Recent questions concerning Danville's tree ordinance have prompted the Town Council to begin the process of revamping the law to exclude redwood trees from the protected species list.
At their April 21 meeting, Danville resident Dr. Robert Stannard addressed the council during the public comment section. Stannard referred to the recent attempt by a Danville couple to remove a redwood from their property. The request was denied as was an appeal, due to the fact that the redwood is on the town's protected species list.
"The coastal redwood is the tallest species on Earth. They only grow in one area, a narrow strip between Oregon and Monterrey Bay. They're not native to Danville," Stannard stated.
He said redwoods don't have a taproot, so the only way it can remain stable is to send out shallow roots in all directions. He added that problems arise from the roots, such as damage to a home's foundations, buckling of driveways and sidewalks, and other issues.
"They can provide a hazard for the unwary homeowner," he explained.
Town Council members are not allowed to respond or take action on items discussed in the public comment section, but Mayor Newell Arnerich said that the council can give directions to staff. Which is what the council did, directing planning staff to remove the redwood from the protected species list and then send the amended ordinance to the Planning Commission.
"It's pretty cut and dried," said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo. "The council didn't direct us to go and reexamine the tree ordinance, they said to take the redwood trees out of it and send it back."
Calabrigo said they have not scheduled the issue to go before the Planning Commission, but because of the simple nature of the request he expects it to be a fairly fast turnaround. If it goes to the Planning Commission by its May 12 meeting, it could be passed on to the Town Council members for consideration at their June 2 session.