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”.

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