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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trees To Be Illegally Cut; Developer & City Hall In Cahoots

From The Secret News:

“Parkside” Developer Will Cut Trees in Violation of City Ordinance, Resident Says

August 30, 2012
By Adrian McGilly

33 of these trees will be removed to make way for a park, a parking lot, and an apartment/retail building.
Below is a follow-up article by Adrian McGilly to a letter he sent yesterday to City Planning Director Charles Bryant. The letter, which was printed in The Secret News, asks that the City try to save atleast some of the mature trees on the future site of an apartment/retail development that also includes a park on Stanford between Doyle and Hollis streets. The plan is to cut down 33 mature trees. McGilly is joined in his plea by his wife, Emeryville Mayor Jennifer West, who could not vote on any aspect of the new development because she lives a block away.
I got a response from Mr. Bryant. He assured me that the park design went through all the proper public noticing and hearing processes, that everyone had ample opportunity to weigh in on the fate of these trees, that not very many people did, and that now it’s too late because wheels have been set in motion. It was a very thorough, detailed and respectful response and I am grateful to Mr. Bryant for his time his attention.
But that’s not the end of the story.
There is an Urban Forestry Ordinance (UFO) in this city that includes provisions that protect trees on city property from various threats. For example, one of those provisions is that anyone wanting to remove a city tree must apply for a permit, and the city must post a notice ON THE TREE stating that the tree is slated for removal, giving citizens a chance to weigh in. Obviously, if those signs had been posted on the trees, more people would have taken notice, and more people would have spoken up. That provision was put in the UFO precisely to draw extra attention to the potential destruction of trees, so that more citizens are aware of the threat.
But that was never done. Here’s why:

Please click HERE for the rest of the story.


  1. Why is the City giving so much power to an un-elected city employee? Whoever his boss is, better tell him stop this crap at the initial planning process. We don't need the entire City at all the meetings saying that wrong decisions have been made. If Bryant can't say no to a developer in this way, do him like his tree program, give him a little money and say goodbye.

    1. Mr Bryant has a long record of encouraging developers to cut down our trees. Oak Walk/Bay Rock, Age song, Pulte Homes on 65th, Target, the list goes on. He's only lost once: after he convinced the Planning Commission to allow Granite Expo to kill the trees on 40th Street, the city council saved them after citizens descended on City Hall.

      Mr Bryant put in a valiant attempt to kill the trees there. He told the council the placement of the trees was wrong and instead of being at the back of the sidewalk, they should be moved three feet over to the front. He advocated that every tree on 40th Street be cut down and new saplings be planted three feet over. This is still official policy for 40th Street so every time there's a change of use on 40th, we're going to have to descend on City Hall.