tv [untitled] October 16, 2011 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
order, which has them take action consistent with the goal francisco. it required all of the departments, including the puc, to conduct an audit of our land that would be suitable for food producing land, and in april of this year, the san francisco board of supervisors passed the agricultural ordinance, which amended the zoning code to allow small-scale farming in areas previously deemed residential. since january of this year, we have been working closely with different partners and with commissioner vietor, the agricultural alliance, to work with us to tell us how the puc can better align itself with the city ordinance, and we did a quick assessment looking in city properties and at issues such as location, flexibility, lot size,
compatibility with other lands sizes and he uses, and impact, as we tried to figure out if there are some examples that we could move forward for this pilot demonstration around urban agriculture, and so through that process, we identify did college hill and the treatment plant, and the next step that we're proposing for you today is for you to give the general manager permission for the feasibility study of these two sites, that would look at things like limited liability, with secondary use, the benefits around that, looking at being able to easily disposed of the secondary use it to me before primary years, and then the hope would be that we would be able to come back to you all within six months after that feasibility study is done for more direction on how to move
forward, but, again, the puc has a history of doing small projects with growing food. we have not responded in detail to the city mandate around urban agriculture opportunities, and we are excited about this opportunity for property that we both need for use, but they are not being used at this and these potentially good opportunities for us to move forward on which to these projects. commissioner vietor: commissionercaen? commissioner caen: i am in support of this, but have we
decided it? my point is that we should also look at what other use these properties might hold for us, our approach to our last discussion, our, what did we call it, workshop, because i think that is important. i do not think we should specify certain land that we have without investigating all different sources of use of that land. but i am very much in favor of the concept of a pilot program. >> ok. president vietor: yes, i am very excited about this program, because we got the ok from the mayor, and we completed the audit, and there have been a lot of important steps. there is a lot of interest in urban agriculture and all we can do and all the value that
provide the round of job creation and life skills training and trinity benefit, and self-reliance and all of the issues that we have talked about in conjunction with an urban agriculture pilot program. you know, six months sounds like an awfully long time for me to do a feasibility study. >> we agree. and the general manager also agrees. commissioner: i would like to make a friendly amendment to shorten the time without burdening the staff, so i guess i would like to hear whether three months or 60 days would be overly burdensome, because i think there is a lot of good work going on out there where once this was done, important groups would come together to help move along, so that would be one friendly amendment that i
want to do it. and then i would also like to see if this could include not just food growing but other urban agricultural activities. i do know that some are here recently launched a food policy group. i know that one of the things that they are grappling with is the definition of what urban agriculture is and whether that would include things like bee keeping and some of the of the things already going on on puc lands, so whether it would be expanded to include other urban agricultural activities, to be defined, in the resolution, as part of the feasibility study. >> commissioner, the resolution does not specify a time. but in the item itself, getting
how fast it would get done, that is of the spring 2011 got in there. we can do it as fast as we can possibly do it. >> probably 90 days. president vietor: snow in the for the result, to determine whether this is a compatible use and to return within 90 days? so that would be my friendly amendment, and if there are other comments on that -- other comments on this item, and then we can open it up. commissioner moran: i support that. there is also the discount lease rates.
there is a question of what you hope that over time these enterprises will be able to not only provide food but also be economically sustainable, and that puts them into the realm of commercial enterprises at some point. we will need to wrestle with even though these people -- what is our attitude toward that? >> maybe that can also be included in the feasibility? president vietor5: -- vietor: what comes to mind is all of the marijuana growing. >> we represent the gardners.
>> maybe we can take this amendment and have some public comment? is there a second? so, public comment, please. >> good afternoon. i am -- the tender line -- tenderloin garden. president vietor: i am really impressed, thinking. >> my heart is really jumping with joy. you know, this plan will be turned into agriculture, like community garden. to tell you honestly, every day in my life, every day i am in the garden, people really admire the garden, and when i started working there, i am already 60
plus, i am a senior, i do my two hours working every day in the garden. my heart is really getting bigger every day, because people every day, they really love the garden, and they say "we wish we could have more gardens in san francisco, to speak so maybe this is the right time, and my heart is really jumping with joy when i learned from lorenzo, my supervisor. he said, "this is your opportunity to say what you want," because i am always shouting, especially with the citizens advisory council, and that there should be more gardens to be opened in the heart of the city.
since i acquired a job last year, we have already produced like 2,000 pounds of vegetables, and this went to the people, owners in the tenderloin. even the federal government people. so this is the right time maybe, and i appreciate the puc. the public lands, agriculture. one time we went to vernal heights. this is beautiful. i said this would be turned into a garden and produce more fruit and vegetables there. oh, my goodness. this will be a great help to the
community. only i said it is beautiful, but it is not beautiful because it is not coordinated. so we will put more time on making this land into agriculture. this economic crisis will be lessened. the opening of more gardens in our community. i think you. president vietor: thank you. >> we had the harvest in the community garden. it was produced free to the community. thank you. president vietor: i think this is the promise of the community gardens, to feed people who really need the food.
>> good afternoon. i am here representing the san francisco agricultural alliance, a group of volunteers representing both urban farmers and food policy people within the city of san francisco. we were very instrumental in working together closely, including the recent ordinance. first of all, i want to give a thumbs up on behalf of the alliance. we think this is excellent to look at the public benefit that can come from the public land. the puc has been really great about looking at what are these available land. -- lands. we are also very excited to continue working with the puc to look at more sites and more opportunities that are possible
usable for urban agriculture. we also want to support the motion to look beyond just vegetables for the definition of urban agriculture, as was just alluded to, that definition varies depending on who you talk to, and some given that and given that you have to come together on a definition, i just want to state again that the urban agriculture alliance is excited and working closely with you to bring the voice of the urban farmers who are ready to start farming and to start bringing produce into san francisco, and also wanted to put one more thumbs-up of the enterprise, the economic value and the jobs that could come out of this, the job training, not just for selling produce, but also because there are a lot of people in the urban agriculture
seen you are interested in other jobs such as water conservation, gray water systems. this is an incredible opportunity to really bring together not only water conservation, things that you are very familiar with, but also to bring in an urban agriculture to where we continue staying up at the front of the movement that we have begun in the city with urban agriculture, so thank you very much, and as an alliance, we really look forward to meeting with seawall and looking forward to how we can make this the best. >> thank you. >> thank you. hi, i am jesse. you often see me here representing the 12 acre trust, but today i am wearing another hatch. i represent one of the community farms. i have been a volunteer since it
started in 2010. i am here to testify to the incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm in the urban agriculture movement right now. this farm came into it existence because of the farm that we have been referencing, and right now, we are in the process of moving the farm. it is a slow process. it's sort of shows how well volunteers can work with the agencies. the property that we are on comedy team 0.2 acre lot in the valley, it was always planned to be sold to the developers, and we are in very friendly, happy negotiations with other sites, moving off of that land, but doing something amazing with it in the meantime, creating incredible community value, and also some other intangible value. we do produce a significant amount of food. we donate the food to people who are dealing with breast cancer
and distributed to people within our community, but beyond that, there are huge benefits to the city. i think this has put in on the map in a whole new way. it gets tons of press, tons of attention. i think it is a real benefit to the city. my favorite moment was the week when in the same week, we were in the sunset magazine as one of the top 10 parks in the country, not farms, but urban parks in the country, and that same week, the chief of staff for nancy pelosi asked if she could take a tour, because nancy pelosi was very interested to tell people that they had agriculture in her district. especially with these big projects. this has been one of the bigger projects in the city. it will be moving on from that site. we do not want the movement to get smaller. we are ready to take on new projects and see how this can change. thank you very much for
considering this proposal. we are really excited that the largest land owner in the city is making some of this land available for this incredibly important movement. thank you. >> what is the cost of running that garden? >> that is a good question. right now, it is a certain type of model, which is all volunteer run, and right now, it is being run about $1,000 per month. we basically did everything for free, and the whole thing was built out of garbage, recycled materials, things that were diverted from the waste stream. we do not sell it. we give it away, so we do not have a lot of monetary inputs or outputs, at this point, but this is only one model. it does show that you can do something very cheaply that there is that much volunteer energy. there are other ways. >> that used to be a freeway? >> yes.
lots of things he can do. president vietor: another interesting thing is this temporary use. there are things that are not active, and it may be an opportunity to do this. there are a lot of partners out there, farmers who are out there who could come in for one month or six months or two years until we make a decision and come in and formant and creates a benefit to the community as an interim step. that might be something we want to consider as part of the policy. >> we are trying to provide a good example of how that can work, the transition. we are really excited about continuing to get to do cool things. president vietor: thank you. >> good afternoon, the commissioners. my name is e. coli.
i am a manager. -- my name is eli. we look forward to engaging with you on these proposals. we will forward to looking over the proposal, and hopefully i will have more to say in terms of our position on it, but i think it is an exciting step to consider these things, so thank you very much. president vietor: thank you, and it is interesting that your group has stepped into this space, as well. >> hello, my name is lorenzo. della spoke awhile ago. i also work at the garden at the corner of castro. this year, we have a plan of expanding our gardens sides, -- sites, rooftop, so we are
planning on expanding. we were excited that we produced this year, about 2,000 pounds of food for the residents for free. we harvest but twice a month, every second and fourth week of the month, so tomorrow will be a harvest today for this garden. what the plan is to expand the garden, so the resolution for the pc land to be used hopefully for food production, we support it. we hope to be a part of this program. so, yes, our garden is being run it by one employee, but most of them are volunteers. this project is really awesome because it conquered its residents to one project.
they have a way for them to organize themselves. this would be expanded, and this would be great for the community. thanks a lot. >> thank you so much. >> david again. i really cannot say much more that you have not heard. just to speak very briefly to commissioner caen's point, and i think president vietor address to this, this would not preclude other long-term things. this could be adjusted short- term use, and the k2 valley farm region -- the haight valley farm -- in a way, it is a slow food movement.
this is a really exciting item. this item and the following item. i have been participating with the urban agricultural alliance for the past several months, and the thing i keep hearing over and over is that they do not not have people or tools. there is compass. they really need the land. and it is not that they need a large plots of land. it is a large number of small plots of land so that people can garden near where they live and make this part of the community, and i think this is actually part of the pc community involvement, so very much so. and whether or not you are agricultural folks or the other folks that we have heard from, it is a lot of different communities that can benefit from this, so i am very much looking forward to this is
ability study and this opportunity. president vietor: thank you very much. i also want to knowledge of the department of environment folks. i do not know if you want to say anything. she has really been the keeper. i want to invite you to say something if you like. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i want to thank you for hearing this item. it is exciting that the community is considering this work. as the largest landowner in san francisco, with the biggest barrier to gardening is access to land. this is been a great boon to agriculture in san francisco. i was taken on a tour of the site by a puc staff person, and it looks like a great site for
me as well. since we have had a lot of success in san francisco with community stewardship for public park project, engaging in other communities interested in a different type of gardening is a great way to increase our public access in san francisco. commissioner vietor: thank you. that was great. there's limited resources in the urban agriculture space, but thank you for keeping that going. any other public comment or commissioner comment? so we have a resolution ready for a vote that has been amended. all those in favor? suppose? motion carries. thank you all. next item please. >> item 16, presentation and discussion to authorize the general manager of the san francisco public utilities commission or his designee to execute on behalf of the city and county of sanford's his co- pilot water efficiency for community garden grant agreements with sfpuc water
retail customers for a community garden, urban agriculture, and nonprofit gardens in san francisco for an amount not to exceed $100,000 for fiscal year 2011-2012. >> good afternoon again. general manager for water. one of the things that puc is interested in ideas -- interested in is making sure our goals can be achieved. it is in the pc's interest that one of the cord and jones -- the pc's interest that one of the cornerstones of the project be that those be metered. -- in the pc's interest -- in the puc's interest. installations are not cheap in san francisco. what we are proposing is a pilot
program to provide funding to help make sure that meters are installed for community gardens, urban agriculture, and nonprofit gardens in san francisco. one of the things we found is that some gardens are connected off of an existing meter that has other uses, so we are unable to distinguish the use. additionally, some community gardens and nonprofits simply do not go forward because they have not got the capital to deal with the installation. they can pay for the water, but the meter cost is a hard point. the legislation would set aside $100,000 with an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each award. the awards would not actually be cash for the entity. it would be funding within the puc to install the meters and related service items. there is a program laid out
here where we would get applications. and move forward with installing meters as appropriate. >> do we have the staff employed already? do we have staff employed to do this already. was this part of our budget? >> we have staff that administers various grant programs. this was another simple one that we would just add into that. commissioner moran: the meters that we are installing -- are we creating new customers or new accounts? >> yes, there would be an account for each meter. commissioner moran: if i put a big garden in my back yard and had a separate meter, with that new meter be attached to my water bill? >> or moran, llc. it would be a separate bill for that matter.
commissioner moran: would it be the same -- are we doing a new class of customers? >> we are not doing in the class of customers, but we would be able to identify these particular meters and call out the data. we have not talked about creating a class. more of the billing class. that is something we could do in the future, but that is part of why this is a pilot program to honor the issues as we go forward. >> the wastewater would be different. commissioner moran: that would be very different. and if you got into a curtailment situation or a drought, the customer versus other customers. >> that is a good question. >> i was thinking along the same lines west of the resolution that it did not really address was the pilot was going to determine when some of what we might want it to determine is whether there should be any class of customers considered and whether there is additional
water use for these community gardens. i do not know what the set of data is or what analysis is of the pilot, but it feels like the pilot should be analyzed and presented for some future recommendation. >> yes, we can -- as we report back on exactly how the news is, we do have an irrigation class of customers. it is not aimed at community gardens. golf courses, for example, fall many times into irrigation uses. we could provide a mechanism for those particular issues and any others we honor during the process. >> do we need to do a brief friendly amendment that says, "and will report back to the puc on the efficacy of the