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Woodside: Council halves fine for three trees felled without a permit

Original post made on Jun 26, 2014

It has become a familiar pattern. A Woodside resident comes to the Town Council to appeal a five-figure fine for having felled mature trees without having first obtained a permit, and the council reduces the fine.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 26, 2014, 9:53 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Margo
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm

It seems to me the issue here is whether the bay laurel trees are in fact causing SOD. If they are, the various towns should be making a decision. Do they want to save the oaks or the bay laurels. If the BL's are the culprit and the decision is in favor of saving the oaks (which would be my vote) then the towns should be actively moving to remove the BL's. Perhaps the Dorsey's should have a hand slap ($100) for not getting the permit, but IF they moved to save their oaks they should be commended, not vilified for not following some administrative procedure. One wonders why Woodside has not reconsidered this ordinance. If they continue to ignore it, does it mean they are incompetent, negligent, or... The first thing to do is find out about the bay laurel---SOD conection, if any

Posted by csafai
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Here we go again; Woodside City Council enforcing an ordinance that is protecting a private and public nuisance; And depriving constitutional ownership rights of its citizens to protect and enjoy their properties. The ordinance must go.

Posted by Trufant
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jun 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

The science proving that Bay Laurel trees are carriers of SOD is unequivocal. They are a perfect host. The organism thrives in Bay trees without significantly damaging them. Maybe M/m Dorsey when to about it in the wrong way , but they clearly took the right action to protect their oaks and those of adjacent residents.

Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Jun 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

Important point: Mayor Dave Burow noted at the June 24 council meeting that unlicensed contractors who cut down bay laurels may not be aware of the importance of sanitizing their equipment. It can carry the microbes, which are hardy.

The wood should be left on-site, and shoes, vehicle tires, and pets are all potential carriers, according to the California Oak Mortality Task Force.

Posted by Just curious
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Perhaps some punishment for the people who actually cut the trees down would help encourage compliance with the permitting process. If word gets around that your business will get fined if you take the job without a permit, at least some operators will ask questions first. Those who don't, and get caught, might smarten up in the future.

Hard to tell from the article, but is it possible to get a permit to remove mature bay laurels? If permits just aren't given, or are unduly burdensome to obtain, I can understand why some might cut without them, but if it is just a matter of getting a professional arborist to justify why removing the trees is a good thing, I don't see the issue.

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