Search The Tattler

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Parkside Trees: Whatever Is Most Cost Effective?

Council Member Asher:
'Let's Do Whatever Is Most Cost Effective'

Council Members Davis & Brinkman:
'Let's Not'

The Emeryville city council finally resolved the contentious Parkside tree issue last Tuesday night and their vote serves as a stand-in for all that ails our town; another reminder, as if you needed it, of who gets served by our City Hall and who gets left wanting.
Readers will remember the developer of the Parkside condominium project wants to cut down all the street trees surrounding the project site but residents rallied and convinced the council to change their earlier vote and save nine large mature trees along Stanford Street in what will be a future small park.  The council vote Tuesday was to save the nine trees but they specifically rejected saving them in the most cost effective manner.  Instead of saving the trees by just leaving them as they are, they opted instead to dig them up, place them in boxes and store them off site for a year or so until the park site is ready for replanting them.

Hope you like it-
it's going to cost you
a bundle.
The developer, Archstone Development Group expressed interest in cutting down all the trees as a way to save money...something or other about their profit.  But Council members Nora Davis and Kurt Brinkman suggested the developer's and the resident's desires both could be met by their plan to dig up and box the trees, a "good compromise" as Ms Davis called it.  The fact that Emeryville residents, not the developer would pay for digging up, boxing, storing and re-planting nine very large trees was left unmentioned Tuesday by the two council members.  It must have slippped their minds.

Council member Jac Asher had a better idea in mind; she motioned that Charlie Bryant, the Planning Director should determine which idea is the most cost effective; the save the trees where they are plan or the dig up and box the trees plan.  Mr Bryant would then oversee the more cost effective of the two.  Council member Ruth Atkin liked Ms Asher's motion and offered a second.  With mayor Jennifer West absent, the motion advanced where it died as a result of a NO vote from Nora Davis and Kurt Brinkman, the Broken Record Twins.

So now the city must pay to dig up the trees, store them and re-plant them because....well... Ms Davis and Mr Brinkman wouldn't say.  We think it has something to do with Archstone's desire for a greater profit.  It wouldn't be the first time for these two for this kind of vote and it won't likely be the last.

This harebrained tree idea of theirs is not a's not a "good compromise"'s just bad governance.  And once again the Broken Record Twins show us where their allegiance lays.
"Save the taxpayers
some money?"
"Not gunna do it!"


  1. I posted the video of this approval and picked Adrian's agenda as the photo for the 2nd video. take a close look at what it says. Brinkman was not going to allow McGilly to crticize the staff. Interrupting a speaker at the podium during these kinds of presentations, takes away the thunder of the speaker. They do it to you all the time. People should realize moving the trees twice is impractical. it was a solution to pacify the public, at public expense. It brought resolve to the issue, and it provided false hope to those who want to save the trees. Davis' comment about creating a "tree farm" on San Pablo Ave. is far fetched. It satisfied the role of Council Member Davis, and now Brinkman following her lead of not doing anything to interfere with the progress of the project. Once a deal is made with a developer nothing shall be changed or get in the way of the project. You can't say the Staff was bias against the trees. They simply don't matter, but still no information was provided with the potential of letting people know they would be taken out. The proposed new ballot measure addresses that problem as all of the immediate neighbors with 500 feet would have to receive email notice.

  2. I wonder if putting the trees back is really part of the plan.
    I would bet they are going to move them, then forget about them. Giving them what they wanted in the first place (removal of all the trees from the site), and giving the residents the feeling of being listened to. It's definitely a win-win for them, lose-lose for the trees and residents.