PG&E says hundreds of trees near gas pipelines may be removed

Nearly 1,400 Menlo Park and Atherton trees to be examined

More than 130 Menlo Park and Atherton property owners should soon receive letters from Pacific Gas and Electric saying up to 1,400 trees near PG&E gas transmission pipes on their properties may need to be removed as safety hazards.

The program has drawn criticism from local officials, including Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman, who is featured in a PG&E mailer about the program, and from members of the Atherton City Council. The Menlo Park City Council is due to be briefed on the program on Aug. 25.

PG&E plans to remove trees in Palo Alto, Woodside and Portola Valley next year.

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2 people like this
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm

"According to a brochure prepared by PG&E about what it is calling a "community pipeline safety initiative," trees and shrubs and plants with woody stems, such as manzanita and juniper, should be at least 10 feet away from a gas pipeline, while "larger trees" need to be at least 14 feet away. That means property owners could be asked to remove trees from a 28-foot-wide swath of their property.

Structures, including buildings, solid fences, pools, hot tubs, patios, decks and gazebos, also must be removed if they are above the pipeline, the brochure says."

Looking at where pipelines are in Palo Alto, this impacts large portions of south PA, including Charleston, Middlefield, Cowper, Waverley, Page Mill and so on. Heads up everyone!

1 person likes this
Posted by member
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Is this because PG&E cannot, or will not insure the safety of it's pipeline integrity and workmanship? And as such needs a buffer zone devoid of life to minimize the spread of fire and explosion?

Like this comment
Posted by Lois
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I'm definitely in favor of this. If PG&E wants to removed the cedar tree in my front yard I'm all for it, rather they pay for it than me.

1 person likes this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm

What some people may not realize is that PG&E, as well as CPAU, has easement rights where there pipes run...or in the case of CPAU, overhead or underground power lines, gas lines, water lines, etc.

If you plant in an easement (or build a structure such as a deck, shed, BBQ, etc.) or encroach on an easement, the utility companies can make you remove the plants/structures at your own expense.

A word to the wise is to pull out your title reports and review the map/plat of your property. Better to be proactive in managing the situation before it becomes a problem.

1 person likes this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm


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