A single-family home project that spurred a citywide debate on preserving redwoods and heritage trees will be coming back before Mountain View officials. The new project at 575 Sierra Ave. has been retooled to preserve a cherished grove of tall redwoods on the site.
Last year, an earlier version of the house project generated a huge outcry among Old Mountain View residents, who argued that the seven redwood trees on the site deserved to be saved. Under the city's rules, mature redwoods are automatically considered heritage trees, however their protection is largely left up to the discretion of city officials.
The previous proposal by the investment firm Sage Capital Management had called for a new 3,100-square-foot house to replace an older home on the parcel. The developer had complained that the trees were blocking the site from being built out, and trying to build around them would cost millions of dollars.
Last June, the city's Parks and Recreation Commission rejected a request to remove the trees, and Sage Capital pulled the project back for revisions. In October, the company submitted an updated proposal for a smaller, 2,200 square foot house that would retain all the trees in the backyard.
To be built, the new project is requesting a variance to have 4-foot smaller setback than normally allowed for a single-family home project. It was scheduled for a review by the zoning administrator on Wednesday, Jan. 23.