News

Trees back on county supervisors' agenda

Meeting Tuesday morning

In response to a plea from Menlo Oaks residents who said their neighborhood's trees are disappearing at an alarming rate, San Mateo County's Board of Supervisors will consider tightening up the county's tree regulations when the board meets Tuesday morning, Sept. 20.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the supervisors' chambers, 400 County Center in Redwood City. The item is number 8 on the agenda.

In July the board considered a request for an emergency tree ordinance from residents of Menlo Oaks, an unincorporated Menlo Park neighborhood east of Middlefield Road and north of Willow Road, who said their neighborhood's namesake oaks are disappearing because of new construction.

The board didn't adopt an emergency ordinance, which would have gone into effect almost immediately, but instead asked county employees to come back with proposed changes to the existing tree laws.

A staff report from Community Development Director Steve Monowitz asks for changes in the regulations for "significant" and "heritage" trees in the county.

Among the proposed changes is a requirement for a plan showing all existing trees when any permit that involves grading or demolition is requested, and a tree protection plan for any permits that might affect significant or heritage trees.

The proposal also calls for a review by an independent arborist when a tree-removal permit is requested, and stricter penalties for taking out trees without permits.

See the staff report and a copy of the proposed law on the county's website.

Also on the agenda, immediately after the tree regulations, is the appeal by a Menlo Oaks homeowner of the denial of a permit to remove a large oak near new construction. Local residents, who successfully asked for the permit to be revoked in January, say they will no longer fight to keep the tree after seeing reports from independent arborists who say the tree is diseased and dangerous.

Meetings are webcast and can be found through the county's website. Videos of meetings are available on YouTube.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Park Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 19, 2016 at 11:33 pm

The city government should conduct a lottery to where 20% of the current homeowners will have their houses demolished in order to restore those properties to pristine forest lands. If they don't want their houses demolished they could pay an in-lieu reparation that will be used to plant trees elsewhere. After all, it is the current housing stock and development from the 1950's-70's that destroyed most of the trees. These homeowners need to pay.


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