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University Avenue/ Laurel Homes Tree Removal Permit

From: Taylor, Bryan <BTaylor_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2010 10:43:57 -0700

Dear Members of the Menlo Park City Council,

We are residents of Menlo Park and live near the Allied Arts section of the city. We are writing to you to express our strong support for Laurel Homes and their application for a tree removal permit for their property on University Avenue in Allied Arts. We have read the staff and application reports and driven by the site. We strongly believe that the City Council should support the planning commission staff and override the EQC.

In this case, the EQC has not fairly or accurately reflected the intent or specific parameters of the heritage tree law. Simply put, they seem to be applying an "at all costs" mentality to save this one tree rather than fairly consider all elements of the heritage tree ordinance. One of the cornerstones of the heritage tree ordinance is its protection of "reasonable economic enjoyment of private property." How can the owner of that lot achieve "reasonable economic enjoyment" with a large tree in the middle of the building footprint? Laurel Homes and its advisors spent eighteen months trying to determine reasonable alternatives to removing the tree. In the informed and balanced perspective of the planning commission, none were available. How can the EQC determine in a one hour meeting that the developer and the planning staff were wrong and that there were alternatives that could be pursued? There are no alternatives...the tree sits in the middle of a small lot! The EQC is overstretching and the City Council should act.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bryan Taylor
Pyeatt Taylor

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