CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: December 9, 2003
Subject/Title: Accept a staff report on landscape projects and tree
associated damage and direct staff to move forward with planned construction
Submitted by: Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation
Ken DeSilva, Parks Services Manager
Pam Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Services
Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager
Accept the staff report and provide direction to staff to move forward with
planned construction and maintenance.
City staff gave an informational report on the unimproved landscape
improvements on Armstrong Road at the City Council meeting of July 22, 2003.
Staff was directed to inventory other areas in the City that have unimproved
landscape and return with a staff report and suggested course of action.
The City of Brentwood has several parcels of land throughout the City that
have not been landscaped. These parcels are typically remnant pieces of land
that were either adjacent to past subdivisions or commercial projects, or
were part of previous Capital Improvement Project (CIP) civil improvements
that did not have adequate funding to install the landscape improvements at
the time of construction. The Community Beautification project, (CIP Project
522-5222) was established to try and landscape these areas as funds were
available. The project is currently unfunded in the approved 2003/2008 CIP
As a result of the July 22, 2003 City Council meeting, staff has inventoried
City-owned parcels that are in need of landscaping. Attached for City
Council review is a list of these projects (Attachment A) with the
associated construction and ongoing maintenance costs. Park and Recreation
Department staff have met with Pam Ehler, Director of Finance and
Information Services, to identify how construction and maintenance costs can
be paid for. Based on available funding opportunities, staff has the
• Move forward with design of projects #1 through #3 and develop CIP
projects funded through CIFP 2000-1 in the 2004/2005 CIP program.
• Project #4 is currently outside the City limits and being considered as a
possible site for an underground water storage tank. At this time, staff is
recommending a CIP project be established in the 2004/05 CIP program for
landscaping as unfunded.
• Move forward with design of project #5 and develop CIP project funded
through roadway fund/grants in the 2004/2005 CIP program.
• Project #6 will be a condition of approval on the development north and
south of Central Boulevard between Griffith Lane and Walnut Boulevard, to be
paid through roadway funds.
• Move forward with design of projects #7, and #10 through #24 and develop
CIP projects funded by the general fund, over a three-year period, in the
2004/05, 2005/06, and 2006/07 CIP programs.
• Move forward with design of project #8 as a part of the Signature
commercial project, to be paid out of roadway funds.
• Project #9 is included with the Walnut Boulevard project and will be
constructed and funded through this project in a CIP project in 2004/05.
• Staff will budget, starting in fiscal year 2004/05 for the necessary
ongoing maintenance costs as identified in Attachment A as projects come
online after construction.
• To help with cash flow, it is recommended that $350,000 be borrowed, over
three years, from the Park Development fund to pay for the general fund
costs. This money will be paid back to the Park Development fund by the
general fund over a 7-year period.
As staff was inventorying the landscape parcels, a final inventory of City
owned trees (a total of 11,336 trees) was completed. This inventory tracked
the type of tree, age, and potential for damage to surrounding hardscape/landscape
areas for those trees that had been improperly planted or placed. As a
result of past problems the City has had to deal with related to damage by
City of Brentwood maintained trees, staff felt this information was a
related issue to landscape and wanted to provide the result at this time for
In past years, a number of trees were planted in either the improper space
or environment, and as a result, are starting to cause problems with
hardscape and sound walls. Having to deal with these problems from the past
was one of the driving forces behind the development of the City’s Urban
Forest Guidelines in May 2002 to make sure that the proper tree is planted
in the proper place.
In 2000 the City embarked on a tree removal and replacement program
(involving hardscape repair) on Pippo and Sherwood streets. This project
cost the City approximately $60,000 (most sidewalk work was performed
in-house). If the City had been able to replace the trees in this particular
area before sidewalk damage occurred it would have cost (at today's prices)
Another example of a program that avoided tree associated damage occurred in
June of 2001 when the Public Works Department replaced 74 relatively new
Sycamore trees in the Garin Park subdivision. Staff replaced street trees
that had not yet reached maturity, which would have caused extensive, and
costly, repairs to the hardscape and underground utilities. If left to
mature, the cost of associated damage, and tree replacement would have been
approximately $1,300 per tree to mitigate. Being proactive and replacing the
trees prior to having them cause problems cost the City of Brentwood only
$189 per tree.
Included as attachments B, C, D and E are spreadsheets that identify
potential problem areas that are associated with City of Brentwood
maintained trees. The trees identified are only trees that the City
maintains, not those in City Right-of-Ways. Each spreadsheet uses as an
assumption that previous repairs have been completed. The cost to remove and
replace our current problem trees (Attachment B) is $5,845.70, which will be
completed as a part of the 2003/04 work plan.
Looking into the future, to avoid damage to hardscapes, fences, and/or sound
walls in today’s dollars, tree removal/replacement will be necessary as
• In 5 years (attachment C) - $35,043.70
• In 10 years (attachment D) - $123,337.10
• In 15 years(attachment E) - $261,389.80
To avoid having to spend over $400,000 in the future, staff is recommending
the development of a yearly CIP project, starting in 2004/05, for ongoing
tree removal/replacement so that we can reduce hardscape damage before it
occurs and to reduce future tree expenses.
A final consideration may be whether the City wants to pursue a GPS
inventory of residential street trees that are in the City’s Right-of-Way.
This would assist in determining future costs associated with tree damage so
that an action plan can be developed now to reduce future costs. If this is
something that City Council desires, staff can return with a cost to do an
inventory of residential street trees.
Specific fiscal impacts are identified, in more detail, on the attached
spreadsheets: In total, the costs are as follows:
• The total construction costs for all landscape improvement projects equals
• The increase of maintenance costs, over several funding sources, equals
• The Parks Division will use trees from the nursery where appropriate to
help reduce project costs.
• Costs associated with the tree removal and replacement could total, in
today’s dollars, as much as $419,770.60 over the next 15 years.
A – List of City-owned parcels in need of landscaping
B – Estimated Hardscape Damage Costs - Current
C – Estimated Hardscape Damage Costs - in 5 Years
D – Estimated Hardscape Damage Costs - in 10 Years
E – Estimated Hardscape Damage Costs - in 15 Years
F – Community Beautification Map - CIP 522-5222
G – CIP Sheet for Community Beautification - CIP 522-5222
H – Maps showing areas in need of landscape