a big consideration the enforcement? 01:15:31
Of not only making making the decision on issuing appeals. 01:15:35
But then, excuse me issuing permits but then dealing with. 01:15:41
Scofflaws who are not following the rules and replanting when they. 01:15:46
How are we going to afford the staff? To do that? We need a compliance officer. 01:15:52
Because that certainly shouldn't be. I wouldn't think that would be the arborist job. 01:15:58
It's a separate it's an economic matter rather. 01:16:03
An environmental matter, but that would have to be we're we're looking at having to. 01:16:07
Add some line items to our budget I think and that would include and somebody to go out and collect the money to perhaps pay for. 01:16:14
At least part of his or her salary. 01:16:22
Because people are getting away with things. 01:16:26
I think that's that's. 01:16:34
As far as whether to keep Title 12 as it was, as it is. 01:16:37
Or to go with the revisions. 01:16:43
For the most part, I I'm fine with it the way it is. I think we need to approach whatever we do with real surgical precision. 01:16:46
Rather than a swath of changes, I like, for example, the that we said redesignation of the nuisance trees and the weeds, and I 01:16:54
think that makes more sense to put them together, but I don't see. 01:17:01
I don't see the need at this point. 01:17:10
The really significant changes that have been proposed. 01:17:14
And I'll leave it at that. 01:17:19
This is so much I have questions about the agenda report that I know you'll. 01:17:29
Be able to answer and. 01:17:35
Then I had. Umm. 01:17:37
A set of broad conceptual concerns, Six of those. 01:17:40
And then I have a list of asks like more detailed. 01:17:45
Also broad, not going line by line, not trying to do your job. 01:17:53
And I'm just not. 01:17:57
Exactly how to get it all in tonight. So I'll just start with a couple of questions for you and. 01:18:00
Number one of the agenda report and your presentation was that we needed the emergency tree section and so. 01:18:11
That to me would be the same as a tree that got arborist report that was. 01:18:22
An extreme risk and. 01:18:28
How many people have been killed because we didn't have the ability to go? 01:18:31
Have the fire department or the police. 01:18:38
Someone else go out and take down a tree because it was deemed called in as an emergency or judged an emergency without an 01:18:41
arborist report. 01:18:46
Like in the last five years. 01:18:52
I'm not sure I understand the question, Miss Lee. 01:18:55
The emergency section, the new section that you're. 01:18:58
It says that if someone thinks their tree is an emergency and it's after hours with public works, or even if it's within the hours 01:19:02
of public works, that a permit doesn't need to be issued. If it's after hours, they can call the police, they can call the fire 01:19:08
department, they can call someone else. 01:19:14
And I'm just asking, I'm trying to figure, I'm thinking back to trees where people in those very emotional settings have said this 01:19:20
tree is going to fall and then, you know, three months later the tree is doing fine, or a year later the tree is doing fine. And 01:19:26
so my question is. 01:19:32
How? 01:19:39
I understand maybe the public has wanted this power, but in in reality, how many people have been killed or harmed or injured or 01:19:43
has property been damaged because? 01:19:48
A tree fell on it, and it was. 01:19:55
And it was because. 01:20:00
They didn't have time to get a permit and Arbor support and all that. 01:20:03
Of trees that are removed in an emergency scenario, whereas now we don't have any tracking of that. 01:20:39
My folks call 911 and you know they need somebody to immediately review their tree. We don't necessarily have a protocol. We'd 01:20:45
like them to come in and get a permit, but that's not necessarily listed anywhere. So this is trying to, again, get at some of 01:20:51
those gaps where we don't necessarily have tracking mechanisms, We're not necessarily outlining a real protocol for folks to 01:20:56
follow when they do feel like there is an imminent danger. 01:21:02
And so that's what this section is attempting to address. 01:21:08
OK, so right now, if they feel there's an imminent danger, they would have to. 01:21:11
Putting a permit application, the arborist would have to go out. 01:21:17
Rate it an extreme hazard and then they would be granted their permit. 01:21:22
And that all would take about how long? 01:21:26
So it's twofold. We do have a work order system where we have folks kind of out. We essentially outline this process here too, 01:21:29
where we're looking for things like mounting and. 01:21:34
You know, there's instances where they've called us and we've gone on site to say, Oh yeah, that's that's a danger that's gonna 01:21:39
fall. And so we've authorized the removal again in an emergency scenario. 01:21:44
So there are protocols in place now, but they're not currently formalized within the code, and that's what we're trying to do 01:21:49
here. 01:21:52
Because the current code requires the department be. 01:21:57
Yes. But also again in an emergency scenario, folks will call 911 and they will call us and it is our due diligence to address 01:22:02
that if it is an immediate emergency. 01:22:07
OK. It would be good if you could get us some some data on that because there is a danger also that someone would say this is an 01:22:13
emergency when it's not. I think we've all seen oak limbs, you know, parallel to. 01:22:20
Earth and they're bouncing around and yet they last that way for decades. So I appreciate the section. I was just kind of torn on 01:22:29
that section. And I will reiterate, we do get these calls sometimes and when they're not in emergency, we say you need to go 01:22:34
through the tree permit process. OK, OK, that's good. 01:22:40
I wanted to comment on the redundancy section, so I think you probably went through this and lived it and breathed it and absorbed 01:22:47
it. And to you the redundancies really stood out really clearly. But when you're a citizen and you're reading these for the first 01:22:54
time, perhaps trying to figure out what to do with your tree, I found the redundancies very comforting if I'm going to read about 01:23:02
the infected tree as. 01:23:09
Under the nuisance section and then I'm going to read about an infected tree under the high risk section. I'm OK with that. It 01:23:17
makes it more clear to me. It makes me understand what is trying to be conveyed by the code. 01:23:24
And also the removal of all the link the the removal of all the text and changing it to a link. 01:23:31
If someone clicks on a link, suddenly there are in another page in another world. 01:23:41
I I think it's it's more. 01:23:47
Understandable to have it. Just a couple sentences about what about what that link is trying that that what that link is about. 01:23:52
And then you could have a link too, but just to remove it all, Like remove the whole thing about the liens and have a link to the 01:23:58
code that deals with all all liens. 01:24:04
It's more confusing rather than just saying, hey, you know, if you don't comply, you're going to get a lien put on your property 01:24:11
in in two sentences, so that would be my take on that. 01:24:15
I was thinking back to the meeting where I I felt. 01:24:22
I didn't feel excessively. 01:24:29
Bothered, I guess, by hearing the tree appeals and. 01:24:33
I think we're tough and competent people and I don't think that. 01:24:39
We were excessively stressed by that and I think it's our duty and part of what we signed up for and. 01:24:45
My recollection of that evening I don't have any recollection of. 01:24:54
Person asking to have the appeal process revised. What I remember is that we were. 01:24:59
Pressured to make a decision that night and there was some desire to continue it to another meeting and we didn't think that we 01:25:06
were. 01:25:10
Within our purview to do that, but if a hearing panel can adjourn and take 30 days to consider and weigh and get back, then 01:25:16
certainly we could be granted. 01:25:22
The the right to continue a tree hearing also. So that's another way of dealing with this. 01:25:29
With regards to number six in your agenda report, the compliance being up to two to one in theory that is really excellent and 01:25:41
what I think I learned from the revisions that were done in 2012 through numerous meetings in the city manager's office where we 01:25:49
were like hammering out things among residents. 01:25:57
There was a large showing of people who lived on small lots and they were saying if I take out this large Cypress tree, I don't 01:26:06
want to be required to plant another large tree. And so there was a very loud voice about that. I know Sally Moore was on a group 01:26:14
that was demanding people's rights to govern their own yard. And so because that public voice was so clear, that's why into those 01:26:23
revision into the 2012 revisions. 01:26:31
They put. 01:26:39
Number of trees associated with size of lot. So I just wanted to let you know that wasn't something to. 01:26:40
People who wrote the revisions dreamed up that came directly from public input, and I'm afraid that it may not be fair and there 01:26:47
may be a public outcry again. 01:26:53
If we do something just arbitrary like that. 01:27:00
I thought it was a great idea to collect the fees up front. Kudos for figuring that out. 01:27:05
What I'm thinking is that. 01:27:12
To some people, money is not an issue, so. 01:27:14
You know and to others it's a real hardship. So it's it's I, I wow, that's really hard to define the amount. 01:27:18
What the county does is they tie it to future permits. So in so maybe you could say, OK, we'll refund you your fee if you send the 01:27:26
initial picture showing that you replanted it right and that doesn't take a lot of staff time and then you want them to send the 01:27:32
two year. 01:27:37
Proof that you don't have time to go out and see the tree. Well, maybe that could be then tied to. 01:27:45
They don't get issued any other permits. If that's not in their file or if they want to permit at the year and a half mark, OK, 01:27:52
well, send a picture of the tree at the year and a half mark. Maybe it could be handled that way. So you're tying it to something 01:27:57
that is meaningful to everyone, not just. 01:28:02
Hey, I've got money or I don't have. 01:28:07
Or you could, you know, do both just there. Or there's probably other ideas too. 01:28:10
Great information about. 01:28:21
Fine structure. And then just general comments about the fee structure, the master fee schedule and the ISA revisions. 01:28:23
The ISA revisions. 01:28:34
In our current code. 01:28:42
The ISA revisions or the ISA revisions, you're just always using the the updated standards, right? 01:28:45
And where we ran into trouble at the appeals and where the attorneys. 01:28:52
Little vicious was that in our code they use numbers, they use like the the six and eight for moderate tree in the 12 for. So I 01:28:57
think it would have been like the clerical thing just to go through the current. 01:29:03
Code and X out those numbers and just say use the. 01:29:09
Risk. 01:29:14
Evaluation and that would have been. 01:29:15
Easy way to deal with that and both those things that the fee schedule and that are. 01:29:18
You know technical things and then I wanted to know if you could give an example of you say that. 01:29:26
Saying public works director or designee. 01:29:35
Is standard in like the other departments and I think you cited zoning and the Community Development Department. 01:29:40
If if you could give an example of the person that the manager is representing because. 01:29:50
You know, public works at public Works and then Forestry kind of got stuck under there because we didn't have staff to have their 01:29:59
own department. 01:30:03
It's like apples and oranges, whereas I'm wondering if that the community development level is like oranges and oranges. 01:30:08
They have the same training, the same background, the same education and that kind of thing. 01:30:16
To answer your question, I don't have a specific example off the top of my head, but it is referenced throughout the code in 01:30:20
different sections, not just community development. There are sections that say City Manager, Designee. 01:30:26
So it's kind of referenced throughout the code is it's that ultimately the department director or the person responsible for that 01:30:31
charge and implementing that section of code or designee and then the appropriate designee is selected based on. 01:30:38
The qualified. 01:30:44
Their qualifications, you know. And again, in this instance, it would ultimately be the arborist discharging the duties on the 01:30:46
daily like it is now. 01:30:49
But ultimately that. 01:30:53
Rules up to the public works director as they are responsible for implementing Title 12. Yeah, OK, And then I'm just going to put 01:30:56
a ask out there. It seems like so many of these public comments. 01:31:02
Could be resolved. 01:31:10
If we I understand the the what I learned tonight that. 01:31:13
Mr. Weisslis is on as a consultant basis. I thought he was part time, but if we hired another consultant for an additional 20 01:31:18
hours, right, which is a big ask to council, I know. So we had two, two. 01:31:24
A part-time Barber, so I'm just going to call them part-time arborist. 01:31:31
We could. 01:31:36
Create a new department that had the Environmental Programs Director Mr. for. 01:31:39
1st as the department head have the arborist under him and then maybe they could share administrative assistant support with code 01:31:46
enforcement and this would. 01:31:52
Alleviate all the concerns that we've heard letter after letter after letter about the public works and the forestry departments 01:31:59
typically typically in throughout the world. You know, being at odds they have. 01:32:05
One is in charge of infrastructure, one's in charge of nature. I mean, they're just at odds, right? So this would make a big plug 01:32:18
for. 01:32:22
I think public faith and may free the arborist up. 01:32:28
Upper operate unimpeded by A. 01:32:34
Concerns about infrastructure and just really stay true and pure to their calling. 01:32:39
Anyway, so. 01:32:46
My comments for now. Thank you. 01:32:49
Thank you, Rebecca. 01:32:52
Christine. 01:32:54
Hi I have a couple of questions to start and then I have some comments. 01:32:56
Miss Hollaby, can you can we go backwards in time a little bit here and can you talk to me about? 01:33:04
Who initiated these revisions? And then? 01:33:11
Conceptualized if it was a group or how, how this exactly worked and where it started. 01:33:14
Yeah, so. 01:33:21
Originally. 01:33:23
As I mentioned in the agenda report and in the presentation, staff has identified various. 01:33:24
Issues with the code as it's written, implementation challenges, things like the replant, compliance items like that. So there 01:33:30
definitely have been things on our radar in the implementation over the last 10 years through the arborist in various public works 01:33:35
staff. 01:33:39
So we've always kind of been thinking about the impetus for change that was backed and we started to kind of work on some changes 01:33:45
and that was backed by the City Council with their work plan saying that we'd like you to take a comprehensive look at Title 12. 01:33:51
In large part because of the community has been asking. 01:33:58
Changes and revisions and enhancements to protection of the trees in the urban forest. That's kind of how it started. 01:34:02
These revisions were not made by me alone in my office. As I mentioned, I worked very closely with Alan talking about how things 01:34:08
have been implemented, what the actual on the ground challenges are, because I think a real issue. 01:34:14
With code is that the intention is there and it might be written well, but it's not always implementable and I've mentioned some 01:34:19
of that in the presentation as well, so. 01:34:24
And we're closely with Al. We work closely with our city Attorney. We engaged all of the different departments that are integral 01:34:29
in implementing code code enforcement. 01:34:33
Fire Department, Community development and together work through these changes, various meetings, various iterations over a period 01:34:37
of time. 01:34:40
OK, so the first time that I was noticing that it was brought to the BNRC was in February of 2022. 01:34:46
And. 01:34:54
That was stated. I just watched the video today and it was stated that an e-mail had been sent out. 01:34:56
Talking about. 01:35:03
How you were an e-mail by you that was put out that you were putting together the changes, these revisions. 01:35:07
I guess my my question was. 01:35:18
When I can't find it in City Council addressing it prior to February of 2022, so. 01:35:22
Was it the Public Works Department that init. 01:35:28
Started the. 01:35:33
That's correct. 01:35:35
And in that meeting it said that. 01:35:38
Thorough there this would be fine tuning. Was this what was envisioned as fine tuning and initially? 01:35:42
You know, it's always been intended to be a comprehensive look at all of the tree regulations. OK, So my next question is why 01:35:48
these changes didn't come before the BNRC more actively? 01:35:53
I'm not sure I understand the question. We brought it to you after thorough review. Obviously it takes. 01:36:01
Various different departments our legal team to review these items. 01:36:06
We manage a variety of different projects and tasks, so really trying to bring it to you as expeditiously as possible. Once we got 01:36:10
through a very thorough review of the pages and pages of code and again, engaging with our fee study consultants because that 01:36:16
obviously plays an element. It's not exactly a code change, but it is integral in terms of how we're thinking about changing the 01:36:22
code into how the fee structures play into that. 01:36:27
So this got to you as quickly as we were able to do. 01:36:34
OK. Can I ask Mr. Weisface a couple questions? 01:36:40
Can you fill us in on your role with the revisions, planning and writing? 01:36:45
Hear me, OK. All right. 01:36:56
Thank you very much for hearing this tonight. 01:36:58
I also want to compliment Joyce on her commitment to this, because this has been an adopting challenge for everybody involved. 01:37:00
And thank you for taking the time to hear this. 01:37:09
My role with this is sitting with Joyce reviewing what the other ordinance. 01:37:12
Previous ordinances. 01:37:18
The current ordinance where we're at now and how can we improve this ordinance to the best for both the city and the citizens 01:37:20
within? 01:37:25
OK. 01:37:33
My next question for you is. 01:37:37
How many hours a week are you? 01:37:40
Hours. Are you active a week? Are you a 20 hour a week and you're not an employee? I know you're a contract, but yeah, it's 01:37:44
pretty. 01:37:47
I figured it out when I first started here. At 4 hours a day it's it's basically, yeah. 01:37:51
Best for me to be here throughout. 01:37:58
Under my under my contract, if I'm here 4 hours a day, I can make it last throughout that whole year, right? OK. 01:38:01
OK, umm. 01:38:09
Well, I have some comments. 01:38:14
I want to start with a quote. 01:38:19
From him who sees no wood for trees, and yet as busy as the bees For him that settled on his leaves and speaketh not for his fees, 01:38:22
that's John Hayward. 01:38:27
1546 it was a political statement where the author felt that the governing bodies were able to see weren't were unable to see the 01:38:32
issues plaguing the people during due to being more concerned with money. Today we say we cannot see the forest through the trees. 01:38:40
Today. This phrase means that some major information the entire forest is being missed. 01:38:47
And that perhaps it's due to either confusion or lack of understanding or even. 01:38:55
Possibly selfishness, so. 01:39:00
As we take this forward, I. 01:39:02
Some I just want to talk about a couple things within the agenda report. First, so under Why change Title 12, the number 5 01:39:06
Emotionally Charged Tree Appeal process? So I too was present at that March 2023. 01:39:13
306 Crocker Tree Appeal meeting. 01:39:22
And I just want to note that the BNRC did not make a motion that night. 01:39:24
Therefore, did I not, I did not have a voice or a vote in to change the the appeal process. I think it's leading to say that the 01:39:30
commissioners expressed a need to revise the appeal process. It was never voted on. 01:39:36
Also, the Commission relinquished decision making authority due to failed motions leading to no decision. 01:39:44
Prompting the appeal to be forwarded to City Council. That's completely within our guidelines. 01:39:52
Within the BNRC purview and our democratic process agreeing to disagree. 01:39:59
Or fail emotion is completely acceptable result. 01:40:07
An alternative outcome could have been that the BNRC would have agreed and we would have denied the appeal and the appellate had 01:40:12
yet another option. So that's kind of what I wanna push forward with this is that they have options with this process. They can go 01:40:19
before the City Council next and council can analyze and decide and. 01:40:25
That's called democratic process and I believe in it. So also assuming that because it's emotional. 01:40:31
Makes it too hard for this Commission to manage and maintain equilibrium. 01:40:38
It's insulting to me. We're not the Garden Club, we are the Beautification and Natural Resources Commission. 01:40:44
We are appointed citizens of Pacific Grove and we care deeply about the nature of this community. 01:40:52
I'm proud and I'm honored to sit here with all you ladies. 01:40:57
And have a seat at this table and participate in the hard things that we do here. We stand for what's best for Pacific Grove as 01:41:00
community members and from our own perspectives. 01:41:06
Another section I want to address within the agenda report is notable elements of revisions, and a couple of people in the public 01:41:13
talked about this too. So proposed changes include replacing the specific reference to the arborist with the more general term 01:41:19
public works director of designee. 01:41:26
In manners pertaining to trees. And it says it's essential to emphasize that the designated individual for all tree matters will 01:41:33
remain the city arborist. OK, so there's problems with assumptions, right? Because these are these are our laws. 01:41:40
Ordinances are our laws, so we can't really assume anything. If it's written into the law as the public works director, then 01:41:48
that's who it is. So generally speaking, a public works director is not educated or certified forest or or arborist. 01:41:56
And. 01:42:05
I don't think this is who we want, making decisions for our forest and trees, so assumptions continue within the appeals process 01:42:06
where we hear we encounter a hearing panel, so. 01:42:12
I guess I didn't really understand until Carmelita started talking about what that hearing panel exactly was, but. 01:42:18
Thank you for that, Carmelita, if you're still on the line. 01:42:26
But so that's I. 01:42:29
I was assuming that that was appointed by the public works director, but it sounds like you know, we that would be appointed by 01:42:32
the mayor. 01:42:35
So. 01:42:40
That was just. 01:42:42
Complicated and I didn't understand that, but I still believe in the revision, the appeal process through going through the BNRC. 01:42:43
We are a jury of peers that are appointed by the mayor and. 01:42:54
It's part of that democratic process, so I'm going to recommend, when we get to that part, to reject the proposed Title 12 01:42:59
revisions in its entirety. But based on a couple of things. Revisions I feel are tone deaf and misaligned to City Council 01:43:07
environmental stewardship goals, replanting and protections for trees, I think was the heart of this request. And I think as after 01:43:14
I've read through this so many times, I think the revenge revisions spend more time. 01:43:22
Discussing how to cut trees down than protections and replanting incentives. And that was another thing that I was thinking about 01:43:31
as I was sitting here was. 01:43:34
The word incentives versus enforcement and compliance, it's a more positive word. What can we do to be incentivizing our public to 01:43:39
be replanting? Like how do we get excited about trees? I mean, I get excited about trees, but not everybody gets excited about 01:43:45
trees. So what can we do to help that out? Like how can we make this a more positive experience? 01:43:52
So. 01:43:59
Yeah, so examples within the protected tree revisions that are in misalignment from my perspective are a. 01:44:04
Three, we added. Three additional tree species and subtracted. 01:44:12
And then there are 6 new ways to cut them. 01:44:17
And replanting is softly advised in two revised sections, and the tree canopy portion is completely omitted, so it just is 01:44:20
imbalanced. 01:44:25
#2 Rearranging and Dismantling of a democratic process of our City Charter. When everything is channeled through one person, a lot 01:44:31
of this democratic process is lost. The PG charter is built on democratic process and handing power over to one person who is not 01:44:39
qualified to make decisions about trees and the urban forest. A City Council has not suggested a change in our democratic process 01:44:47
or ask public works to conceptualize or initiate a change like this in our laws. 01:44:55
So when transparency is lost, When we depoliticize, so that use word was used in the cover page. When we cut out the arborist, our 01:45:03
expert on trees. Again, this is our laws. These are our laws. 01:45:10
The city manager, which is the public works directors boss. The democratic process which is the BNRC and City Council. 01:45:18
Umm, we lose these options that I was talking about and. 01:45:26
Is what democracy offers. 01:45:30
The byproduct of these cuts is that the public ends up losing. 01:45:33
Visibility and transparency on all this, so these processors are meant to be in place for accountability. 01:45:38
And checks and balances and transparency. 01:45:45
Also, the revisions are short sighted in my opinion and with long term consequences. I know, I empathize that staffing issues are 01:45:50
really complicated right now, but that doesn't facilitate the change for laws. 01:45:57
Departments of EB. 01:46:04
They increase and decrease with employees and management changing law each time this happens. 01:46:06
To make our jobs easier. It doesn't equal stream. 01:46:13
Where streamlining is valuable is in proper project planning. It's an effective work order systems. It's in an environmental 01:46:16
forestry department, independent from public works and additional tree expertise like an arborist or forester coming in. 01:46:25
So in conclusion, I too have spoken to some other cities at personnel in other cities, city planners. I've reviewed other local 01:46:34
tree codes and ordinances, Carmel in particular. 01:46:40
I've had three people take a look at these revisions. 01:46:46
And as a representative for the people of Pacific Grove, I'm echoing a lot of what they have written in as well. The revisions do 01:46:49
not align with other local cities. The ones I have checked and talked to you and the revisions are claimed dangerous. 01:46:56
By individuals who I've spoken to. 01:47:03
So the original title 12/3 and Urban Forest code I. 01:47:06
Look at it and I think it requires minimal amount of adjustments. 01:47:11
Alignment with current ISA measurements and aligning that with the arborist forms and some verbiage addition subtractions is about 01:47:15
the extent of it. 01:47:20
I think the Title 12 proposed revisions are dangerous. 01:47:28
And I think the safest way forward is to recommend City Council reject Title 12. 01:47:32
Revisions in its entirety and redirect review and revision Ord. 01:47:37
Thank you. 01:47:43
Two questions before we go on on. I see Tom Aikman has been waiting with a raised hand. Should we be addressing that? 01:47:49
At this point, or does he speak after we do? He took it down. 01:47:56
Just be a leftover. 01:48:01
All right. I'm going to start with some comments and then I'll pose some questions. 01:48:05
We have enjoyed a long legacy of conservation in Pacific Grove due to Julia Platt and others who have gone before us. We have this 01:48:12
historic home district, we're surrounded by marine protected areas, we have a Monarch butterfly sanctuary and we enjoy 5 miles of 01:48:17
scenic coastline. 01:48:22
Finally, we have a native Monterey pine forest. 01:48:28
One of four in the. 01:48:32
And we are known for our iconic trees and canopy, which provides beauty, shade and wildlife habitat. 01:48:34
We have benefited from those who have had a. 01:48:42
Conservation and aesthetic vision. As members of this Commission, I feel it is our responsibility and it is incumbent upon us to 01:48:45
continue to preserve this unique and valued forest. 01:48:51
I'm going to paraphrase from our website, reminding us of our responsibilities. 01:48:58
The Beautification Committee and Natural Resources Committee were joined together in February 2004 to create a body that would. 01:49:07
Paraphrasing, I'm skipping some parts advise on natural resources and beautification matters. 01:49:15
To advise on landscaping and beautification product project. 01:49:21
Support, encourage, and facilitate the conservation restoration. 01:49:25
An improvement of natural resources. 01:49:30
And to develop an Herbal Forest Vegetation and Wildlife Habitat Management program and to coordinate such. 01:49:33
Plan with the city's general. 01:49:42
This is currently on our website and summarizes. 01:49:45
Duties and responsibilities. 01:49:50
I have to say I was rather incredulous when I received this, because the proposed revisions seem to. 01:49:54
Give the Public works director, whoever that may be now and in the future, the potential to remove treaties. 01:50:03
Unilaterally. 01:50:11
It removes arboret. 01:50:13
It runs the public, City Council, city manager and BMRC and does a democratic system of checks and balances from Recity Charter. 01:50:16
So I think given all the letters I've seen, I feel that we've lost some public trust and faith. 01:50:28
And that's. 01:50:37
That's an issue. So I do have some questions, I think mostly for the city arborist. 01:50:39
If. 01:50:46
Do we have a sense of the number of trees that were lost in storms recently like last year? 01:50:47
I'm sorry, I do not have that number. 01:50:55
So no estimate really. 01:50:58
I'm sorry, a similar estimate really on. 01:51:00
OK, I also had the question about the arborist's role. 01:51:04
And I am also trying to address. 01:51:08
20 letters or so that we received from the public who are wondering about your role. 01:51:12
Because it seems that you are relinquishing some of your responsibilities and I'm kind of wondering how you might feel about that 01:51:19
and if you are in support of all of these revisions. 01:51:24
Well, I'll start with yes, I am in support of these revisions. I will start with that. 01:51:31
I'm not relinquishing any of my role. 01:51:38
Duties to the public here. 01:51:41
For the safety of them. 01:51:43
And for the benefit of the Trees of Pacific growth. OK, thank you. 01:51:45
I also have a question about the eucalyptus trees on pine. I think it was 675 pine. We received letters about that and because of 01:51:51
the Brown act. 01:51:57
I really don't know what's happening with that. 01:52:04
And I think that may illustrate kind of issues that we've. 01:52:07
So I will say Brother Brown act, that's not an element of these code revisions. That's not a topic for discussion here tonight. 01:52:12
But I will say those were properly noticed that they were going to be removed and they followed all the sections of the code. But 01:52:17
that isn't something that's up for debate tonight, so I just want to make that clear. 01:52:23
I'm not debating, I'm just trying to see. To me, that seems to illustrate issues that we have. 01:52:29
There were three eucalyptus eucalyptus trees that were taken down so. 01:52:35
I wanted to know maybe why? 01:52:41
Was I? I'm sort of in the dark on. 01:52:44
It's just up the street from me I think we should move on from. 01:52:48
OK, I thought we were discussing. 01:52:53
OK. 01:52:57
I guess those are. 01:53:06
Questions. I do want to read some of the City Council core values. 01:53:08
One is integrity. 01:53:14
And it says we safeguard public trust, their honest business practices and open communication. Our credibility with the public 01:53:18
depends on our strong ethical stewardship of all resources. 01:53:24
Stewardship. We protect our unique natural environment and the habitat it provides. 01:53:30
Vision statement ensures respect for the environment. 01:53:37
And protecting wildlife and habitat. 01:53:42
So just wanted to make those comments. Thank you. 01:53:49
Thank you. Thank you for your presentation. I do want to give a special thanks to all of the commentary that we received, both 01:53:56
public speaking comments tonight and all of the letters that we received at this point. 01:54:03
I have more comments and questions at this point because so many were have been answered. 01:54:11
So bear with me, I may go on a moment. Let me get my readers for this, OK? 01:54:17
Just and some of this we've already discussed, but I do want to emphasize a few points that have already been made by some of our 01:54:24
residents as well. But going back to in 2012, a secret public review was conducted to revise the tree ordinance that we have today 01:54:29
and adopt our urban forestry standards. 01:54:35
The intent at that time was to increase the city's tree canopy and require a comprehensive set of tree management standards. 01:54:41
At that time, a 25 year citywide target to maintain the existing canopy cover with the goal of a total canopy cover of 33% was 01:54:48
established. 01:54:52
The 2012, 2013, Jen, Sorry, can you slow down? You're like a racehorse. Sorry, I have so much to say, but I will go slower for 01:54:57
you. Yes, thank you. 01:55:01
OK, sorry, back to the 2012 thirteen changes. They also allowed for partial or complete removal of high risk trees using the risk 01:55:07
assessment of the ISA known as the hazard tree evaluation, which we're saying is outdated, although I think it's more terminology 01:55:14
than the practice itself, correct? 01:55:20
The actual forms have been updated, yes, the forms, but not the practices. 01:55:28
Meaning, if we're referring to the ISA evaluation system, yes, that will be updated through the years. OK, just making sure. 01:55:33
These changes offered a well researched and data-driven balance to the existing ordinance. 01:55:42
In brief, it allowed for significant pruning or removal of high risk or nuisance trees when deemed necessary by qualified 01:55:47
professional, but also place an emphasis on the importance of tree protections and replanting. 01:55:54
Yet most of the newly proposed revisions seek to actually reverse course by removing the tree canopy goal, removing the authority 01:56:01
of the city arborist, and removing the BNRC and City Council from the tree appeal decision making process. 01:56:08
Removing language related to the City's tree preservation goals and the 25 year citywide goal of maintaining our existing canopy 01:56:15
cover, with the goal of course to reach 33% with the intent to also remove this goal from the adopted Urban Forestry Standards is 01:56:22
in direct conflict with the City Council's environmental stewardship goal of creating a citywide tree Improvement and management 01:56:29
plan, which is to include planting in public areas and sustainable tree maintenance. 01:56:36
I know the urban forestry standards was going to be adjusted later. I saw that in the presentation. That's concerning because it 01:56:45
does seem like we're trying to do this in reverse. Those were done, I believe, simultaneously in order to be adopted at the same 01:56:49
time. 01:56:53
A primary focus of the council's goals do pertain to replanting compliance. 01:56:58
And the 2324 work plan of the council established A measurable milestone of planting and maintaining 150 native trees on public 01:57:04
property and public right of way this year. 01:57:10
Although it is a step in the right direction, this milestone is less than half of what we should be doing. 01:57:16
To mitigate environmental impacts of losses to our. 01:57:23
The 2012 secret review that was. 01:57:27
For the revisions, that or the ordinance that we have to today specified the need to develop a public tree planting program to 01:57:29
replace all trees removed and plant a minimum of of an additional 300 trees per year on public property to achieve full stocking 01:57:36
potential over the next 25 year period. 01:57:42
Had we planted at this rate, more than 3000 trees would have been planted within the last decade. 01:57:49
Rewriting the ordinance will not change the fact that we have failed up to this point with regard to replantings. 01:57:56
The current tree canopy goal also aligns with the city's general plan, which states we should be actively promoting tree planting 01:58:03
to maintain and renew the urban forest. 01:58:07
So again, why would we wish to remove it? 01:58:12
The original intent of establishing and adding the tree canopy goals to the ordinance was to ensure. 01:58:16
A more holistic, citywide approach to urban forestry management, consistent with commonly accepted industry wide professional 01:58:21
urban forestry management. 01:58:26
Which can be. 01:58:32
With a tree city inventory perhaps using what our Commissioner Lee referenced earlier that I think is. 01:58:34
Or close to free. 01:58:41
Removing this language from the ordinance would remove the city's intent to restore the tree canopy. 01:58:43
This would be. 01:58:49
Not only to the beauty of our landscape, but to the wildlife that depend upon it, the well-being of our residents and of course 01:58:51
the environment. 01:58:54
Removing the city arborist terminology, a qualified professional from the tree ordinance, and replacing with a replacing a trained 01:58:59
and licensed tree expert with a public works director or designee would effectively negate the role. 01:59:06
And responsibilities of the city arbors by law that are outlined in the Urban Forestry standards as well and the contract. 01:59:14
Since the responsibilities include administration of the city tree ordinance, the permit process, assessing and mitigating high 01:59:21
risk trees, etcetera. 01:59:25
Alarmingly, City arborist would now appear zero times. 01:59:30
In the tree Ord. 01:59:35
But the public works director would appear 43 times. 01:59:36
That's alarming. 01:59:41
The term designee is. 01:59:43
Lacks transparency and would allow anyone other than the arborist, likely all non qualified staff, to make these decisions. 01:59:45
Unless they all got their ISA license, I don't know. 01:59:53
Replacing city arborist with public works director would be granting a non qualified professional. 01:59:56
Full control to make all citywide tree related decisions on both public and private property. 02:00:02
Removing both the DNRC and City Council from the tree appeals process lacks transparency and we give complete control to a single 02:00:08
individual and a hearing officer panel. 02:00:13
Although the terminate terminology seems. 02:00:18
Disputed At this point, if the intent is to clarify the findings and procedures to ensure a transparent decision making process, 02:00:21
the proposed changes would do the opposite. 02:00:26
I too looked at other city tree ordinances and we could look at Carmel by the seas. It actually functions similar to ours. And 02:00:33
that tree appeals go before their Forest and Beach Commission, The Commission decision appeals then of course, go to their City 02:00:37
Council. 02:00:42
For final decision. 02:00:47
We have the same. 02:00:48
We shouldn't be changing. 02:00:50
Our current representative democratic practice. 02:00:52
Works the way it should. 02:00:55
Not to mention these changes would also require BNRC municipal code changes relating to our powers and duties, which again is 02:00:58
inappropriate. 02:01:02
Other points of concern include, but are certainly not limited to, the rewriting that I mentioned of the Urban Forestry Standards. 02:01:08
We don't have any idea what that would look like and this would just open the door. 02:01:14
To weaken those. 02:01:19
The last city tree inventory was conducted nearly a decade ago, which has been mentioned. 02:01:22
But the proposed changes are attempting to remove a 25 year Canopy goal. 02:01:27
We're only 10 years. 02:01:32
We don't even know where we stand today. 02:01:33
We need this. 02:01:37
I know the agenda report also stated that the current current ordinance doesn't reflect ISA best practices, but it's more the 02:01:40
terminology and the form itself. Forms evolve over time and they change. 02:01:46
I don't necessarily think the form name should even be listed in our ordinance or law, as long as we're always referring to a more 02:01:52
general term of using the most current ISA standards. 02:01:57
The best. 02:02:02
Still don't know why the Gowan Cypress was removed from the projected tree list, although I was glad to see others were added. It 02:02:04
shouldn't matter if the species is prevalent or not in PG. 02:02:09
It should still be considered a protected. 02:02:14
The current ordinance is. 02:02:18
The majority of the proposed revisions would weaken. 02:02:20
And most do little to address the City Council's environmental stewardship goals or aid in the development of our climate Change 02:02:23
Action plan. 02:02:26
The proposed changes, as written, would cause more harm than good. 02:02:31
It's clear the lack of enforcement of the current ordinance is the issue, not the ordinance itself itself. 02:02:35
The Code and Treatment Perm application application already cover replacement requirements for property owners. Refer to the fee 02:02:41
schedule which I know is being updated and is a great addition. 02:02:46
But again, that's a separate document from this Ord. 02:02:51
Although compliance rates can be considered low for residents, I know we saw between 22 and 41% in the last three years. 02:02:58
I'd say they're higher than the city's compliant compliance rates for public property plantings, considering we should have been 02:03:07
planting more than 300 trees per year on public lands in addition to replacing anything that's been removed. 02:03:13
Unless there's data to show we've met. 02:03:20
I'm unaware. 02:03:22
The attempt to streamline all tree related processes is likely a result of only having one part time city arborist, which we've 02:03:24
all discussed and we've received much. 02:03:28
Public comment on it's inadequate staffing, for sure, to manage our entire city's tree canopy. 02:03:34
At the very least, we should be looking to hire at least a second part-time City arborist or make it full-time position, if that's 02:03:41
a possibility. 02:03:45
For a full time contract, I should say I understand it's a contract. 02:03:50
The city would be even better served, of course, by adding a city forester if money were no object. The position had been 02:03:54
previously funded by the city. 02:03:59
I've seen it on documentation, I think as recent as 2011, so I'm not sure when that changed. 02:04:03
But we do need more than one person to work with the city arborist or another city arborist, at least to help manage our urban 02:04:10
forest. 02:04:13
You know, since the DNRC feedback, my understanding will simply be placed in a matrix to determine feasibility. 02:04:19
And then maybe be presented to the Council for review. I cannot support the document as it stands. 02:04:27
Concerned citizens with very thoughtful comments don't support it either. 02:04:34
Now, again, that's not to say the ordinance couldn't use minor edits, clarifications, and updates. But that's not what's been 02:04:39
presented tonight. And the justifications for what's been proposed lack validity as well as public support. 02:04:46
Umm and nor has a BNRC been included in the process. 02:04:54
It should be broken down into smaller sections for closer review. Thoughtful review is needed. It should not be rushed. 02:04:58
Replanting is are the cure for what ails us. Rewritings are not. 02:05:07
The city should commit to what was prescribed in 20/12/2013. 02:05:12
By making a concerted effort to plant 300 plus trees a year, as well as larger, more mature trees whenever possible to make up for 02:05:16
the years of missed opportunities. 02:05:21
Madam Chair. 02:05:29
Madam Chair, I thought we were just going to ask questions about the presentation and then come back and do our comments, So I 02:05:32
also have comments and I didn't know if you wanted me to go before you or after. 02:05:38
OK, these comments. 02:05:48
General, conceptual. 02:05:52
Issues I have with the. 02:05:54
Number one. 02:05:58
There's been a request for a 5 minute break and since we're over our time, I think that's great. So we can resume here. 02:06:06
6:15. 02:06:15
OK, we are ready to start back up. Rebecca, you have a few comments I'd ask. Given the time, you can limit it to 5 minutes. 02:15:52
Sorry, I thought we were asking questions and then coming back around for comments. So these are my comments. 02:16:03
Because. 02:16:10
What I think Council wants is conceptually what we are opposed to with these what needs work, what? 02:16:11
Needs to change and so. 02:16:20
You know this is a little overwhelming when you go through all the revisions, go through the urban forestry plan, go through the 02:16:24
master fee schedule, go through the application permit forms. 02:16:28
I I don't think I'm alone here and feeling a little bit overwhelmed, but my first comment. 02:16:35
Is that all the authority? All the decision making authority cannot be in one place. Especially when that person is a non 02:16:40
qualified person. They don't have an ISA certification. 02:16:46
And #2. 02:16:52
Is that all forms of collaboration to get information to broaden their perspective as? 02:16:54
Consulting with the city manager would provide. 02:17:02
Is axed involving the workforce of the BNRC to take on project development involving the public through the. 02:17:06
Through BNRC is all gone, so those collaborative form forums that are checks and balances are gone. 02:17:15
There are no protocols of process that are standard that assure how things work, how they'll be done. Protocols are needed 02:17:21
throughout. 02:17:26
This ordinance to outlast us. 02:17:32
And be a framework for future employees. 02:17:35
I have a couple of examples. 02:17:41
Just one is. 02:17:45
The. 02:17:48
Nuisance. 02:17:51
You know it's it's so a nuisance tree on a private property. I just wrote down the protocol. First, the public works notifies that 02:17:57
there is a potential nuisance, notifies the homeowner. Then the arborist goes out and evaluates and makes recommendations, which 02:18:03
are posted online, and the arborist meets with the owner. Then the public works sends a follow-up letter like and then if if they 02:18:09
don't comply, then what You know. So just like to alert the public so that they understand exactly what's going to happen because 02:18:15
I think if people understand. 02:18:21
And it's. 02:18:27
Clear language for them. It's not a scary unknown process and the compliance will be. 02:18:29
Better these protocols create transparency. They assure equal treatment and non discrimination. 02:18:35
And lastly, there needs to be more accountability where the city and the private trees are. 02:18:44
Treated the same, They're held to the same process, the same protocols and the city then also role models. 02:18:51
Good examples of behavior and the use of alternatives such as pervious surfaces reports on their headway that they're making and 02:18:59
using alternatives in the City Manager newsletter and so encourages then homeowners to also. 02:19:07
Push into the future. I wanted to also say that with a single part-time arborist. 02:19:16
They're responsible for the infrastructure repair, evaluation and maintenance bringing the city into ADA compliance. 02:19:57
They're responsible for writing grants and RFPs and meeting, meeting with and selection of contractors and consultants to present 02:20:05
to the council. They're in charge of the control and safety and support of all public events in Town of City Parks, which in some 02:20:11
cities is an entire department, and their maintenance and plans for them the entire recreation department, which is the youth 02:20:18
center. 02:20:24
All their programs, the pool. 02:20:31
Working with the rec board, the, the Community Center and the preschool, the cemetery, the golf course, I mean. And I'm not even 02:20:35
probably listing that all the. 02:20:40
Forestry department, which we know environmental programs, the supply of staff liaison to come to our meetings and run our 02:20:46
meetings and they organize all the city volunteers. So that is like so huge. Like the image I got in my mind was of a mother with 02:20:52
five kids in a grocery store trying to get them all like to stay near the cart and finally she just puts them all in the cart and 02:20:58
straps them down and there's like no room for the food. So it's like there's they've got so much going on to take on this task, 02:21:04
they don't have the time. 02:21:10
Um. 02:21:18
So they don't have the time and they don't. 02:21:19
The expertise and. 02:21:22
I'm trying to. 02:21:27
So just I. 02:21:31
Our process to assure that the decision making power regarding trees and the tree can and be are in the hands of an arborist or 02:21:34
qualified professional. To make clear the collaborative support structure that these arborists have as is written in the current 02:21:41
code. That's inclusive, That's the structural support that refers to the city manager, to council, to the BNRC and the CDD and and 02:21:48
then through them the ARB and the Planning Commission. To do this we must have. 02:21:55
An arborist available full time, which necessitates hiring another part-time arborist. And we are. 02:22:03
Wanting the fostering and encouragement of public participation. 02:22:12
By causing the BNRC to amp up the fulfillment of its duties that are already here. 02:22:18
Keep them in this ordinance, the BNRC duties such as the making of the Tree list, such as creating a Street Street Tree Planting 02:22:27
Plan, creating an outreach program regarding planning parking strips to facilitate planting of more public trees. 02:22:35
So I recognize that the demo product process, in striving to ascertain the will of the people through meetings, is messy, slow, 02:22:44
and filled with often jaw clinching debate, and is a process which and which actually no one is supposed to win. But we're 02:22:51
supposed to listen and talk long enough that the general consensus of the majority view with the limiting parameters of public 02:22:58
safety determines the decision that is made. 02:23:06
And it takes time. And I just, you know, all of us have these. 02:23:13
Amazing amounts of. 02:23:18
And. 02:23:21
Those are the conceptions conceptual problems I have, but my asks if I was actually going to go through and have specific as. 02:23:23
Asks. 02:23:33
The modification. 02:23:34
The document. 02:23:37
Itself specifically. 02:23:39
You know. 02:23:43
There's more, you know the I think it's been said. I think it's been said. 02:23:48
And there's also additions to the wildlife section that. 02:23:56
Need to happen and I can e-mail those. 02:24:01
As well. 02:24:05
Thank you, Rebecca. 02:24:06
I'm gonna keep mine short. I think everyone here has had has the same. 02:24:08
Kind of reaction and concerns and I appreciate. 02:24:13
All of the input from the public on. 02:24:16
Joyce, I have one question for you. When you were looking at neighbouring communities to handle the tree appeals, how did what was 02:24:20
their process? 02:24:24
Chair Myers It varied. The city of Monterey has a process similar to what we're proposing the Appeals hearing board. 02:24:31
The City of Seaside appeals directly to the City Council. There are other. 02:24:40
Neighboring agencies like Santa Cruz that appeal to a Parks and Recs Commission. It's across the board, and every city is slightly 02:24:45
different. 02:24:49
Some of the other Bay Area cities have their community development directors having final authority on very specific subgroups of 02:24:52
tree permit approvals that they authorize. 02:24:57
And then upwards to City Council. Some again go directly to City Council, some just lower hearing boards and some have a multi 02:25:03
tiered process so there isn't a consistent track across the board. 02:25:08
OK. Yeah, I understand that the tree appeals are are emotional. I think you're not going to get away from that regardless of of 02:25:14
who is hearing the appeal. 02:25:21
I do think that having. 02:25:28
30 days. 02:25:31
Take something under advisement. Do the necessary review. 02:25:33
Is more advantageous than having to make decisions on the fly, like within a meeting. 02:25:38
And I'm wondering whether. 02:25:45
BNRC. 02:25:48
If BNRC could retain the appeals, if they could retain the appeals under some structure like that. 02:25:50
That's a question I. 02:25:58
That isn't and I and I don't expect you to have an answer, OK, I was going to say that would have to be something that we would 02:26:00
explore with the city attorney because obviously the Brown Act and other factors at play in terms of how meetings are required to 02:26:05
be held. 02:26:09
So that's something we'd have to explore. It's not something I could answer. 02:26:15
OK. Thank you. 02:26:18
You talked in your in your presentation and and in the report of about this, the modifications to this ordinance. 02:26:21
Dovetailing with the other. 02:26:30
Documents the Urban Forestry Standards Fee schedule and the tree permit. 02:26:33
And maybe. 02:26:38
I think to me it is it's hard. 02:26:41
Really ultimately give our opinion on this without seeing how it dovetails with those other reports. 02:26:47
To me, the fee schedules are really important if you're really going to. 02:26:55
Deter some of this misconduct. 02:27:00
So, and the forestry standards of course. So I would ask that this. 02:27:06
Amendment not be adopted. 02:27:12
Or enacted and enforced until the other documents. 02:27:17
Are also updated and that we could review all of this as one package. 02:27:22
The other thing I think that is probably maybe most concerning to everyone I've heard tonight is is the removal of the arborist 02:27:33
with the public works director. 02:27:39
I I do think that it behooves everyone to. 02:27:46
Rely on science. 02:27:50
And the best science? 02:27:52
To protect protect our tree canopy and trees. 02:27:54
And if. 02:28:00
Public Works director or. 02:28:03
It could be anyone. I mean, I think you have to. 02:28:06
You have to look carefully at the language. 20 years from now, if it's still in place, it wouldn't have to be and and there's 02:28:09
nothing in there that would say it would have to be anybody that would be qualified to do it. 02:28:14
So at the very least I would suggest. 02:28:19
That there be a definition of. 02:28:25
That would require that they are certified arborist. 02:28:29
Or Forrester? Or someone that has the requisite experience for this. 02:28:33
Title. 02:28:38
Let's see, I think, and I think you. I'm not sure if I misunderstood you, but I think in your presentation. 02:28:46
You said that the canopy language could be reinserted in the General Findings section. 02:28:55
There could be a general finding that is pertaining to protecting the canopy. It could be more vague. It could you know. At your 02:29:03
request, you could look us, look for us to put that information back in as originally written. I will reiterate it in the Urban 02:29:08
Forestry Standards verbatim. 02:29:13
So really that was just a comment of in the general findings, which is in the initial section of the code, there are various 02:29:19
sections about why trees are important, the value that they provide the community and why we would aim to protect them. There 02:29:25
could also be a specific clause in there about canopy coverage being an important element where there is not language just kind of 02:29:32
focus everyone's attention when when you're reading the the code that that would be a good aspirational goal. 02:29:38
To Go language to have in. 02:29:46
And I think also having it in the urban forestry standards as you mentioned is is key. 02:29:49
I also wanted to know and I don't. 02:30:00
If we've talked about this so much, but the in lieu of fee and the deposits for the tree permits. 02:30:04
I think that's wonderful. 02:30:11
But I wonder if that is designed to replace any fines for people that either don't get the permits or. 02:30:14
Don't comply with their. 02:30:21
So to answer your question, this would kind of be two separate items. We would take a deposit at the time that we receive an 02:30:24
application fee and that would be treated as sort of the in lieu fee. If the applicant did not comply with the replant 02:30:30
requirement, a fine would be a separate. 02:30:35
Fee that's assessed if somebody just subverts the entire tree plant process or tree application process and then just goes. 02:30:41
Quote UN quote Rogue and cuts down a tree without seeking any. 02:30:48