June 3, 2010

First Workshop on San Leandro Creek Tree Removal Will be Held June 22

According to a notice from the Alameda County Public Works Agency, a public workshop on removing hazardous trees from San Leandro Creek will be held on June 22, 2010. [Note: The notice incorrectly states that the meeting is on Thursday, but it is on Tuesday.}

These workshops are in response to the outcry from San Leandro community members who felt that Alameda County failed to properly the notify neighbors of San Leandro Creek about the tree removal plans. According to the notice, "The first meeting is focused on the area near Huff Avenue, and is intended to seek input from area residents on approaches to address tree hazards on District properties in San Leandro Creek."

A request for qualifications/proposal was issued by the Alameda County Public Works Agency in February 2009. That document stated, "It is anticipated that as many as 500 to 1,000 or more [hazardous and non-native] trees will be removed." in three phases over 3 to 5 years in the area from Ramona Way and Interstate 580 in San Leandro. The first phase included three locations at "(1) Huff Avenue, (2) Carey Drive, and (3) St. Mary Avenue."

A subsequent specifications document (Specification No. FC 13-37) that was part of a bid proposal, stated that a total of 46 trees would be removed: 10 trees from location 1 near Huff Avenue, 11 trees from location 2 near Carey Drive, Haas Avenue and Bancroft Middle School, and 25 from location 3 near St. Marys Avenue.

After a meeting held at the San Leandro Library on May 20, 2010, Daniel Woldesenbet, the Director of the Alameda County Public Works Agency, sent an email to residents, stating:

This is to inform you that the District has decided to suspend the proposed Hazard Tree Removal Project, and start the process again. In the past we heard a lot more from those who would like the trees removed, and assumed that it was the desire of the overall community. However, from what we heard last night, that assumption was not entirely correct. Therefore, based on the feedback from the community meeting, yesterday evening, I have decided that it would be better to re-start a new process that will better engage community members along the creek. To this end, we will arrange for a series of separate meetings with residents along St. Mary's Avenue, Huff Avenue and Cary Drive.

We will communicate with community members that left contact information yesterday as well as mail out letters advising of the upcoming meetings.

Note: The hazard associated with this trees remains, and the need to address this hazard in a timely manner is essential. As such, we will initiate the community process in the very near future.

Gary Molitor, a vocal critic of the County's plan, asserts that the County's real goal is to get rid of all Eucalyptus trees in San Leandro Creek. Molitor has formed a group called San Leandro Creek Conservation Group with a web site at http://www.sanleandrocreek.org/. He plans to to "be a continued presences in scrutinizing their [Alameda County Public Works] plans for the creek."

The workshop will be held on June 22, 2010, from 7 to 9pm at Bancroft Middle School. Bancroft Middle School is located at 1150 Bancroft Avenue in San Leandro.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at June 3, 2010 12:01 AM | TrackBack
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