Town Square

PG&E plans to strip backyards

Original post made on Aug 2, 2012

For several decades, Eileen and Beto Telleria's backyard has been a respite from their daily stresses, a Japanese garden with a heavy stone bench, a pool for their two ducks, and as its centerpiece, a majestic plum tree with a trunk shaped like a human torso. When PG&E told them the yard would have to be stripped and their trees removed because a major gas pipeline runs underneath, Eileen said it was so upsetting for her and her husband, a PG&E representative began crying as well.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 2, 2012, 10:12 AM


Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

""We probably wouldn't have bought here if we had had known," said the neighbor, who wanted to remain unnamed."

Of course he wants to remain unnamed - because he never read the disclosures when he bought the house.

Posted by Albert, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 2, 2012 at 11:54 am

The next thing you know the city will come in and tell them they can't keep water fowl in their backyard... .

Posted by haoleboy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

..and you have seen their diclosures and know the information is there?!! Have some empathy Mr Knowitall!

Posted by Green Giant, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Really doesn't seem right, but if it puts everyone at risk by not being able to monitor the line, it would seem they have to do it.
I would hope that the compensation is generous to the folks affected and that creative solutions can be found for re-landscaping

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

It's long past time to apply the RICO laws to criminal organizations like PG&E and Goldman Sachs.

Posted by Gingko, a resident of Gemello
on Aug 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Isn't it Gingko instead of Ginko?

Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Steve,[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] . First, you don't know if the pipeline was even on the disclosures. And if it was, it likely did not say "and PG&E may at ant time have the right to remove all of the trees and structures in your back yard".

Posted by Get-It-Right, a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Sorry Ron, but Steve is correct.

Its listed in your preliminary title report and it's your duty as a home owner / property owner to read the title report and the disclosures before you close escrow. The law has not gone overwhelmingly in favor of the consumer on this, with every type of disclosure known to man now required to the point that people like Ron and Halo Boy no longer read their title report or disclosures, and then blame others for their own ignorance and lack of industriousness.

Another import fact is that they paid less than market for these homes because of the let's be adults and fair.

Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Get-it-Right: you are making a lot of assumptions for someone who calls themselves "get-it-right". "people like Ron and Halo Boy no longer read their title report or disclosures,". Funny since you don't know me at all. I am quite familiar with my disclosures, my family being in loan verification and all. I am very familiar with the old orchard irrigation system under my properly, and the easement along the creek that limits where I can build. That said, some of these properties were purchased a long time ago."with every type of disclosure known to man now required". The operative phrase there is "now required", but you don't know when they bought these if it was required then, or if even there if so. So my point is still valid, blaming the homeowner when you actually have no idea what is in the disclosures is basically being a jerk. If you KNOW it is there, and they ignored it, then you have a point. But you and I KNOW NOTHING about it, so why get all high and mighty and condemn them for it.

Posted by Frustrated, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I know one of the families involved in this horrendous situation. They have lived in their home for over 30 years and not once did PG&E stop by and tell them that they had to clear their yard of trees, etc. I have talked to them and watched the woman break down and cry over all of this. The way I look at it is why should a few families have to pay such a high price - basically not owning their own backyards - so that the rest of Mtn. View and all the Google and Microsoft employees can have gas? Where is the fairness and just the plain logic in that? I don't have to share my yard with anyone except for my family and friends. I would love for all of you to look at your backyards - your own personal oasis in a busy world. Now imagine it completely stripped of anything except for grass and "moveable" trees and shrubs, and you are not able to do anything that you may want to make it your own space. And all of this sacrifice is for the rest of the city and their gas needs. 15 families are taking this on? Seriously, how fair is that? Forget the cost PG&E - move the pipe to Middlefield. It's the only fair option. I just want to say that I am sorry that any of the families in this situation have to go through this. PG&E strikes again. Yea, the new CEO really wants to improve their image. Good start.

Posted by Frustrated, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Get-It-Right -

"Another import fact is that they paid less than market for these homes because of the let's be adults and fair."

Just a quick question -
Do you know what each and every one of these people paid for their homes? And were you up on the fair market value of these homes at the time they were purchased? Someone needs to get a hobby. And if this is your hobby, I feel very sorry for you. Since I am good friends with one of the families involved, I know what they paid, and guess what? It was fair market value. They paid what everyone else was paying for similar homes in similar neighborhoods. Please don't make statements that you cannot backup. You are making yourself look the fool.

Posted by GSarducci, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Where's the map, Voice? Help us see where this gas line goes. Please.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Jackson Park
on Aug 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm

The map is here. This is the same line that goes to San Bruno. You cannot zoom all the way in, for national security reasons, but you can get pretty close.
Web Link

Posted by feruzzi, a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Our most important consideration are our neighbors. Between them and our trees, without hesitation our trees go. Please know these meetings were equally difficult for the PGE people. I am sure they left many, not all but many homes with a heavy heart. We all bought our homes at different times and payed market value, which depending on the year,was quite a fortune, worth every penny...because of the heart of this community. Each assumed PGE was doing due diligence with their easements.PGE being satisfied, as they watched families plant and create their small dreams. choosing, NOT to clear brush, roots, and surfaces to allow easy access for them. They made this decision through the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s,and 2000s. finally after 50 years they have come to collect.Please understand when this is all done there is still no easy access to this pipe.It now lies between a big fence and houses,and between community complex,a fence and houses.You see, a neighborhood grew here since last they checked.And, just so it is clear,There is NO money coming our way as neighbors,This easement belongs to them, they owe us nothing. In life heartbreak happens...this simply is heartbreak... all around.

Posted by Martin, a resident of Castro City
on Aug 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

Not that we care, but it's neither "ginko" nor "gingko", it's "ginkgo" :-)

Posted by Frustrated, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Really, Martin. Get a life. We're talking about something that is of extreme importance to some MV families, and you correct the spelling? Seriously?! You need a hobby. One of you was bad enough. Who cares? I guarantee you the people who are about to have their entire backyards stripped certainly don't.

Posted by NoNeckJoe, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm


Your anger is misdirected...which really makes you as bad as the people you are frustrated with. Martin was just responding to an earlier post where someone asked about he correct spelling....and even added "Not that we care" and the ":-)" NO IDEA why you chose to jump all over him.

Chill. Slow down. Read. Comprehend. Then react if you must.

Posted by Frustrated, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

NoNeckJoe -
I responded that way because it's a ridiculous comment. And I did refer to the other person as well. People seem to have a good time in the comment section of just about every article picking apart spelling errors. I'm sure that everyone else has perfect spelling. And saying that I am just as bad as the people that I'm frustrated with?! Are you kidding me? These fifteen families are watching 30-plus years of memories being stripped away from them. It is extremely frustrating to have people correct spelling errors. I am very close to one of the families affected and this is a huge deal to them! Imagine how they must feel when reading these posts hoping to find some kind of support and they read about spelling errors. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but again I have to ask - seriously? And don't tell me to chill, please. I'd love to see how you'd be reacting if you were in this situation. Maybe you should "read, comprehend, then react". Put yourself in the shoes of these families. How would you be feeling? You know what they get to put in their yards? Grass, moss, and plants that won't grow over 18 inches tall. No sheds, no patios. Nothing except low grasses. I'm emotional because my friend is having a hard time. Maybe show some empathy. I am not like a huge corporation who is coming to our town and making 15 families pay dearly so that the gas can continue flowing to your home with your beautiful back yard. And saying I am is a ridiculous comment. So much for support. I'm done with this. Enjoy your backyard.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Aug 4, 2012 at 6:22 am

I wonder how many others in other places will be told that their yards will have to be pulled out. On spelling, I use a smart phone hard to punch keys, also when you are upset, you are free to have spelling errors.

Posted by Marian, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

My question is why, over all of these years, PG&E did not notify these families that they owned a right-of-way through their properties. Homeowners would have had the opportunity to transition their landscaping over time so that trees and shrubs were not in the easement. Now these people will have decimated yards for years to come. PG & E, you owe these people landscaping at the very least - large boxed trees, mature shrubs and compensation too. This is a careless mistake on your part, to say the least. Shame on you!!!

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

Just another example of our uncaring, unfeeling society.

I hope I spelled everything correctly, while our environment is being destroyed.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

PG&E does not own any of the right-of-way. Their pipes are in easements across private property.

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

This is the same (San Bruno) line that is NOT being removed from under Crittenden School field. The MVWSD Board was informed of this situation in November (I attended the meeting) and until June they did not ask/plead/demand that both old lines be rerouted. This would not be allowed for new school property! The old (1944?) line is less than 100 ft from where the architect's drawings place a new locker room. (an example why I do not completely trust the choices of the District's architect)
S.N. is a candidate for MVWSD Board

Posted by feruzzi, a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

PG&E owning or not owning the easement is technical. They have total control over what will be done with that property, they have the only say. Line 109 is being replaced to Middlefield on Crittenden field. It is 8 years older then 132, the San Bruno pipeline that is damaged. Does this mean that the pipe will be replaced in 8 years? Is there a problem with 109? Different then 132? PG&E are trying to make corrections from their past, but it appears they are trying to do it by small steps. Sometimes it is better and wiser to truly start new knowing that from this point forward they will be responsive and diligent with the care of these pipes.