Town Square

Post a New Topic

Mayfield trees axed for Google

Original post made on May 21, 2014

Residents of the Monta Loma neighborhood were surprised this week to see a number of trees chopped down around the former Mayfield Mall at Google's request.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 1:17 PM

Comments (35)

Posted by George Orwell
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

It was a bright cold day in May, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Posted by ghost town
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Glad to see that something is finally happening to that property. I'd much rather have commercial development right next to a Caltrain station vs. on the edge of town with no public transit access.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

The article should have read, "SOME Monta Loma residents were surprised..."

Those of us who actually read the plans were not surprised.

And personally, I think it looks nicer now. I love trees and have planted several in my yard, but when a tree is past its useful lifespan, with dangerous limbs and tearing up the roads with its giant roots, it's time to take them down.

Just wait, fellow Monta Lomans, until 2,500 Google X employees are working a few feet from our backyards. This is only the beginning.

Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I hope the access road to the San Antonio underpass is repaired and opened ASAP. Until the I will push the pedestrian button when I cross San Antonio on my bike. This is a 25 second wait for traffic on San Antonio. I hope the road is not closed for a year while construction plods along.

Posted by Bill Ted
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Seems like the headline is trying to inflame. This is the communicated and scheduled removal of trees deemed in poor health. If anyone has a gripe, get into a time machine and complain. That time has passed.

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

This is exactly what I was warning about in the article that I wrote here:

Web Link

and here:

Web Link

I tried to warn people that Google and others might bringing their Kansas City and San Jose style tree-killing practices to Mountain View and now here is the proof. Watch out for Google's proposed fiber project! I will oppose the plan being fast-tracked through before am elected to the Council in November. The effects are far too wide ranging to not be thoroughly and carefully reviewed first.

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council

Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm

These trees did not have to be removed. Even if a supposedly diseased one had been identified and slated for removal, doing so later in the summer precludes removing active bird nests along with the tree. And replacing any that really needed to be taken out due to serious disease is the right thing to do. Will any of these be replaced? As no building is taking place, they all should be replaced with just as large growing of species. Do you hear this, Google?

But as for MV, I have found that the City of MV prefers to get the money for permits to remove trees rather than preserve trees and make no money. Screw ecology.

Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

This Google process vav the trees sounds for all the world like a snake oil salesman shim sham. ("We'll only take the unprotected trees... oh and btw all trees we want to remove are 'unprotected'.") Shame on them for such sleezy dealings in our town with has made the mistake of welcoming them.

TIME TO STOP THEIR NONSENSE... though we cannot fix the damages they have done. TIME TO SAY NO MORE!

Posted by GKinMV
a resident of Castro City
on May 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Not that I work for MV but having dealt with city hall regarding tree removal, I learned the following...
"A Heritage Tree Removal Permit is valid for up to two (2) years from date of issue. After the tree(s) is removed, the owner is typically required to plant a new 24-inch box tree(s) or pay an in-lieu fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) to the City of Mountain View for each tree removed. These funds are used to plant new trees in City parks, medians and public areas. The property owner may choose the replacement species and planting location for the new tree(s)."
Web Link
........I think the fee has increased since this was written.

I wonder if Solar Arrays are intended for this site? That would make sense now that most of the trees have been removed.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

"This is exactly what I was warning about..."

No, Jim, it's not. These trees were removed because they were diseased. Your other rants were about trees that were removed to make way for development.

Posted by Missed it by that much
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Jim Neal, were you unaware this was going to happen? Do you think sick trees should just fall on people instead of being removed?
Good lord man, think through an issue instead of knee-jerking when you hear a key phrase.
Yes it involves trees, but...oh why do I bother. Have fun posting and nice hat.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Cutting down tress is never a great thing to see happen. In reality most of the trees that are planted are landscaping trees, great to enhance the property. When the property needed updated or replacing, first thing to go is the landscaping along with the buildings.

For every tree cut down, a tree should be planted to last, not some parking lot tree. Also landscaping should include sunny, people do love to worship the sun.

I would love to see all the parking put underground or in covered garages with green space on top. Sun, volleyball and outside eating areas

Posted by Stef
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Jim, Have you considered running for MVWSD school board instead? You would fit in great there!

Posted by p
a resident of The Crossings
on May 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

It's a curious fact that, magically, all these trees they want to remove are "diseased". Seems we have quite the epidemic here in town and near by.

What are the trees suffering from, other than a lack of funds in the city bank account?

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

One should never remove trees at the height of the nesting season. This is very upsetting.

Posted by @ Jim Neal
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm

We don't need you to inflame any other residents. Most of the trees were diseased and had to go.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

when will the name change come from MV to Google-land

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Stef -- Thanks for the support! :)

As far as inflaming people is concerned, I am merely speaking on behalf of the residents whose views I will be representing. However, it this were "The Hunger Games", I would be "The Man on Fire"....

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council (Campaign Website)

Posted by Jason
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Jim, I'm bummed you're going to be opposing Google Fiber. We've been waiting for a real alternative to Comcast here in Monta Loma for years.

If you have another 1Gbps internet option that's reasonably priced, I'd love to hear about it.

FYI, I'm not a Google shill, but would be super frustrated by someone on the city council opposing it.

Posted by sick of it
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm

We don't need no stinkin' birds, you can listen to computer-generated bird sounds online if you want birds.

We don't need no stinkin' oxygen, Google will soon invent a replacement for that to sell us. Oh, wait, there already are "oxygen lounges" at the airport (Las Vegas?). Never mind.

So, is the Voice going to finish doing the required investigative work and report the rest of the story? Was it only the trees that were identified as diseased? Were those trees identified as diseased confirmed by a second opinion? (given that MV's arborist has to my knowledge NOT been a defender of heritage trees). How many trees were cut down and how many remain? Will any trees be replaced? Will solar panels occupy that area?

MV Voice, instead of the provocative headlines and partial information, how about including the whole story?

Posted by mak
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Google is clearly the evil empire and those that do their bidding should not be trusted.

Posted by Just Watching
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Google is GOD people.

They can do whatever they want.

Don't you dare critize anything Google does.

Posted by birdwatcher
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I am really stunned by this. I guess I am naive to think that everybody knows it's not cool (green) to cut down trees during the nesting months, ie Spring! Anyone read about what just happened in Oakland with similar tree destruction?? I suppose it's all about business. All those tree companies would have nothing to do for 4 full months. And from the Audubon website;
California State Code:
3503. It is unlawful to take, possess, or needlessly destroy the nest or eggs of any bird, except as otherwise provided by this code or any regulation made pursuant thereto.
Guess they get around this by examining every tree to ensure there are no nests or eggs??
Pitiful, actually.

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Jason -- Thanks for your comments! I want to make it clear that I am not against the Google Fiber project at all. What I am against is fast tracking this project before it has the chance to be fully vetted and any negative impacts mitigated. I would also like to see some competitive plans before this one is adopted so that we can be sure that the city is getting the best project (or projects) possible. Otherwise we could wind up with another near monopoly like we have with a major DSL company that shall remain nameless and the service and pricing problems that you are referencing, or other issues like the ones that Google brought to Kansas City.

I hope this makes my position more clear. Thanks for the opportunity to extend my comments!

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council (Campaign Website)

Posted by ByeBirdies
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm

This city seems to care little for birds, so the latest decimation of their nests is not surprising. However, it is still nothing compared to the destruction that the continual release of non-native bird predators (yes, you guessed it! Cats!) into our neighborhoods, parks and wetlands. The most concerning point is that apparently the burden of proof is on the "bird advocates" that they come up with an array of concrete scientific peer reviewed studies to prove the startling concept that cats kill birds. Shouldn't the burden be on the rescue groups to prove that their release of these predators into public areas is not causing environmental harm?

It is so sad to hear the increased roaring of traffic and the dwindling beautiful song of our bird population. Progress? I think not.

Posted by Haters
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Seems like the Jim Neal haters are out in full force! They naively assume that Google cannot buy off a few arborists with a wink and a nod, say no more, say no more. The city usually and routinely denies tree removal permits, but in walks Google and suddenly the golden chainsaws are passed out like lollipops in the Willy Wonak's Chocolate Factory.

What other fairy tails do the polticos have you believe?

Posted by Heritage Tree Ordinances
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm

All Heritage tree ordinances were followed. If you look into it, there is a process for companies building things, and a different process for home owners. You must be under the mistaken impression the Heritage tree ordinance provide equal protection. They do not. Go to the web site and do a count of how many times the city approves a tree removal and how many times they do not approve them. Further, if you cut down a heritage tree, and the unlikely event happens that someone turns you in (only enforced on complaint basis) and the evidence still exists to show you cut one down, the fine is that you have to buy a permit! So why on earth does anyone buy a permit? If you buy a permit, you can be told know. If you cut without a permit, the city only makes you buy a permit! Face it folks, we are not going to have a canopy in Mountain View. People do not care about trees enough to take on the system.

Posted by DDD
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm

@Jim Neal

"I want to make it clear that I am not against the Google Fiber project at all" just want to kill it with a mountain of roadblocks. Glad to see you talking like a politician, BEFORE you're even elected. You will fit right in; .

Posted by mom
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 22, 2014 at 8:21 am

Yes, some of the heritage trees are diseased. However, most of the trees removed were not heritage trees, but does that not make them worthy of saving? And especially during nesting season? If they've had the permits since Nov. 2012, why the urgency to take the trees down now? I guess Google's schedule is more important than anything else.

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@DDD -- I want them to follow the same rules and regulations that everyone else does. If there are "road blocks" then they should be removed for everyone, not just one company. What I want is a level playing field where no one is given an advantage. What's wrong with that?

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council (Campaign Website)

Posted by hmax
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Google gets what Google wants...been saying that for years...some people are finally waking's not about the trees...

Posted by Wildlife Biologist
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm

"Birds had been nesting in the removed trees, she said."
If there were indeed nesting birds that were harmed, not only is it a California code violation, it is a Federal crime, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Just ask the tree-trimmer that sent birds through the chipper outside the San Francisco Post Office, he was just charged.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

No one will be charged.

Developer hires an "arborist". Developer tells the arborist what trees the developer wants removed. "Arborist" certifies trees are
"Diseased". City government rubber stamps application.

A year and a half later, the still thriving "diseased" trees are clear cut for financial gain.

Posted by dc
a resident of North Whisman
on May 25, 2014 at 11:13 am

In 1960 some developer planted some cheap fast growing trees to fill the area and make it look nice and now we call them Heritage? Or were those old peach trees that die after 40 years considered heritage. Trees most live about 20-30 years in a city.

Posted by Christine
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

I hope they will reopen the San Antonio underpass soon. Does any know if reopening it is planned? Also, hopefully they will plant a lot of new trees.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,595 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Page 15
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,143 views

By Laura Stec | 12 comments | 1,072 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Voice readers and foundations contributed a total of $84,000.