News

After outcry to save redwoods, house project is revised

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.

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After outcry to save redwoods, house project is revised

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Jan 23, 2019, 9:34 am

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.

Comments

TC
Jackson Park
on Jan 23, 2019 at 9:59 am
TC, Jackson Park
on Jan 23, 2019 at 9:59 am

Redwoods above a certain size are automatically protected, not all redwoods. The decision to preserve them was technically made by the Urban Forestry Board, not the Parks and Recreation Commission.


Seriously
Martens-Carmelita
on Jan 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm
Seriously, Martens-Carmelita
on Jan 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Redwoods are almost always of "heritage" status but this does not mean they are protected. Many heritage trees, including redwoods, are felled every year and are not replaced because city staff rarely follow up. It is too easy and cheap to remove a heritage tree - and too costly to appeal against their removal - IMHO.


Lel
Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm
Lel, Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm

The proposed structure was not to replace an older home. Originally there was a residence on a double lot which the developer split off and sold, in order to build a new 2nd residence near the redwood stand.


Politically Incorrect & Proud of It
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Jan 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm
Politically Incorrect & Proud of It, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm

This is a distraction from the horrendous overbuilding problems MV City Council has forced on responsible MV homeowners! Shouldn't MV be concentrating stopping on all of the mega apartment and "affordable" (but in truth "un-affordable") housing construction destroying the quality of life in MV??? Shouldn't our elected Council be be ridding MV of RV, truck, and auto squatters infesting our streets and blocking bicycle lanes, endangering pedestrians, and fouling our streets with garbage and filth?


Rodger
Sylvan Park
on Jan 23, 2019 at 6:57 pm
Rodger, Sylvan Park
on Jan 23, 2019 at 6:57 pm

All this turmoil over redwood trees on someone else’s property is nuts. If you want redwoods plant them on your property or have the city plant them. This is the kind of nonsense that makes a good Democrat vote Republican.


Google Hates Redwoods
Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2019 at 7:59 pm
Google Hates Redwoods, Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2019 at 7:59 pm

So let me get this straight. Google can cut down over 30 huge redwood trees and that is ok; even the Sierra Club endorsed Google cutting down these trees after they were paid off. And the city of Mountain View itself can cut down any tree it wants to no matter the size, and in fact has never been denied approval to do so.

But god forbid if anyone else wants to cut down a tree.

Hypocrites!


side1
Rex Manor
on Jan 23, 2019 at 9:37 pm
side1, Rex Manor
on Jan 23, 2019 at 9:37 pm

Maybe higher density housing projects need to start leaking across ECR to the south side of town.
Maybe a few 5 story buildings near Cuesta Park.
I am sure the NIMBY's would scream bloody murder.


Sally
Monta Loma
on Jan 23, 2019 at 10:54 pm
Sally, Monta Loma
on Jan 23, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Agree that Google shouldn’t have been allowed to cut down the Redwoods. And am still disappointed the city removed the beautiful cherry trees on Castro - that was crazy!!! Glad to hear these trees are saved. My townhouse has a tall natural redwood in my backyard, it’s a nuisance because the roots destroyed the patio and the lawn, but great because it provides shade, and homes for birds/squirrels.


more than meets the eye
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2019 at 7:42 am
more than meets the eye, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2019 at 7:42 am

Orignally a 3000+square foot house on that little lot? Please... Take a Google map walk in the neigborhood; a 2200 square foot home should be fine. Sage Capital Management (check their website) will be fine!


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