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Despite protests, commission upholds removal of redwoods

Original post made on Mar 28, 2019

Seven prominent redwood trees near the intersection of El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park are closer to facing the ax after a city commission voted Wednesday night (March 27) to uphold a decision that permits the property owner to cut them down.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 28, 2019, 1:39 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Happy Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Happy Resident is a registered user.

The fact is
"the waterproof barrier separating the parking structure from the trees is at the end of its useful life, has become degraded, and needs to be replaced to prevent further damage.."

The question is
"can it be replaced/repaired without removing the trees?"

The Answer is
"YES" but, at a "cost" that the owner of the property is unwilling to pay.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 28, 2019 at 8:23 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Happy resident:

are YOU willing to cough up the cost of replacing the waterproofing that saves the trees? Folks like YOU are happy to spend other peoples' money for your pet project. I'm betting if YOU owned this property you'd be pulling those trees to replace the waterproofing. It's simply amazing that all of these people that want to save these trees won't pull any money out of THEIR pockets to make it happen. Actually, it's not that amazing as many people are quite comfortable demanding other people spend money for whatever cause they see fit. Pull the trees and fix the waterproofing. The stupid trees shouldn't have been planted in that location in the first place. It was done because the trees were cheap and they grow fast, with no regard to the future consequences just to keep complainers happy.


Posted by Dennis Oliver
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 29, 2019 at 1:19 pm

I like redwoods too, but those should never have been planted that close to the building (or any building). Their root structure made this problem inevitable. Here's the Town of Portola Valley's recommendations for the placement of redwoods Web Link I have to wonder who designed the landscaping for this project.


Posted by Steve_J
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Steve_J is a registered user.

I agree with MV, put your money where your mouth is and pay for the additional costs wtg the trees in pace.


Posted by mike d
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 29, 2019 at 4:05 pm

I love trees too, but protesting the removal of Redwoods originally planted by the property owner in the ‘80’s is pretty lame. They aren’t, after all, an old growth grove of 1,500 year old trees. You want to protest something? How about the drivers that have a hard time parking between the lines in Draeger’s parking lot.


Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm

Menlo Voter,

Don't forget that when a resident in the Willows (318 Pope street I believe) applied to remove a Redwood Tree that 3 different arborists had said was a danger because of the split trunks and early signs of failure in the trunk, the Planning Commission and the Council denied the request and instead told the home owners that they had to take mitigating action that included topping the trees and adding cabling between the multiple trunks, something that was going to cost them a lot of money.

This was a tree that was deemed a safety threat by three different arborists. The 7 trees that have been approved for removal are not deemed to be a threat, in fact the only thing precipitating the removal is money and the cost of doing the work and saving the trees.

How do you reconcile the two different decisions by the planning commission and the city?


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 29, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Brian:

How do I reconcile it? I don't. The decision not to allow the removal of the tree(s) in the Willows was BS. Redwoods planted in the last 40 years are WEEDS. Most often they were planted because they were cheap and they grow quickly. Years later they become a problem because they grow too fast and were never appropriate for where they were planted.


Posted by Say no to menlo bullies
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 29, 2019 at 10:24 pm

It's [portion removed; don't attack other posters] bullies who push their weight (literally) and money around in MP to make life less pleasurable for all.

Menlo has become a hostile place where compromise doesn't exist, the loudest shouts call the shots and everybody barricades behind their treasure chests or hidden agenda.

Never mind that said bullies only know about that stinky green paper made out of weeds, but really don't know about real value of life.
SAD all around.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 30, 2019 at 6:25 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

say no:

I don't see you pulling any of that "stinky green stuff" out of your pocket to fix the problem created by trees that should never have been planted on property that doesn't belong to you. When you want to put YOUR money where your mouth is I might take you seriously.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 30, 2019 at 6:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Say no - You could propose that the City acquire the property from the current owner via a taxpayer supported bond measure and then the City could tear down the building and save the redwoods.

This would probably cost each MP property owner $3-5k per parcel. Worth it?


Posted by Sat no to Menlo Bullies
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 30, 2019 at 8:20 pm

Love it that my point is proven so eloquently.

Especially pay note to the fact that "investors" buy land with trees on it and then proceed to chop them down for monetary profit...aka to resell the property for a higher price without the "weeds".

Destroying Menlo Park and turning it into Menlo City, while living on tree-infested properties in Woodside and Atherton.

Really don't understand how these people sleep well at night (even in 800 cnt silk sheets).

But watch out, KARMA is a biatch.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 30, 2019 at 8:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

No -You could propose that the City acquire the property from the current owner via a taxpayer supported bond measure and then the City could tear down the building and save the redwoods.

This would probably cost each MP property owner $3-5k per parcel. Worth it?


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 30, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

say no:

The point that was proven so "eloquently" is that you want to tell the owners of property you have no interest in financially how they should manage their properties. How about if we come tell you what you can do with your property. Even if what we tell you to do costs you loads of money? Don't like that? Duh.

I'm betting you don't own property here or if you do you bought it about 50 years ago thinking nothing here would change. Guess what? You were wrong.


Posted by Mei Chan
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 31, 2019 at 5:16 pm

The trees are on CITY property.

The design flaw is in the building. It would take more money to fix the building in a way that saves the trees. But consider this:

The owner of the building, Matt Matteson, said at the EQC meeting that his family is very attached to the trees, and at the same time accused the tree defenders of being emotionally attached to them. One of the commenters at the podium said, "He has earned a lot of money from his businesses in the Bay Area. Maybe it is time for him to give back."

By the way he does not live in Menlo Park.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 31, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"By the way he does not live in Menlo Park."

So what? Almost all of the owners of commercial real estate in this town don't live in Menlo Park. What does one's residence have to do with the price of tea in China?


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 31, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The property is leased from the City.

If you take the position that the trees "belong" to the city then the City would be responsible for any damage that those trees causes.


I suspect that the trees were planted by the lessee and are therefore the responsibility of the lessee.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 31, 2019 at 7:41 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"I suspect that the trees were planted by the lessee and are therefore the responsibility of the lessee."

I'd be willing to bet the city REQUIRED the lessee to plant those trees. Regardless of how stupid doing so was.


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 4, 2019 at 12:09 am

[Posing as another poster is not allowed, so please stop if you want to continue posting on Town Square.]


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