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public comment on redwood tree removal on El Camino at Ravenswood

From: domainremoved <Eric>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2019 23:04:17 -0800

I am writing in response to approval by the Menlo Park Planning Commission
of cutting down redwood trees on El Camino at Ravenswood, as reported in *The
Almanac *on January 2, 2019. As a Menlo Park homeowner, I have some
sympathy for the property owner faced with root damage. But my sympathy is
lessened by an apparent lack of exploration of alternatives and proposed
replacement with trees of lesser stature.

While Menlo Park may seem to have abundant redwoods, there is a distressing
tendency to treat even heritage trees as disposable. If this trend
continues, we may suddenly awaken to the loss of this familiar landscape,
which can be replaced only by waiting 40+ years for new trees to grow. The
comments quoted in *The Almanac* article suggesting that removing these
trees now will reduce objections to widening El Camino later is evidence of
a cynical lack of regard for the role of trees in making Menlo Park worth
living in.

I raised similar objections when CalTrans began clear-cutting the redwoods
and live oaks in the Willow Road/Highway 101 cloverleaf interchange. (see

At that time I wrote “Will replacing redwoods large enough to be considered
heritage trees in any other part of Menlo Park with the miniaturized shrubs
currently in fashion as highway landscaping create a better visual entrance
to the city?”

With some creative thinking, it should be possible to both repair the root
damage and save the trees. If both are not possible, then the property
owner should be required to replace redwoods with redwoods, and not in some
less-visible part of the property, but in a public-facing space where we
can all enjoy their presence.

According to *The Almanac*, there will be an opportunity to appeal the
decision to remove these trees on January 9. I hope my and other Menlo
Park citizen’s’ objections result in retraction of the approval.

Thank you for your attention to my concern for the urban environment.

-Eric E. Sabelman

 711 Central Ave, Menlo Park
Received on Tue Jan 08 2019 - 23:01:20 PST

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