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Palo Alto set to strengthen tree protection rules

City Council looks to prohibit removal of more native species

A tree at the intersection of Channing Avenue and Bryant Street in Palo Alto on Oct. 20, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Palo Alto famously loves its trees — as its namesake redwood, its official seal and its recently adopted Urban Forest Master Plan loudly and proudly testify.

But despite that passion, city laws that protect local trees are somewhat weak and outdated, a conclusion that residents and city staff reached more than three years ago, when they began an effort to update the city code. Planning staff struggle with the ambiguities in the city's code, particularly its failure to address situations where trees impact accessory dwelling units or neighboring properties. Neighborhood leaders argue that the laws are too permissive when it comes to allowing developers and property owners to remove trees as part of construction projects. City commissioners observe that other cities protect a wider array of trees than Palo Alto.

Bryna Chang, a member of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission, said she was surprised to learn recently that Palo Alto's tree protection laws are weaker than in neighboring cities.

"I was absolutely shocked that despite the great pride we take in our trees and the great pride we take in being a green and environmentally conscious community, we protect our trees far less than all of these neighboring cities," Chang told the City Council on Monday, as the council considered its first update of the tree protection ordinance in 20 years.

She was one of about two dozen residents, including environmental advocates, nonprofit leaders and neighborhood activists, who supported stronger protections. Some touted the environmental and health benefits of trees, particularly when it comes to sequestering carbon, supporting biodiversity and keeping neighborhoods cool. Almost all urged the council to expand the city's tree protection laws to be more aligned with surrounding jurisdictions.

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"As a resident of Palo Alto, it has been disturbing and heartbreaking to see residential lots in my neighborhood stripped of all vegetation, including beautiful large trees, prior to new home construction," Julianne Frizzell, a landscape architect who lives in Palo Alto. "Aesthetically and ecologically, removal of trees has a negative impact on neighbors, neighborhoods and the community."

A pedestrian walks by a large tree at the intersection of Cowper Street and Addison Avenue in Palo Alto on Oct. 19, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

While cities such as East Palo Alto, Redwood City, Sunnyvale list all species as "protected" once they reach a certain size, Palo Alto tree protection laws protect just three native species: the coast redwood, the coast live oak and the valley oak. According to the city's Urban Forest Master Plan, there are about 534 coast live oaks, 243 coast redwoods and 215 valley oaks in the public right of way, making these three among the most common city-owned native species in the city (that said, they are far outnumbered by imported species in the street-tree population such as the southern magnolia, which number more than 4,000 in Palo Alto; the city also has 2,832 London planes and 2,669 liquidambars).

Among the code changes that the city has been contemplating was expanding the roster of protected trees to more of the 22 native species that are listed in the master plan -- a list that includes the bigleaf maple, the California incense cedar and the California bay. The revised approach proposed by the ad hoc committee, which includes former Mayor Karen Holman, Parks and Recreation Commission Vice Chair Jeff Greenfield, planning Commissioner Doria Summa and community activist Winter Dellenbach, calls for designating as "protected" the two oak species that are currently listed as such and adding to the list the bigleaf maple, the California incense cedar, the blue oak and the California black oak, as well as the coast redwood.

Significantly, the revision would also lower the size threshold for protected trees. Public works staff has initially proposed protecting all trees that have trunk diameters of 36 inches or greater, while keeping a lower threshold for three native tree species that currently enjoy protected status: 18 inches for the coast redwood and 11.5 inches for the other species. A change proposed by an ad hoc committee called for a diameter threshold of 11.5 inches for native tree species and 18 inches for all other trees. Holman, who now serves on the board of directors at the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, urged the council on Monday to move ahead with the various revisions.

"With one action tonight, the council can positively influence more aspects of life in Palo Alto than virtually any other single action you can take," Holman said.

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Various environmentalist nonprofits, including Canopy, the Sierra Club and the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society also lobbied the city to strengthen its tree protection laws. Canopy noted in a letter that neighborhoods with street trees can be up to 6 to 10 degrees cooler than those without. Trees, Canopy argued, provide "a substantial return on investment and, even in times of drought and budget tightening, are worth their water and maintenance."

"The reasons for protecting and planting trees are clear," states the letter from Holly Pearson, a board member at Canopy, and Catherine Martineau, the nonprofit's executive director. "Among many other benefits, trees sequester carbon, combat the urban heat island effect, cool buildings, prevent soil erosion and stormwater run-off, provide wildlife habitat, and promote walking and biking on city streets."

'Aesthetically and ecologically, removal of trees has a negative impact on neighbors, neighborhoods and the community.'

-Julianne Frizzell, landscape architect and Palo Alto resident

While the council stopped short of formally adopting the code changes on Monday as many had urged, it sent a clear signal that major revisions are coming soon. Over a series of votes, the council directed staff to move ahead with an ordinance update that would reflect a host of revisions that align with recommendation from the ad hoc committee ofand its Policy and Services Committee, which reviewed the proposed changes in August. And in moves that further aim to raise the profile of local trees, the council also voted to elevate the urban forester position within the department and to designate the Parks and Recreation Commission as a forum for tree-related discussions.

In addition to broadening the list of protected species, the revision effort would introduce several other new policies. One aims to address what staff called a "loophole" in the code -- the more stringent requirements for removing trees as part of a development proposal than for cases not involving new construction. This creates an incentive for developers to remove trees in advance of an application, said Peter Gollinger, the city's acting urban forester. To address that, the add hoc group and the Policy and Services Committee proposed a 36-month moratorium on development for any property that removes a protected tree.

Another revision creates an appeal process for instances in which a protected tree is proposed for removal in the absence of a development application. With the change, the person removing the tree would have to notify all neighbors and property owners within 600 feet of the property in writing about the tree removal. Everyone within 600 feet will have the option of appealing the removal.

The revised ordinance will undergo reviews in the coming months by the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Architectural Review Board before returning to the council for approval in March or April. Mayor Tom DuBois and council member Lydia Kou both supported a faster timeline but ultimately acceded to the process laid out by staff, which includes additional outreach to the broader community.

"Proposed changes like significantly expanding the categories of protected tree species could potentially impact many or even most properties in the city," Public Works Director Brad Eggleston told the council. "While we know in our outreach process we never manage to reach everyone who might be interested, we do want as much as possible to avoid people being surprised when they learn that an existing tree on their property has become protected and that impacts what they're allowed to do."

Some council members supported a more deliberate approach. Council member Greg Tanaka wanted to know more about the costs of adopting and enforcing the new laws, as well as of raising the urban forester position in the City Hall hierarchy (he was the only council member who voted against elevating the position). Council member Alison Cormack also supported more outreach and analysis before deciding on expansion of the list of protected species. She and Tanaka both opposed DuBois' motion to modify the definition of "protected trees" to include any tree at least 15 inches in diameter (despite their opposition, the provision passed by a 5-2 vote).

"I am absolutely open to adding species to the list and potentially reducing the size of the diameter, but I am not comfortable this evening making those decisions," Cormack said. "I don't feel we've been presented with enough information to be confident in making those decisions."

Others favored faster action on what they characterized as a critical issue. While Cormack asked her colleagues what problem the city is trying to solve with the code changes, Vice Mayor Pat Burt noted that it's "not a single problem and it's not a single benefit."

"That's one of the great things about this," Burt said. "We simultaneously address noise and heat and air and water pollution and aesthetics and climate impacts and the natural habitat — even slowing of traffic."

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Palo Alto set to strengthen tree protection rules

City Council looks to prohibit removal of more native species

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 19, 2021, 12:29 am

Palo Alto famously loves its trees — as its namesake redwood, its official seal and its recently adopted Urban Forest Master Plan loudly and proudly testify.

But despite that passion, city laws that protect local trees are somewhat weak and outdated, a conclusion that residents and city staff reached more than three years ago, when they began an effort to update the city code. Planning staff struggle with the ambiguities in the city's code, particularly its failure to address situations where trees impact accessory dwelling units or neighboring properties. Neighborhood leaders argue that the laws are too permissive when it comes to allowing developers and property owners to remove trees as part of construction projects. City commissioners observe that other cities protect a wider array of trees than Palo Alto.

Bryna Chang, a member of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission, said she was surprised to learn recently that Palo Alto's tree protection laws are weaker than in neighboring cities.

"I was absolutely shocked that despite the great pride we take in our trees and the great pride we take in being a green and environmentally conscious community, we protect our trees far less than all of these neighboring cities," Chang told the City Council on Monday, as the council considered its first update of the tree protection ordinance in 20 years.

She was one of about two dozen residents, including environmental advocates, nonprofit leaders and neighborhood activists, who supported stronger protections. Some touted the environmental and health benefits of trees, particularly when it comes to sequestering carbon, supporting biodiversity and keeping neighborhoods cool. Almost all urged the council to expand the city's tree protection laws to be more aligned with surrounding jurisdictions.

"As a resident of Palo Alto, it has been disturbing and heartbreaking to see residential lots in my neighborhood stripped of all vegetation, including beautiful large trees, prior to new home construction," Julianne Frizzell, a landscape architect who lives in Palo Alto. "Aesthetically and ecologically, removal of trees has a negative impact on neighbors, neighborhoods and the community."

While cities such as East Palo Alto, Redwood City, Sunnyvale list all species as "protected" once they reach a certain size, Palo Alto tree protection laws protect just three native species: the coast redwood, the coast live oak and the valley oak. According to the city's Urban Forest Master Plan, there are about 534 coast live oaks, 243 coast redwoods and 215 valley oaks in the public right of way, making these three among the most common city-owned native species in the city (that said, they are far outnumbered by imported species in the street-tree population such as the southern magnolia, which number more than 4,000 in Palo Alto; the city also has 2,832 London planes and 2,669 liquidambars).

Among the code changes that the city has been contemplating was expanding the roster of protected trees to more of the 22 native species that are listed in the master plan -- a list that includes the bigleaf maple, the California incense cedar and the California bay. The revised approach proposed by the ad hoc committee, which includes former Mayor Karen Holman, Parks and Recreation Commission Vice Chair Jeff Greenfield, planning Commissioner Doria Summa and community activist Winter Dellenbach, calls for designating as "protected" the two oak species that are currently listed as such and adding to the list the bigleaf maple, the California incense cedar, the blue oak and the California black oak, as well as the coast redwood.

Significantly, the revision would also lower the size threshold for protected trees. Public works staff has initially proposed protecting all trees that have trunk diameters of 36 inches or greater, while keeping a lower threshold for three native tree species that currently enjoy protected status: 18 inches for the coast redwood and 11.5 inches for the other species. A change proposed by an ad hoc committee called for a diameter threshold of 11.5 inches for native tree species and 18 inches for all other trees. Holman, who now serves on the board of directors at the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, urged the council on Monday to move ahead with the various revisions.

"With one action tonight, the council can positively influence more aspects of life in Palo Alto than virtually any other single action you can take," Holman said.

Various environmentalist nonprofits, including Canopy, the Sierra Club and the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society also lobbied the city to strengthen its tree protection laws. Canopy noted in a letter that neighborhoods with street trees can be up to 6 to 10 degrees cooler than those without. Trees, Canopy argued, provide "a substantial return on investment and, even in times of drought and budget tightening, are worth their water and maintenance."

"The reasons for protecting and planting trees are clear," states the letter from Holly Pearson, a board member at Canopy, and Catherine Martineau, the nonprofit's executive director. "Among many other benefits, trees sequester carbon, combat the urban heat island effect, cool buildings, prevent soil erosion and stormwater run-off, provide wildlife habitat, and promote walking and biking on city streets."

While the council stopped short of formally adopting the code changes on Monday as many had urged, it sent a clear signal that major revisions are coming soon. Over a series of votes, the council directed staff to move ahead with an ordinance update that would reflect a host of revisions that align with recommendation from the ad hoc committee ofand its Policy and Services Committee, which reviewed the proposed changes in August. And in moves that further aim to raise the profile of local trees, the council also voted to elevate the urban forester position within the department and to designate the Parks and Recreation Commission as a forum for tree-related discussions.

In addition to broadening the list of protected species, the revision effort would introduce several other new policies. One aims to address what staff called a "loophole" in the code -- the more stringent requirements for removing trees as part of a development proposal than for cases not involving new construction. This creates an incentive for developers to remove trees in advance of an application, said Peter Gollinger, the city's acting urban forester. To address that, the add hoc group and the Policy and Services Committee proposed a 36-month moratorium on development for any property that removes a protected tree.

Another revision creates an appeal process for instances in which a protected tree is proposed for removal in the absence of a development application. With the change, the person removing the tree would have to notify all neighbors and property owners within 600 feet of the property in writing about the tree removal. Everyone within 600 feet will have the option of appealing the removal.

The revised ordinance will undergo reviews in the coming months by the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Architectural Review Board before returning to the council for approval in March or April. Mayor Tom DuBois and council member Lydia Kou both supported a faster timeline but ultimately acceded to the process laid out by staff, which includes additional outreach to the broader community.

"Proposed changes like significantly expanding the categories of protected tree species could potentially impact many or even most properties in the city," Public Works Director Brad Eggleston told the council. "While we know in our outreach process we never manage to reach everyone who might be interested, we do want as much as possible to avoid people being surprised when they learn that an existing tree on their property has become protected and that impacts what they're allowed to do."

Some council members supported a more deliberate approach. Council member Greg Tanaka wanted to know more about the costs of adopting and enforcing the new laws, as well as of raising the urban forester position in the City Hall hierarchy (he was the only council member who voted against elevating the position). Council member Alison Cormack also supported more outreach and analysis before deciding on expansion of the list of protected species. She and Tanaka both opposed DuBois' motion to modify the definition of "protected trees" to include any tree at least 15 inches in diameter (despite their opposition, the provision passed by a 5-2 vote).

"I am absolutely open to adding species to the list and potentially reducing the size of the diameter, but I am not comfortable this evening making those decisions," Cormack said. "I don't feel we've been presented with enough information to be confident in making those decisions."

Others favored faster action on what they characterized as a critical issue. While Cormack asked her colleagues what problem the city is trying to solve with the code changes, Vice Mayor Pat Burt noted that it's "not a single problem and it's not a single benefit."

"That's one of the great things about this," Burt said. "We simultaneously address noise and heat and air and water pollution and aesthetics and climate impacts and the natural habitat — even slowing of traffic."

Comments

Lydia Kou
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 9:08 am
Lydia Kou, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 9:08 am


Thanks to the two former Palo Alto Urban Foresters Walter Passmore and Dave Dockter, Canopy and the resident ad hoc group.

US cities are losing 36 million trees a year - CNN Health Web Link

Preserving trees and water are high priority for biodiversity.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 19, 2021 at 9:20 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 9:20 am

"Planning staff struggle with the ambiguities in the city's code, particularly its failure to address situations where trees impact accessory dwelling units or neighboring properties... City commissioners observe that other cities protect a wider array of trees than Palo Alto.

Bryna Chang, a member of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission, said she was surprised to learn recently that Palo Alto's tree protection laws are weaker than in neighboring cities."

Our "leaders" have been stalling tree protection long before ADUs were even an issue. Shame on their ignorance about what neighboring cities are doing. And shame on Cormack and Tanaka for proposing that city staff stall even more. When does Cormack NOT defer to staff rather than the evidence at hand that shows abuses by developers?

Some protections and procedures to review and appeal moves to chop down trees BEFORE they're cut down would be special. Some enforcement of these procedures and stiff penalties for violations are in order.

Thanks to those who are working so hard on this issue.


commonsense
Registered user
Professorville
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:53 am
commonsense, Professorville
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:53 am

The city should be planting oak trees, not just protecting them. Otherwise, eventually all of Palo Alto's will be gone. Presumably the city does not plant them because they take too long to grow large. We should plant oaks that future generations will enjoy and keep Palo Alto beautiful for years/100s of years to come. Redwoods grow like weeds, no worry there


Steve T
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:54 am
Steve T, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:54 am

A day late and a dollar short for the poor native tree that was at the VTA lot at the corner of EL Camino and Page Mill. For some odd reason the city okayed the cutting of this large and beautiful native Californian Oak Tree.


DebbieMytels
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:00 am
DebbieMytels, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

I encourage the staff and council to update the tree ordinance to protect ANY tree that has grown to at least 15 inches (as Mayor Tom DuBois proposed). Whether or not they are part of an "original" California ecosystem, these trees are part of our neighborhood life. They provide habitat for birds and insects; they provide shade and beauty; and, as we are learning from tree scientists such as Carolyn Simard, they are interconnected by their roots with the amazing underground network of fungal mycelia that transport nutrients and other biochemical information to neighboring vegetation. Every tree that is cut down diminishes our community. Cutting them down to add a bedroom or a driveway is an affront to their sacred being. Big old trees are our elders, and we must learn to treat them with the awe and respect they deserve.


Crescent Park Mom
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:20 am
Crescent Park Mom, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:20 am

There’s a proper place in Palo Alto for protected trees. Parks and other common areas…not postage-stamp sized lots.


jguislin
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:25 am
jguislin, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:25 am

The "deliberate approach" proposed by Tanaka and Cormack is nothing more than their typical attempt to delay any action that might slow development. Just like the tobacco industry, these council members always cry for "more data" before we can take any action that is opposed by business.
I suggest Staff and Council also look into modifying the regulations when someone violates our tree protection regulations. Our neighbor had some untrained gardeners hack our shared live oak. When brought to the attention of the city, a six year plan was put in place requiring the owner to restore the health of the tree. HOWEVER, if this property is sold, the requirement ends; the plan only applies to the current property owner (this per city attorney Molly Stump). The city needs to review the provision to make any city-mandated tree care plan apply to the property itself, so any future owner must follow through.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:34 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:34 am

One problem is redwood trees that are now sending out new growth at a very fast rate. There are a couple on the lot behind me that are near the power lines and are now sending branches through the lines and producing new growth. This has been discussed with the city and the neighbors that own the trees. They do not see the problem from their side but I see the problem from my side. Why are large branches allowed to interfere with the power lines when all that is required is to cut off those specific branches. I just paid big bucks to have my redwood tree on the street side "managed" so no unruly branches are not over the street or in the neighbors yards dropping all types of tree trash.
Power line protection is the main goal here - we do not need a "PG&E" situation in a R-1 neighborhood location. No one is saying take the whole tree down - just the branches that are now growing with a fury. Tree growth needs to be managed so that new growth is not interferring with the power lines. The AT&T, Comcast lines are at the midpoint where a lot of tree interference requires yearly management.
The city has to budget for this type effort - more important than pouring cement all of the streets to bump into.


plantfruittrees
Registered user
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:47 am
plantfruittrees, Greendell/Walnut Grove
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:47 am

On the other hand, sometimes a tree does need to come down, like the ailing redwood that had lifted my walkway 15" four feet from the edge of my house, with a lot of its roots under the house and an arborist warning that the tree was sick and could fall on our house.

It took well over a year to get permission, despite an arborist saying of course that has to go.

They eventually required we pay $350 to another arborist for a second opinion in writing because the neighbor wanted to hire the first guy's company. I don't in any way begrudge the second for his hassle, expertise, and time, but I did offer to simply send the city photos because the damage was so bad and the roots so close to our foundation and the case so obvious. They refused to accept them nor to come out to see for themselves. That makes no sense to me. (Their meter reader could have told them...)

I want to protect trees as much as anybody--I've added 17 to my property--and I miss that one very much. It was glorious watching a Cooper's hawk hunt from it.

But that redwood should have been protected 65 years earlier by being planted somewhere else, not at the very edge of their property where it was closest to our house. There was no question as to where it would grow and the damage it would do and it was a terrible thing to do to the people in its future not to mention the tree itself.

Plant. But plan ahead.

The city required the neighbors to plant a new native tree to replace it. They did, in a responsible place. It's growing nicely and it's a treat to watch it coming to be. I look forward to the hawks' grandchicks nesting there someday.


We Are The People
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 12:36 pm
We Are The People, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 12:36 pm

This is a problem in all Cities?
I attended an Atherton Council meeting a few weeks back.
Some one with "Clout" had a 60yr Old Tree Cut down! As it was destroyed, a Neighbor noticed that it had very little damaged on one Limb?
The person that instigated the "Cut down" didn't like that was sitting in the middle of a Street and they didn't want it there? They didn't want to have to drive around it. They are now spending over $8,000 to replace the Tree. The One concern Neighbor wanted to pay the extra and spend $12,000 for a larger size tree? She wanted a Larger Tree to replace the one that was killed.

There will always be Others that don't like something?
I have noticed that most people that don't want a Tree somewhere, its just because they can "Hate" it?
Some don't want the task of "raking" Leaves? Which I find Selfish. Tree's are good for the environment.

There was a East Palo Alto Council Meeting that address the saving of Tree's. It was noted that in City's similar to East Palo Alto also cut down Tree's. The city is going to make an effort in replacing vacant areas with Tree's with the help from "Canopy".
I agree with the person who spoke up about The New Construction of a House. With Our Neighborhoods changing, people that move in don't understand the

Traditions and comforts of the previous neighborhood.
I had a New Buyer tell me the reason they cut the Tree down, is because in Their Country they have "Bugs" in the Tree's??
The person that referred to having Trees on a "Postage stamp" Lot? Does it matter? A Tree is a Blessing. Its saving your life.
There are People that want to remove a Mature Tree, just to enable MORE parking or a NEW Addition. Which should be a LAST resource. Build around it.


Palo Alto Res
Registered user
Downtown North
on Oct 19, 2021 at 2:23 pm
Palo Alto Res, Downtown North
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 2:23 pm

The other problem is the city hires a third party who plants trees in the worst places. We have a corner lot and they came around and planted 2 more new trees on the city side of our property. That gives a total of 5 trees surrounding our property (not including the 1 huge tree on our property). That is 6 trees. 1 existing tree is next to a water meter & main, and cause pipe issues and the new tree planted is next to our 2nd water meter.

They planted a new tree inches from our 2nd water meter. Meanwhile our neighbor who cut down this huge city oak tree (illegally) not only didn't get a fine, but the city shrugged their shoulders and said, "meh too late now"

There needs to be some balance. There are streets with little trees and lots with absolutely no street trees, while some homes are surrounded by tremendous number of city trees.


Crescent Park Mom
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 3:19 pm
Crescent Park Mom, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 3:19 pm

Lets assume, for example, you have a Live Oak Tree in your backyard. The Live Oak Tree will eventually grow to have a 6 ft trunk diameter. The City of Palo Alto Tree Technical Manual states you can't build or pave anywhere within the dripline of a protected tree. This effects, not only the property it rests on, but also the surrounding neighbor properties that fall within the dripline. Based on the calculations in the Manual, that would mean almost 12,500 sqft of property can't be disturbed. Now suppose you also happen to have one of the city trees in your front yard. You aren't able to disturb any of the area within its dripline either. So if you happen to live on a small lot, you will be very limited in what you are able to do with your property unless you are prepared to go through a significant amount of red tape and expense. This applies not only to the owner of the tree but also any neighbors within the tree dripline who want to do something with their own properties someday.

I can't predict what I, my kids, or the next owners plan to do with my property but I do know I don't want to be boxed in by unnecessary rules regarding my small piece of dirt. A tree can easily be planted somewhere else.


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2021 at 3:55 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 3:55 pm

*NOT YET APPROVED*
8.10.50 Prohibited acts(d)
In the case of development requiring a project approval under Chapter 18.76 (Permits and Approvals), removal of a protected tree may be permitted if retention of the tree would result in reduction of the otherwise-permissible building area of the lot by more than twenty-five percent,


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2021 at 4:11 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 4:11 pm

The proposed new ordinance is more nuanced than might be thought reading the article. Some examples from Staff's Report to council:
TREE ORDINANCE RECOMMENDATION - HIGHLIGHTS
8.10.020 Definitions
(l) ”Protected” tree means:
(1) Six native low water-use trees, rather than two, will now be protected from removal if at least 11.5-inches in diameter, (36-inches circumference) at about chest height, except Coast Redwood.
(3) Any tree at least 18-inches in diameter, (57-inches circumference), other than invasive species or high water users.
2. PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BEFORE A PROTECTED TREE MAY BE REMOVED
(c) (2) On a single family or low density residential lot, If a protected tree were growing so close to proposed development that construction would result in the death of the tree, it could be removed if there were no financially feasible and reasonable design alternative that would permit preservation of the tree.


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2021 at 4:29 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 4:29 pm

NOT YET APPROVED*
8.10.50 Prohibited acts.
...except as allowed in this section:
(a)...is a detriment to or crowding an adjacent protected tree, is impacting the foundation or eaves of a primary residence,
(b) (2) the tree is within the buildable area and that the proposed construction would result in the death of the tree, or
(3) the tree should be removed pursuant to subdivision (a).
(e) Tree replacement....except in the cases of crowding an adjacent protected tree or impacting the foundation or eaves of a primary residence,


cmarg
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 19, 2021 at 7:15 pm
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2021 at 7:15 pm

Please consider protecting the trees on the Castilleja campus.


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