Residents object to removal of heritage trees at El Camino and Ravenswood

These redwoods are slated for removal at 1000 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Photo supplied to the city by the building's owner.

Daily Post Staff Writer

A handful of Menlo Park residents are lobbying the city to halt the removal of seven heritage trees at 1000 El Camino Real, just past Jeffery’s Hamburgers.

“Our trees are what makes Menlo different from our neighboring communities, just drive El Camino from here to/through Redwood City and you (will) recognize the sharp contrast of trees/no trees as you cross the boundaries,” resident Michelle Sherman wrote in an email to council.

Matt Matteson, who represents the owners of 1000 El Camino, is proposing to remove the trees in order to improve the patio and path outside the building and perform maintenance on the underground garage, according to an Oct. 22 memo by city Associate Planner Kaitie Meador.

Meador said in her memo that the city’s arborist tentatively signed off on the plan because of the condition of the current trees and the danger they pose to the building.

Additionally, 14 trees will be planted in place of the current trees.

The city describes the seven trees as “heritage trees” although they were planted in the early 1980s.

But residents are not happy with the replacement plan.

“Please see if there if another solution. It is absolutely criminal that our city has lost literally dozens of heritage trees in the past two years. The stripping of trees for the Willow Road 101 exchange development was tragic enough. Must we continue to live in a city where this is the norm?” asked resident Anne Holmes.

Appeal period extended

Public Works Director Justin Murphy, in a response to residents who are against the tree removal, said his office will be happy to discuss the issue in detail after Wednesday, since city offices are closed until then.

Murphy also stated that the city has extended the period until Jan. 9 for residents to appeal the planning commission’s approval of the plan. The appeal period was originally set to expire yesterday.

“We are extending the appeal period until January 9th in order to give people more time to understand the facts related to the proposed removals,” Murphy wrote.

Former Planning Commissioner John Kadvany wrote in his email to council that he may be appealing the tree removal, which is now before the Planning Commission. If anyone appeals the project, it will go to city council to make the final call on whether the trees ought to be removed.

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