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REQUEST FOR COUNCIL ACTION

  February 22, 2000                                                                                           _________________
DATE                                                                                                                    ITEM NUMBER

  ORIGINATING                                                                                                     CITY MANAGER’S

DEPARTMENT                                AGENDA ITEM                                   REVIEW          .

Public Works                                 Review and approval of

Thom Head                                  a resolution implementing a

                                             Street Tree Program

 

 

PREVIOUS ACTIONS: The City Council was presented a proposed downtown street tree program at its January 25, 2000 regular Council meeting and directed Staff to return to a future meeting for further decision on the City’s street tree program in general.

 

  RECOMMENDED COUNCIL ACTION: Review and approval of a resolution implementing a street tree program.

 

  BACKGROUND:  Street trees are a neighborhood amenity important for the identity and ambiance of the community.  The City’s planning documents and ordinances include rigid and specific street tree requirements for all new development.   Most of the City’s residential street trees are planted within City right-of-way in parkway landscape between sidewalk and curb, as part of the front yards of residential units.  In business areas, such as downtown, street trees are generally planted in sidewalk cutouts.

  Maintenance responsibilities for streets are delegated in Section 12.08.425 of the City Code and Ordinance 593.  In reference to California Streets and Highway Code, Section 5610, Municipal Code Section 12-08.425 assigns the maintenance responsibility of the landscape within the City’s right-of-way between the curb line to sidewalk that is contiguous to the front yard of residential units as the maintenance responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The areas are to be maintained under the requirements and guidelines of the City Public Works Director as established by the City Council.  Section 12.16.070 specifically addresses street tree maintenance responsibilities of adjacent property owners.  Many of single family residential area street trees have not enjoyed the benefit of a regular maintenance program.

  DISCUSSION:  Staff in addition to any comments on the current City street tree status, requests approval of implementation plans in three specific areas.  These are a Downtown Street Tree Maintenance Program; a plan for maintenance and removal/replacement of mature or heritage trees in older residential areas; and guidelines for requests for the removal/replacement of developer installed street trees in newer residential development.

In 1986 the Redevelopment Agency funded an improvement project in the downtown area that included special street lights, benches, trash receptacles, concrete treatment, landscape nodes and flower pots, and street trees.  Maintenance efforts for the landscape and street trees in this area have not been consistent, which have had detrimental effects on many of the street trees.  In addition, some varieties of the trees used in the project send out shallow roots over time and are beginning to lift and displace concrete surfaces, especially in areas with substandard street tree cutouts.  Many of the streetlights have been obscured by nearby street trees. 

Staff has developed an implementation plan for a more aggressive maintenance program for the downtown street trees.  The elements of the plan are listed below.

1.      Public notification and information--Effected properties will be sent information and notified of the City’s intent to implement the program.

2.      A public meeting will be held to solicit feedback and identify potential problems.

3.      Individual contacts with property owners will be conducted and financial participation requested.

4.      Arborist(s) will inspect the trees and provide specific and general recommendations.

5.      Undesirable and/or unhealthy trees will be replaced with more appropriate species.

6.      Highly visible tasks such as tree removal and replacement and heavy pruning will be phased over time to minimize the negative visual impact of tree removal.

7.      Existing tree wells will be modified as required; any new hardscape treatment, such as tree grates will be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission.

A recent contact with the Bank of Agriculture, and a subsequent contribution of $400 for the replacement of two trees in front of their building, indicates the willingness of downtown businesses to participate in the program.

Older street trees or “heritage“ trees effect the community in several ways; some are amenities; others are serious and invasive pests; and in some instances some trees have become public hazards.  Many large trees such as Sycamore, Mulberry, Elm, Ash, and Carob fall in this category.

City Ordinance 593 assigns the responsibility of repair of sidewalk areas damaged by street trees to the City.  Pippo Avenue and Sherwood Drive are a neighborhood of specific interest, as an example of sidewalk areas damaged by street trees.  Fruitless Mulberry trees have severely damaged sidewalks in many areas.   In the past, at least one effort at mitigating this damage has been made.  This most notable attempt included root pruning and sidewalk replacement, and met with minimal success.  The City Council has included funding for street trees and sidewalk replacement in the Capital Improvement Program.

Staff is prepared to initiate the following program in areas where street trees have seriously damaged sidewalk areas.

1.      Provide information on the replacement program and notification of the City’s intent to implement it to effected property owners.

2.      Conduct neighborhood meetings with residents to provide information and solicit feedback.

3.      Those willing to allow City to remove and replace trees will be highest priority for sidewalk replacement, with temporary sidewalk repairs made to areas unwilling to replace trees

4.      No more than 20 percent of the trees of a neighborhood block will be removed and replaced annually.

5.      City will bear full cost for sidewalk replacement and street tree removal and placement.

In neighborhoods where heritage trees exist but have not caused damage, the City will request major maintenance, as required, and offer 50 percent participation in the cost of maintenance activities.

Staff receives numerous requests and/or complaints regarding street trees in newer residential neighborhoods.  Typical examples include the Honey Locust trees in the Pulte Subdivision, several of

which have sent out invasive surface roots, and the Sycamores, which become very large trees, planted in parking strip landscape in Spinnaker Ridge.

Since the maintenance responsibility for these trees rests with the adjacent property owner (within the guidelines and requirements of the Public Works Director), staff will follow a flexible approach to tree replacement, allowing the property owner to remove unwanted species and replacing them with a tree of their choosing from an approved street tree list.  All such work shall require a letter of permission from the Public Works Director and shall be done at the property owner’s expense.

Staff is currently working with Arborist and landscape consultants to develop a list of trees grouped by use, such as for street trees or in parks, and size.  This list, once completed, shall be distributed to residents required to replace street trees.  A draft copy of this list is attached to the report.  Staff will have administrative ability to add and delete trees from the list between periodic reviews of the document.

 

RESOLUTION NO.

  A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD IMPLEMENTING A CITY STREET TREE PROGRAM 

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Brentwood desires an attractive and pleasant environment for residents and businesses of the community, and

WHEREAS, flourishing and healthy street streets enhance a community’s physical beauty and ambiance, and help create a pleasant place to live and work, and

WHEREAS, an pro-active maintenance effort is required to provide flourishing, and healthy street trees in a community, and 

WHEREAS, the City is prepared to implement a pro-active street tree program in three distinct areas, the downtown, older residential areas with mature trees, and newer residential areas, and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood approves the implementation of a pro-active street tree program citywide.

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood, at its regular meeting of February 22, 2000 by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                            ____________________________

                                                                                                Quintin L. Kidd

Mayor

ATTEST:

__________________

Karen Diaz, CMC

City Clerk

 

BOTANICAL & COMMON NAME:

PLANT USES:

 

 

SMALL SCALE ACCENT TREES  20' Diameter

 

Acer Palmatum Sp.  Japanese Maple

Roadside & Parks

Cercis Occidentalis  Western Redbud

Roadside & Parks

Magnolia Soulangiana  Saucer Magnolia

Roadside & Parks

Nyssa Sylvatica  Sour Gum

Parks

Prunus cerasifera  Purple Leaf Plum 'Krauter's Vesuvius'

Roadside & Parks

Lagerstroemia indica  Crape Myrtle

Roadside, Parks & Streets

 

 

MEDIUM SCALE ACCENT TREES  25' Diameter

 

Koelreuteria bipinnata  Chinese Flame Tree

Roadside & Parks

Liquidamber styraciflua  Sweet Gum

Parks

Malus floribunda  Crabapple

Roadside, Parks & Streets

Prunus cerasifera  Purple Leaf Plum 'Krauter Vesuvius'

Roadside & Parks

Pyrus calleryana  Flowering Pear 'Chanticleer'

Roadside, Parks & Streets

Fraxinus o.  Raywood Ash 'Raywood'

Roadside & Parks

 

 

MEDIUM TO LARGE SCALE CANOPY TREES  20'-35' Diameter

 

Ceris Canadensis  Eastern Redbud

Roadside & Parks

Fraxinus Oxycarpa  Raywood Ash

Roadside & Parks

Koelreuteria Bipinnata  Ch. Flame Tr.

Roadside & Parks

Koelreuteria Paniculata  Goldenrain Tree

Roadside & Parks

Sapium Sebiferum  Chinese Tallow Tree

25' Parks only

Celtis australis  European Hackberry

Parks

Celtis sinensis  Chinese Hackberry

Parks

Pistacia chinensis  Chinese Pistache

Roadside & Parks

 

 

LARGE SCALE CANOPY TREES 40' + Diameter

 

Celtis Occidentalis  Hackberry

50' Parks

Fraxinus Velutina 'Modesto'  Modesto Ash

50' Parks

Fraxinus Pennsylvanica  'Patmore' Green Ash

30'-40' Roadside & Parks

 

 

City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
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Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441
E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov