Woodside: $212,500 tree-cutting fine is paid in full

Town's budget surplus doubles with payment of fine

The $209,000 budget surplus for the town of Woodside has more than doubled with the cashing of a check for $212,500, delivered to Town Hall by hand on June 22.

The Town Council on June 14 assessed the $212,500 fine against Rudolph Koppl, the former owner of an undeveloped property at 205 Mountain Wood Lane, for the felling of 22 significant trees on his property at without having first obtained a permit.

Mr. Koppl no longer owns the property but admitted, through his attorney, that he was the owner when the trees were felled and that he violated the town's municipal code. He appealed the fine to the council, which upheld the penalty.

Town Manager Kevin Bryant confirmed receipt of the check, that the money goes to the town's general fund, and that it doubles the surplus projected for the 2016-17 budget year.

At the end of the June 28 council meeting, Councilwoman Anne Kasten raised a question for later discussion: taking money acquired in defending the town's core values -- in this case, respect for the environment, for the structure of the town and for its trees -- and using it for "something that would be really special for the town, that reflects the values of the town."

Improving safety for pedestrians would be an example, she said.


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Dave Boyce


3 people like this
Posted by Stary Family
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jul 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Cannot agree enough with Councilwoman Kasten's suggestion to allocate the funds to improving pedestrian safety, particularly children's safety!!

2 people like this
Posted by Plant trees
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Since the fine was for cutting down trees, many would advocate using the funds to plant new trees in public places!

Barkley Park is hot and shade free.
Canada road has some trails with no trees, and ugly highway views.
The school lost a couple heritage trees this year, and could use replacement by the playgrounds or the baseball visitor seating

Plant trees!

2 people like this
Posted by Nathan
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2016 at 5:58 am

That is a massive gain for city hall but at the same time was Mr. Koppl even aware or given instruction that he could or could not fell the trees. It was his property at the time that the trees were located on? If there is no reason to touch a tree by way of felling or removing then that is to be respected. Trees give so much to our community and life. We have to respect mother nature for sure. Tough call for Mr. Koppl but hopefully the city will do something constructive with the money.Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2016 at 7:57 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"was Mr. Koppl even aware or given instruction that he could or could not fell the trees. "

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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