Regular Meeting of the Waterfront Commission

June 13, 2000

Hs Lordship’s Restaurant

Berkeley Marina




Roll Call


COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:            Cobb, Collignon, Kamen, Kawczynska, Minasian, Smith, Wolgast


COMMISSIONERS ABSENT:            Two vacancies


STAFF PRESENT:                             Marchetti, Smith, Gross


Call to Order


The meeting was called to order at 7:00.


1.         Public Comment


Mr. Steve Bales, a charter fishing boat operator, said that he and Cliff Marchetti had agreed to table discussion of staff’s proposed changes in the Marina Ordinance regarding the Bait Shop and its relation to charter vessels until after the end of the summer fishing season.


Mr. Steve Freedkin, the Nautilus Institute’s operations and finance director, spoke about the Nautilus Institute lease agreement for the office building at the Marina.  He said that Nautilus expected to move into the building at the end of the summer, and was planning to eventually purchase the building.


Mr. Lawrence Wolfsen of the Friends of Cesar Chavez Park said that the organization planned to cooperate with Mr. Santiago Casals in monitoring the off-leash area when Mr. Casals conducted his celebration of the summer equinox.


Mr. Ken McHale said that plans for the solar calendar appeared to locate it in a “pristine area” of Cesar Chavez Park.  He said that it looked as if it would involve building a structure on top of the clay clap.  He asked when the public would have an opportunity to discuss the plans for the calendar. 


Mr. Daniel Fernandez said that he had read an article in the examiner which implied that supporters of the off leash dog area were opposed to the solar calendar.  He said that the western ridge had been part of every public proposal for the off-leash area and was part of the city staff’s original proposal.  He said that any antagonism between the two groups comes from the solar calendar supporters “11th hour” insistence that the dog park boundary be pushed back away from the ridge.  He called for a public review of the solar calendar project.


Mr. Bernie Rose said that an environmental impact study should be conducted for the solar calendar project as was done for the off-leash area.  He said that the project involved several unknowns including the amount of dirt to be moved, size of the proposed structure and other environmental impacts.



2.            Approval of Minutes and Agenda


The Solar Calendar item was moved from information to discussion.  The Proposition 12 and Grant Funding of Marina Projects discussion items were combined.


3.            Approval of April and May minutes.


The April and May minutes were approved with minor changes.


4.         Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors nonprofit-in-lieu-of-fee status.


Ann Sieck, the commodore of BAADS, requested renewal of the organization’s nonprofit- in-lieu-of-fee status, and described her group’s activities at the Berkeley Marina. She said that BAADS has outings two to four times a month and offers services for area youth.  She said BAADS had participated in this year’s Berkeley Bay Festival.  She said that BAADS enjoyed operating out of the Marina.


Motion (Kamen/Minasian) Recommend to the City Council that it renew annual nonprofit in-lieu-of-fee status for BAADS.  The motion passed unanimously.


Motion (Smith/ Minasian) To skip the July meeting in order to accommodate staff and Commission vacation schedules.  The motion passed unanimously.


5.            Marina Ordinance


Motion:  Commissioner Kamen moved adoption of his modification of the Marina Ordinance that would allow charter fishing boat operators to voluntarily enter a binding agreement with the booking agent designated by the Marina, or to operate independently.  Commissioner Minasian seconded the motion.


Commissioner Wolgast said that he thought that the charter boat operators had already agreed to pay the 5% fee whether they used the services not. 


Commissioner Smith said that he thought a solution was relatively close and that the discussion among the stakeholders including staff should continue.  He suggested a facilitated discussion among the stakeholders including City staff.  He said that if parties could reach an agreement on how to proceed, he would be inclined to support it.


Commissioner Kamen said that it was his perception that the parties involved were not close to agreement.  He said there had been no representation of the charter vessel customers and that the Commission itself should represent their interests.


Mr. James Smith, a charter fishing boat owner, said that he had attended a recent meeting on the subject of the Bait Shop with Cliff Marchetti and that it was the best meeting that he had attended.  He said that the Bait Shop is not well operated and that he did not want to be forced to use it.


Commissioner Minasian asked whether the Bait Shop was so mismanaged that a facilitated discussion would not be fruitful.  Cliff Marchetti said that he thought a facilitator would be useful. 


Commissioner Smith said that he thought a facilitator such as Berkeley Dispute Resolution would move the process along.


Commissioner Wolgast said that the Commission was also seeking a long-term solution to the issue of the Bait Shop to include in an amended Marina Ordinance.  Commissioner Smith said the Commission would review any decision reached through facilitation. 


Cliff Marchetti said that staff would proceed with the changes to the ordinance that the Commission had voted to recommend but would not include its original proposal regarding the Bait Shop.


Commissioner Kamen withdrew his motion.


Motion (Smith/Cobb)  Recommend that staff seek a facilitated solution to the bait shop issue with the recognition that the city itself is a stakeholder.  The motion passed unanimously.


6.         Other Marina Ordinance Revisions


Commissioner Kamen proposed a definition of public and private docks.  Cliff Marchetti described a public dock as controlled and maintained by the City and private docks as controlled by a private entity such as the Radisson Hotel.  Commissioner Wolgast suggested that the private docks be listed in the Ordinance.  Cliff Marchetti said that the current private docks should not be included in the Ordinance’s definition because their ownership could change, but that they would be listed in the staff report to the Council that accompanied the proposed changes.


Motion (Kamen/Collignon) recommend approval of Commissioner Kamen’s definition of private and public docks as follows:


Private Dock:  A dock or berthing space subject to a lease or license agreement that gives an organization or entity other than the City of Berkeley long-term and exclusive control of the dock’s use.


Public dock: All regular monthly berths in the marina, plus other docks or berthing areas not under exclusive long-term control of an organization or entity other than the City of Berkeley.


The Motion passed unanimously.


Cliff Marchetti said the City Attorney would review this definition.


7.         Solar Calendar

The commission discussed the request by Mr. Santiago Casals to erect a temporary solar calendar in Cesar Chavez Park for celebration of the summer equinox and his plans to erect a permanent solar calendar.  Commissioner Collignon said she did not want to vote to grant permission for the structure to be repeated four times a year until the Commission reviews the first celebration.  Commissioner Kawczynska asked when Mr. Casals would be required to formally present a plan for the solar calendar project.  Commissioner Collignon said that Mr. Casals had visited some Council members and shown them an architectural model.  She said that at that time he gave estimates for the projects dimensions but did not have any written information.  She said that people who had written in support of the plan did not know the projects size.  She said there were people other than the Friends of Cesar Chavez Park and dog park proponents who believe the proposed location for the calendar is inappropriate.


Commissioner Minasian asked what the significance of the solar calendar would be.  Commissioner Collignon said that part of the funding for the project would probably depend on an educational component being included.  Cliff Marchetti said that the summer equinox observation was a minor installation.


The Commission decided to put the Solar Calendar on the August agenda as a discussion item and on the September agenda as an action item.


8.         The Budget


Commissioner Smith led a discussion of the Marina Budget, and reviewed his recent meeting with marina staff regarding the budget.  He distributed a spreadsheet projecting Marina finances over the next 20 years based on data provided by staff and on the Parks and Waterfront Department budget.  His projections included a sinking fund line item which he explained was meant to serve as an account for money for capital projects.  He said the idea of a sinking fund has still not been fully accepted by the city’s budget process.  His projections showed future negative fund balances and annual shortfalls in the out years.  Commissioner Minasian asked what caused the projected change in debt service between 2003 and 2004.  Commissioner Smith explained that old loans would be retired to be followed by new borrowing which would raise the debt service.


Cliff Marchetti explained that staff had asked the city council for permission to borrow $7,000,000 for dock and restroom replacement.


Commissioner Smith said that he would meet with Marina staff regularly and then update the Commission on the status of the marina budget.


9.               Planning Process for Dock Replacement


Cliff Marchetti said the Marina was planning to borrow money for replacement of some of the Marina’s docks, and that the staff would like to conduct informal discussion with berthers to gather their input.


10.            Planning for East Shore State Park Planning:


Commissioner Kamen said that he received a phone call from a Mr. Peter Weshler soliciting support for a grant from the Coastal Conservancy to Citizens for East Shore State Park (CESP) for a public outreach campaign for the creation of the East Shore State Park.  Commissioner Kamen said he later received a letter for his signature as a representative of the Berkeley Yacht Club supporting the grant to CESP.  He discussed his response to the Coastal Conservancy objecting to “the form, content and intent” of the letter.


Commissioner Smith spoke in support of Commissioner Kamen’s response.  He said that there were many good ideas that are not acceptable to CESP; that an open process should include discussion about the full range of ideas concerning East Shore State Park and that CESP is not the organization to conduct public outreach.


Commissioner Wolgast said he did not think CESP had sought to manage the process but that they had instead been asked to conduct the outreach.  He said the Commission should suggest an alternative organization to do the public outreach if it thought CESP was inappropriate.  He said the tone of Commissioner Kamen’s letter was accusatory.


Motion (Smith/Kamen) To forward Commissioner Kamen’s letter to the Chair and Executive Director of the Coastal Conservancy from the Waterfront Commission. Ayes: Minasian, Kamen, Smith, Kawczynska, Collignon; Abstentions:  Cobb, Wolgast. Noes: none; Vacancies: two.


11.            Occupancy Report


Commissioner Kamen asked that future occupancy lists better reflect the size, location and occupancy of the temporary berths.  Brad Gross said he would redo the occupancy report in time for the August meeting.



The meeting was adjourned at 9:30