Archive for April, 2010

Community Voices Concerns with City Attorney

Several representatives from the community wrote a letter to the city attorney with some questions about PG&E’s authority to cut the trees from the park.

On April 28th, the attorney replied.  See his letter here:


Tree Data in TJ Martin & Jeffery Fontana Parks

Information was gathered by the Community on many of the trees in Phase 1, which were scheduled to be cut down by PG&E on March 22, 2010.  These measurements basically agreed with  the  measurements  that PG&E had conducted. This was revealed on the April 5th Task Force Meeting with PG&E.  PG&E also agreed at that time that there was no imminent danger existing in the Parks due to tree to wire clearances.

April 20, Community Counter Proposal to PG&E

 The April 20th Counter Proposal: The Community representatives are split on what to do, but we finally agree to submit a counterproposal to PG&E. The essence of the proposal is:

a. The Community will allow PG&E to cut 13 of the 14 trees and prune, not cut one tree (Tree #13, the 40 year old Coastal Live Oak).

b. That PG&E plant 5 trees for each tree cut (this is based on the City’s requirement of Communities, e.g. townhouse developments of cut trees in their development).

See: PDF Document: “Community counter proposal #1, dated 4-20-10 to 4-5-10 Task Force Meeting”.

“Save our Trees” T-Shirts

For those of you who want to buy your own “Save our Trees” T-shirt

just follow this link

April 5, Task Force Meeting with PG&E & City

On April 5, Councilmember Pyle convened the first Task Force Meeting. As it turned out, this was not a task force. It was a setup between PG&E and the City to tell the Community what PG&E was going to do. There were three good results and one bad result that came from this meeting:

a. PG&E would cut only 14 trees and trim 4 other trees. The new strategy is to slow the cutting speed to allow the parks to not have as unsightly appearance. But the answer is the same: 140 trees will be ultimately cut (approx. 30% of the trees in our two parks)

b. PG&E did agree to loosen it’s restriction on trees that are larger than 15 feet, if the trees were not in the middle zone between two towers.

c. PG&E agreed that the State Statute requiring  a minimum clearance 10 feet between tree and transmission line is the ruling authority.

d. The bad thing: PG&E would only give a $75 per tree allowance for each tree cut. This was to cover the cost of replacing each tree, planting it, and maintaining it for 3 years. The trees being replaced are over 25 years old (planted trees) and one tree is over 40 years old (Coastal Live Oak, native and indigenous, Tree #13).

Work  would begin in June with a reanalysis of the situation in the Fall.

No minutes were published from this meeting. Councilmember Pyle later published a piece in the Almaden Times (May 7 issue) announcing the “good news”.

San Jose – Heritage Tree Information

You can get an idea of what the City of San Jose says about Heritage Trees and where some of them are by clicking on this link.