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Coming Up on April 27th

April 24, 2010

Official Agenda

6:00pm – Mayor Adams will discuss a new Planning and Sustainability Commission

When Mayor Adams took office last year he combined the Bureau of Planning and the Office of Sustainable Development to create the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. But each prior bureau had its own commission and they have continued to exist separately until now. Further complicating the situation, the Sustainable Development Commission also included members from the County.

I expect that we’ll hear that the new Commission will be formed by expanding our current Planning Commission membership from nine (of which one seat is vacant) to 11 or 13 and fill the new slots with members moving over from the Sustainable Development Commission. The members of the Sustainable Development Commission that I’ve spoken to seem to be comfortable with this – they like the idea that the mission of their commission is now being “mainstreamed”.

6:30pm – Tree Plan Work Session

For the third time, we’ll meet jointly with the Forestry Commission to work on the tree plan, which streamlines regulation for trees within the City in one new code chapter to help accomplish the goal of growing our tree canopy from 26% to 33% of the area of the City (and provide a number of improve ecosystem benefits, including reducing the need for future capital investments in storm water management).

Key issues I’ll be focusing on are:

  • Do we really need to require permits for cutting (and replacement) of private trees (e.g., in YOUR backyard), or could an education and encouragement program get us the same benefits in a friendlier way at lower costs?
  • Do we need the additional staff the plan currently calls for? If so, how do we pay for them? It seems unlikely they would be a high priority for General Fund funding (the forestry program is under Parks, which is a General Fund bureau). If the real benefit here is in ecosystem services and storm water management, wouldn’t the Bureau of Environmental Services be a more likely funding source for this program? But my first choice would be to find a way to re-deploy existing staff differently to make the program work.
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