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Community Invited to Give Input on Tree Protection Ordinance

The City Council meeting will be held on May 19.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy and the San Leandro City Council announced today that community members are invited to attend the City Council meeting the evening of Monday, May 19th and provide comments regarding a proposed Tree Protection Ordinance.  The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 835 East 14th Street in downtown San Leandro, beginning at 7:00 pm. 

San Leandro is unique among many Bay Area communities in that it does not presently have adopted tree protection regulations.  Following the removal of a very large heritage tree by a private property several months ago, community residents from the Mulford Gardens neighborhood petitioned the City Council to consider adopting new regulations that would provide citywide tree protection measures.

The draft ordinance would apply to the removal of larger trees (defined as "Protected Trees") on private property, which meet any of the following criteria:
  • Any live woody plant having a single perennial stem of 18-inches or more in diameter;
  • Any multi-stemmed perennial plant having an aggregate circumference of 40-inches or more, measured 4½ feet above the natural grade;
  • Any tree of particular historical significance specifically designated by official action;
  • Any tree that is part of a grove of three or more trees that provide integral cover.
If the draft ordinance is adopted by the City Council, property owners seeking to remove a protected tree first would need to apply for a tree removal permit with the Public Works Director to demonstrate that the tree poses a danger, or is generating significant impacts to the property. A tree appraisal report also would be required as part of the permit application.  Normal maintenance pruning of protected trees would not require a permit.  Under the draft ordinance, any property owner who removes or destroys a protected tree without first securing a permit would be subject to civil penalties based upon the assessed value of the tree. 

For additional information about the draft ordinance, please contact the Department of Public Works at (510) 577-3440. For community residents interested in filing formal comments on the draft ordinance, please contact the City Clerk's Office at (510) 577-3367 or mhanda@sanleandro.org. 

—Information submitted by City of San Leandro
Allan Lindsay-O'Neal May 17, 2014 at 02:41 AM
Oh, please: stop with the enviro-babble. You want to save the trees and government wants to expand it's reach, so when a useful idiot comes along sobbing about the environment, the next thing you know government is using the environment as an excuse to assault private property rights. Thanks a lot, Gerd, thanks for helping dismantle what's left of our rights.
djs May 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Dear Allen, if people were better neighbors, stewards of the earth, and people, we would need no laws at all. But with people like you around who think it's your right to do whatever you want, regardless of the effect on others, these laws become necessary. Rights, whether personal or property, stop where the boundary between your rights and others' rights is violated. Smoking and vaccines are the perfect examples. (Public health)
Justin Agrella May 18, 2014 at 01:16 PM
We aren't talking about public health here we are talking about a tree in your backyard---private property. You might be willing to let your neighbor tell you what you can do with your tree but you are in the minority!
djs May 18, 2014 at 02:48 PM
Not true. This is why there are ordinances about all kinds of things. We've seen tables of food left out for days for the rats, whole animal cookouts, ritual chicken slaughters, etc. I'm not kidding you. Then we had a neighbor who wanted to build a rec room bigger than his entire house, all the way up to out property line to hold his company parties in, with dj and live bands. It was cheaper than putting on another story. He took his $$$ and moved when we fought it. This is exactly why you cannot do whatever you want with your property. it's ca Led community standards, and it includes weeds, trees, etc.
Justin Agrella May 18, 2014 at 05:14 PM
All of those things are mutually exclusive and already covered under current laws. As it is, literally confiscating old fruit trees in someone else's backyard is ridiculous. Making them pay for an inspection and further permits to cut down a fruit tree in their backyard is just stupid. It could amount to hundreds of dollars just because some nosy neighbor likes their tree more than they do. If a neighbor wants a tree then plant it themselves. Don't try to use the civic codes to steal your neighbor's tree and call it your own.

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