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Palo Alto passes law to protect more trees

Original post made on Jun 8, 2022

Seeking to preserve the city's urban forest, the City Council roughly tripled the number of trees classified as "protected" and to impose new requirements for developers seeking to remove them.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 9:18 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2022 at 3:03 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Very happy to see news of expanded protection of heritage trees. One of the main reasons I bought a home here many years ago was that all the mature trees reminded me of where I grew up in Ohio. Before moving here I lived in Sunnyvale and definitely did not notice such a thriving canopy of trees.


Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2022 at 3:36 pm

felix is a registered user.

Thank you to the 5-member of Couniil who voted for this updated ordinance (Cormack and Tanaka voted no). This was a wise decision for the current and future sustainability of Palo Alto. As Greer Stone said, 'A tree saved is a tree planted."

The representative from Stanford seems happy with cities with weaker tree protections than we now have. The cities seem to adequately bend ("discretion") to her wishes, but now she complains that ours won't. She is mistaken - our updated ordinance does allows for staff discrestion, but it is insistant that tree protection comes first and includes many more trees than before.

As for Stanford's other develpment-centered complaints, a former long-time Planning Commissioner has dismissed them as mostly spurious.

The ordinance does, of course, allow tree removal - there are good reasons to remove them at times, but the point is there must be a good reason as found in the ordinance.

This ordinance update had 7 public Council and Sub-committee, Commission, Boards or Communty Meeting reviews over a 14 month period, yet Stanford never revealed it had issues until the Monday's Council meeting. If nothing else, Stanford Research Park gets an "F" for turning in its work late.


Posted by PaloAltoVoter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2022 at 4:52 pm

PaloAltoVoter is a registered user.

What I understood from the meeting is that Palo Alto’s update puts it directly in line with other cities who already protect all tree that are at least 15 inches in diameter. I do see many trees cut down when someone buys a new home and perhaps wants a larger yard - some seem to disappear without reason. Thank you council! Too bad the alliance of Tanaka and Cormack couldn’t see their way to joining the rest of council on this one.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Many trees are dying due to lack of water. One in a nearby front yard which has been turned into drought friendly plants is obviously suffering from lack of water. There have been several trees that dropped branches or split due to lack of water.

I love trees, I love lawns and real plants. They keep the temperatures lower and provide shade and habitat for wild creatures and birds. However, they do need to be kept watered.


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 13, 2022 at 8:25 am

Chris is a registered user.

Tanaka and McCormick are enemies of the trees. Let it be known and not forgotten.


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