Regular Meeting of the Waterfront Commission
April 12, 2000
Chair Kawczynska called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
2. Roll Call
Commissioners Present: Cobb, Kawczynska, Minasian, Smith, Wolgast, Collignon
Staff Present: Marchetti, Smith, Murphy, McMillan, Donald
3. Public Comment
Ms. Michele Trahan spoke in support of the mayor’s proposal to relocate and rededicate the flagpole at Aquatic Park to Berkeley’s first female mayor, Carrie Hoyt.
Rebecca Hausmann introduced the Cal Sailing Club’s new Vice Commodore, Ms. Malu Lujan.
4. Approval of the Minutes and Agenda
The agenda and the minutes of the March 2000 meeting were approved with the following corrections to the minutes: (1) Under future agenda items, it was noted that Commissioner Minasian had asked that the Commission discuss several California Code sections pertaining to fines for littering; (2) The discussion of the Bait Shop was corrected to note that the lessee, Mr. Dennis Deaver, said that when booking passengers he favored those boats who had been at the Marina longest (3) The discussion of the bait shop was corrected to note that fishing vessel owners, including two who preferred not to work through the Bait Shop, had agreed to pay the 5% booking fee.
5. Renewal of nonprofit-in-lieu-of-fee status for the Nautilus Institute and Cal Sailing
Mr. Peter Hayes, Co-Director of the Nautilus Institute, requested renewal of the nonprofit-in-lieu-of-fee status for the Pegasus vessel. He said that the Pegasus had delivered on its commitment to conduct safe educational voyages for a diverse Bay Area youth population, including at risk youth, in collaboration with the Shorebird Nature Center and other partners. He said that the Pegasus’ crews were formally trained and had a high level of commitment to safety. He said that a new program this year for teens at risk would send one teenager to a six-week science at sea program in Massachusetts.
He invited the Commissioners to participate in a sail.
Ms. Malu Lujan of the Cal Sailing Club requested renewal of the Club’s nonprofit-in-lieu-of-fee status. She said that Cal Sailing provided low cost and free community access to sailing on the San Francisco Bay for the general public (including homeless people), sailing lessons for youth and community groups and training on safe boat handling. She said the club’s members did extensive youth outreach and offered hundreds of free sailing lessons annually. She said that club membership was broad based, with Berkeley residents constituting 40% and the rest of the membership coming from other Bay Area communities.
Commissioner Smith said that the Marina was extremely fortunate to have the presence of the Nautilus Institute and Cal Sailing. He moved approval of their requests for renewal of their non-profit-in-lieu-of-fee status. Commissioner Wolgast seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
6. Security at the Marina
Berkeley Police Officer Ed Galven updated the commission on criminal activity at the Marina. He said that arrests had been made in the case of recent robberies at the Marina. He said that the defendants were members of a Richmond based gang and that they had self identified as gang members. He said that more recently a rental car and a yacht club employee’s truck had been robbed.
Commissioner Minasian asked whether the nighttime car camping near the Marina contributed to criminal activity. Officer Galven said that people who camped in their cars littered but generally did not commit larcenous or violent crimes.
Commissioner Minasian asked whether East Shore State Park or the City of Berkeley had jurisdiction over Frontage Road. Galvin said the jurisdiction was still not clear but that Park Police and Berkeley Police work closely with each other.
7. Food Cart at Cesar Chavez Park
Ed Murphy reviewed the commission’s past action to locate a Food Cart at Cesar Chavez Park. He said that the Request for Proposal had resulted in the selection of Mr. Tekla Nuweh. Mr. Nuweh said that he had been refurbishing his cart, creating a menu and that he hoped to open on Memorial Day weekend. He said he would start by opening for breakfast and lunch, and might stay open in the evenings during the summer months.
8. Straw Bale Building.
Patty Donald distributed information on the Nature Center’s straw bale building. She said she had solicited contributions from the general public but had not received a lot of money. She said that to date she had received the following funds from institutional donors:
$60,000 Alameda County Waste Management Authority
$5,000 West Berkeley Foundation
$25,000 Lawrence Berkeley Lab and the Department of Energy;
$50,000 California Integrated Waste Management Board
$4,800 City of Palo Alto
$2,500 the Strong Foundation
$15,000 City of Berkeley.
She said she hoped to receive a grant from Home Depot and to break ground in July.
9. Frontage Road
Mr. Bob Pickens, co-owner of Seabreeze Market, said that he sees the same 40 or 50 vehicles parked along Frontage Road every night. He said that he recently saw one vehicle up on jacks for two weeks. He said that he has seen people change oil and do other work on their cars, and that he suspected that the oil was thrown in the bay. He said that recently he has noticed city clean up activity once a week along Frontage, but that the garbage reappears quickly. He said that the Park District had posted signs banning camping and that they had deterred littering until they were removed.
Commissioner Smith said that part of the problem is the confusion over jurisdiction. He said that if it were certain that the State Park had jurisdiction along Frontage Road they could be asked to put the signs back up.
Commissioner Minasian said that California Penal Code citations allow a maximum fine of up to $1,000 for a first littering offense for misdemeanor. He said that it might not be primarily the homeless doing the dumping. Officer Galven said that when he checks license plates, the cars are frequently registered with non-Berkeley addresses.
Officer Galven said that it was hard to make arrests for littering, because people don’t litter in the presence of police. Commissioner Cobb said that it would be easier to prohibit parking. She suggested making a presentation to the City Council on the issue. She said that the City should consider creating a place where people can sleep in their cars away from the waterfront.
Commissioner Collignon said that the litter problem would not improve unless parking was prohibited which would happen when the Bay Trail is built and that in the meantime replacing the signs should be considered.
Motion: (Smith/Cobb) Recommend that the City Council use Ordinance 38 for the installation of signage in consultation with East Shore State Park, and that this be done as quickly as possible.
Cliff Marchetti suggested that each commissioner speak with his or her council member regarding littering and dumping along Frontage Road.
10. Aquatic Park Projects
Living Wall: Heather McMillan updated the commission on the living wall project. She said that the Caltrans redesign which included piles underneath the structure and a retaining wall had raised the project’s cost by a third. She said that the City Council had asked the Seismic Technical Advisory Group (STAG) if the Caltrans plan’s cost could be reduced. STAG recommended against the piles and retaining wall. She said the City Council had agreed to ask Caltrans to modify its design to reflect the STAG’s recommendation; to request that the CMA Board ask the California Transportation Commission to extend the project for 20 months; and to commit to securing supplemental funds to ensure a minimum length of 3,100 ft. Commissioner Wolgast asked if Caltrans had responded to the STAG’s findings. Ms. McMillan said they had not yet responded. Commissioner Cobb suggested that the City request assistance from its state representatives.
Habitat Restoration Grant Project Update at Aquatic Park: Ms. McMillan said that Non-native plants had been removed from the planting areas including three trees. She said that native plants were to be planted in May and that the irrigation system should also be in place by the end of May.
I-80 Overpass : The Commission discussed the shortfall in funding for the I-80 Overpass. Commissioner Wolgast said that he was opposed to the lighting of the suspender cables and the “over design” of the eastern touch down site. He said that the raised sidewalk is a mistake.
Motion (Smith/Minasian) to recommend that the City Council fully fund the I-80 pedestrian overcrossing as originally pledged. Option 3 as presented by staff in their January 3, 2000 report should represent the minimum essential project. Ayes: Smith, Minasian, Cobb, Kawczynska, Collignon; Noes: Wolgast Absences: Kamen.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.