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Re: Heritage tree ordinance changes

From: domainremoved <Cat>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:15:38 -0800


Many thanks for your thoughtful letter, and your concern about our trees! I am glad that Mr. Bonner sent the numbers to address your question. In the two years I have been on the council, we have turned down both private homes cutting down trees as well as developments who wanted to cut down many dozens of trees. We are also working to ensure that the updates to our rail system don’t cause harm to the trees about the rail road tracks.

We do care a great deal about the trees in Menlo Park, and are starting a program to plant more trees throughout the city (in addition to revising the heritage tree ordinance). Part of this program includes a new tree necklace that will soon be available (from KC Goldsmith in downtown Menlo Park), with the proceeds going to a group who will ensure trees are planted in areas of Menlo Park where they are needed. If you are interested in being involved in the group, let me know and I would be happy to send you the information.

All the best,


Catherine Carlton
Mayor, Menlo Park
Mobile: 650-575-4523

> On Dec 18, 2014, at 9:04 AM, Bonner, Christian R <crbonner_at_(domainremoved)
> Hi Naomi,
> Thank you for your interest in the review of our Heritage Tree ordinance. The intent of the review is to assure the ordinance is effective in maintaining our large population of significant trees in Menlo Park.
> Each application for removal is evaluated individually in order to guarantee that a conscientious decision is being made to determine if it falls within the parameters of the ordinance for removal. It can be a significant challenge to balance the necessity of safeguarding property and the needs of home owners with determining if substantial trees are appropriate for removal or retention. Nonetheless, we make every effort to evaluate each tree on its merits and make thoughtful decisions in order to conserve the city’s valuable Heritage Tree resource.
> We are currently in the process of updating the 2013-2014 Heritage Tree removal information on the city web site. In the meantime, I have attached a summary of all Heritage Tree removals and denials for the last 3 years as well as a graph depicting the purpose for removal when approved.
> Regards,
> Christian Bonner, City Arborist
> City of Menlo Park
> 650-330-6793
> From: Naomi Goodman <nlgoodman_at_(domainremoved)
> Date: December 17, 2014 at 11:06:53 AM PST
> To: _CCIN <councilmail_at_(domainremoved)
> Subject: Heritage tree ordinance changes
> I support the increased fines for heritage tree removal described here: http://www.almanacnews.com/news/2014/12/17/tonight-changes-to-menlo-parks-heritage-tree-ordinance <http://www.almanacnews.com/news/2014/12/17/tonight-changes-to-menlo-parks-heritage-tree-ordinance>.
> However, the city also needs to improve transparency into this process. The information on tree removal approvals on the city website is from 2013. http://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/836 <http://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/836> . How many applications are rejected? Given the number of recent rebuilds where the lot has been scraped to bare dirt, I can only assume that the city is rubber-stamping applications.
> <EQC mtg 10 22 14 Trees_017.pptx>
Received on Thu Dec 18 2014 - 12:09:49 PST

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