Bay Area Stream Buffers:
Recent Regulatory Efforts and Next Steps


Bay Area Stream Buffers: Recent Regulatory Efforts and Next Steps

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005 afternoon session of
Conversations About Watersheds
Jan. 13-16, Building R. Merritt College, Oakland

An occasion for those who have a stake in the health of our watersheds and our communities to discuss obstacles and opportunities for Volunteer Stewardship in the East Bay and beyond. An invitation to anyone with an interest in local creeks and watersheds. This includes Creek and Watershed Organizations, Educators, Agency Staff, Scientists, Engineers, Developers, Neighborhood Organizations, Elected Officials, Corporate and Business Professionals, Design Professionals, Students, Community Organizers, Environmentalists, Community Gardeners, Landscapers, Fire Vegetation Managers, Naturalists, Planners, and others curious about creek-and watershed-related issues.


The East Bay Watershed Center and the David R. Brower, Ronald V. Dellums Institute for Sustainable Policy Studies at Merritt College, and the Watershed Project, Friends of Five Creeks, Friends of the Estuary,San Francisco Bay Joint Venture

This is the 3rd in a series of watershed gatherings initiated by the Joint Meeting of Bay Area Watershed Groups in 2002. This conference is an effort to close infrastructure and network gaps within the watershed community. The interactive format will prioritize time for conversation so that individuals, groups and agencies can talk to each other about their experiences and to work towards creating solutions.

This Video includes..

Robin Freeman, of East Bay Watershed Center, Bill Kier, of Kier Associates,
and President Evelyn Wesley, of Merritt College, Oakland.

What Setbacks Can and Cannot Do - Research Findings:
Kenneth Schwarz, Jones & Stokes

Buffers and the Law: Ellison Folk, Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger

The Portland, Oregon Experience: Two Steps Forward and One Back?
Jim Labbe, Audubon Society of Portland

Rocky Roads to Buffer Regulation:
Leslie Estes, City of Oakland Environmental Services; Craig Breon, Santa Clara Valley Audubon; Austin McInerny, Center for Collaborative Policy

Next Steps:
Roger Leventhal, Far West Engineering; Emmanuel Ursu, Planning Director, City of Orinda;
Mike Houlihan, Santa Clara Valley landowner; Juliana Rebagliati, Principal Planner, City of Santa Cruz.

Facilitated Discussion of Panel and Roundtable.
Moderator: Mary Selkirk, Center for Collaborative Policy

Craig Breon
, Executive Director
Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
McClellan Ranch Park, 22221 McClellan Road, Cupertino, CA 95014
408 252 3747 Voice; 408 252 2850 Fax

Craig K. Breon is the Executive Director of the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, where his work focuses on preservation of creeks, wetlands, open spaces, and habitats for rare fish and wildlife species. In addition, Mr. Breon teaches Environmental Law at Santa Clara University, hosts a public radio program focusing on local conservation issues, and chairs the Planning Commission in the town of Portola Valley. Previously, Mr. Breon has worked for the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara, the California Coastal Conservancy, and the California Environmental Protection Agency. He led the conservation community in passing the San Jose Riparian Corridor Policy in 1994

Mike Houlihan
, Families for Fair Government
FFG 325M Sharon Park Drive #701, Menlo Park, CA 94028
650-851-5945 Voice

Mike Houlihan, a former corporate finance professional and CFO, lives on San Francisquito Creek and represents Families for Fair Government (FFG) in the Water Resources Collaborative, a stakeholder group formed following attempts to increase setbacks in San Mateo County. FFG seeks to alert Bay Area residents whenever proposed unnecessary and harmful laws and regulations would takeaway home owners’ use and enjoyment of their property.

Ellison Folk, Partner
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP
396 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415 552-7272 Voice; 415 552-5816 Fax

Ellison Folk joined Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger in 1990 and is a partner with the firm. She received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, and also holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California Berkeley. Ms. Folk represents community groups, public agencies, and environmental organizations on a wide range of environmental and land use issues, including CEQA, the California Coastal Act, NEPA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and general plan and zoning law. Ms. Folk also advises and defends public agencies in litigation raising takings and related constitutional challenges to land use and environmental regulations.

Bill Kier
, Principal Kier Associates
207 Second St., Suite B Sausalito CA 94965

Bill Kier has been committed to stream protection work for nearly 50 years, beginning as a California Department of Fish & Game fisheries biologist and later environmental services chief. He was Assistant Secretary of the California Resources Agency and principal environmental protection advisor to the California State Senate for 17 years. He now heads Kier Associates, Fisheries and Watershed Professionals, and is senior science advisor to the non-profit Institute for Fisheries Resources.

Jim Labbe
, Urban Conservationist
Audubon Society of Portland
5151 NW Cornell Road, Portland OR 97210

Jim Labbe is a native of Portland with over 15 years of experience in environmental and natural resource planning in Oregon as a student, citizen, environmental consultant, watershed council coordinator, and
general Oregon enthusiast. For the past two and half years he has worked on local and regional natural-resource planning as Urban Conservationist at the Audubon of Society of Portland (ASofP). With roughly 10,000 members and over a 100-year history in the region, ASofP is one of the largest and oldest local Audubon chapters in the country, known for its pioneering work in urban wildlife conservation policy, education, and stewardship.

Roger Leventhal, P.E., Principal Engineer
FarWest Restoration Engineering
538 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, CA 94501

Roger Leventhal is an independent hydraulic engineer and fluvial geomorphologist specializing in creek and wetlands restoration. He has almost 20 years of consulting experience and has designed and built many restoration projects, including several located in the East Bay such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Wetlands Project in Oakland, the Oro Loma Marsh in Hayward, and the Codornices Creek Restoration Project in Berkeley. He is currently working for the City of Oakland to revise their creek ordinance standards and guidelines for creekside developments.

Austin McInerny
Center for Collaborative Policy
P.O. Box 2363
Berkeley, California 94702

Austin McInerny, Associate Mediator with the Center for Collaborative Policy, has managed a number of CEQA and NEPA compliance processes and has been a facilitator and process designer for a wide variety of development and environmental-restoration projects including habitat restoration/wetland construction in San Pablo Bay, flood control projects in south San Francisco Bay, expansion of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, habitat conservation planning along the northern California coast, management strategy development for the Agua Fria National Monument in Arizona, and the ongoing Upper Klamath Basin Working Group Restoration Planning Project. Working as a consultant to Napa County, McInerny assisted with the proposed stream setback ordinance development and review process that is the subject matter of his presentation.

Juliana Rebagliati,

Principal Planner, City of Santa Cruz
Department of Planning and Community Development
809 Center Street, Room 206, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Juliana Rebagliati, AICP, is a Principal Planner with the City of Santa Cruz, serving as the Environmental Coordinator for the City. With a background in biology and urban planning, her focus has been on coastal land use planning and policy. For the past 15 years she has worked for Monterey Area coastal jurisdictions.

Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D.
, Associate Principal
Jones & Stokes Associates
268 Grand Ave., Oakland CA 94610

Ken Schwarz is a senior project director at Jones & Stokes Associates specializing in California hydrology, geomorphology, and watershed management issues. For over thirteen years he has directed complex watershed projects that often involve competing flood management, land-use planning, erosion control, habitat conservation, and restoration concerns. He oversees technical analyses and modeling studies, coordinates watershed stakeholders and client managers, and works with regulatory agencies on project permitting. Ken is an active participant on the Science Advisory Panel for the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project. Formerly, he was the Director of Southern California consulting operations for Philip Williams & Associates and a lecturer at UCLA where he completed his dissertation on watershed and estuarine processes.

Susan Schwartz
(principal session organizer)
Friends of Five Creeks
1236 Oxford St., Berkeley, CA 94709

Susan Schwartz is president of Friends of Five Creeks, a volunteer watershed-restoration group active in North Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, and south El Cerrito and Richmond. In addition to leading work parties, walks, and public meetings; publishing an email newsletter; and advocating for watersheds in the group’s area, she has organized regional efforts such as past joint meetings of Bay Area creek groups. She is a former journalist, editor, and teacher of scientific writing, and is active in Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, where she initiated volunteer hands-on opening of undeveloped trail rights-of-way.

Mary Selkirk, Senior Mediator

Center for Collaborative Policy
1303 J St., Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95814

Mary Selkirk, Senior Mediator with the Center for Collaborative Policy, is the lead CCP facilitator in support of the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project and is working through the State Coastal Conservancy on a related Alameda Creek project. As a special consultant to the Executive Director of the CALFED Bay-Delta program from 1997-2000, Ms. Selkirk coordinated policy issues, agenda development, stakeholder outreach, facilitation of formal and informal stakeholder advisory groups, and strategic planning. She has developed and facilitated workshops and trainings on collaborative processes and currently co-teaches a course on Community Participation and Dispute Resolution at UC Davis extension.

Emmanuel Ursu,
Planning Director
City of Orinda
PO Box 2000, Orinda, CA 94563

Emmanuel Ursu has been Director of the Orinda Planning Department since November 2000. During his tenure, the department implemented and refined creek setback regulations. Because of Orinda’s steep and varied terrain and numerous watercourses, the City is currently further refining these standards to simplify the process and balance appropriate development with protection of riparian resources. Previously, Mr. Ursu worked as a contract planner for 11 years in the Los Angeles region with Willdan, a municipal consulting firm, providing contract-planning services on a variety of development projects for cities including Rancho Palos Verdes, El Segundo, Culver City, Malibu, Santa Monica, Calabasas and La Habra Heights.

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