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Plan to yank 120 trees delays Mayfield project

Original post made on Sep 28, 2012

The possibility of losing 120 trees is holding up a plan to revamp the former Mayfield Mall for a major office tenant.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 28, 2012, 11:59 AM

Comments (25)

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Posted by Tree City USA
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Mountain View is a Tree City USA and we take that seriously

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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Good job, Mr. Gilli.

The existing trees are really nice. The pavement can be raised and repaired without removing the trees. They should consider permeable pavers and other "green" methods of rehab.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Lets face it. Most of the ML neighborhood prefers the slum look of the old Mayfield Mall/HP site. Its been empty for over a decade now.

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Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

"Political Insider" - why in the world would that be the case? We didn't want 100s of town houses, but some people are opposed to removing 100s of trees unnecessarily. Nothing there sounds strange to me. I think we would all like to see the office in use and less "ghetto" as you clearly think it is.
Educate yourself before assuming others' thoughts please. Thanks!

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Posted by rem
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

rem is a registered user.

NO - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO

'NUFF SAID - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

With Cal Trans' total wipe out of hundreds of trees and shrubs along 101 the local wild life was greatly impacted. Do not decimate more of Mt. View flora and fauna. I am a member of the National wildlife backyard habitat program. We need to keep some habitat for the wild animals even if it has been compromised. SAVE THE TREES!!!

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Posted by Sabrina
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Save as many heritage trees possible. We need them! Right now I'm thinking about how decimated south San Antonio Road feels since so many old trees were removed a couple months ago. If there's an option to keep them, that is the better choice -- even if it is not what the private developer wants.

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Posted by Well
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

The city will cave they always do.

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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Whatever Developers want
Developers get
And little resident, Developers want their way
And City Council has no regrets
Recline yourself, resign yourself, we're through
They always get what they aim for
And our city is what they come for

Whatever Developers want
Developers get,
Take off your coat
Don't you know we can't win?
We’re no exception to the rule,
City Council can’t resist, you fool, give in!...Give in!...Give in!

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Posted by Jeff
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Jeez Konrad, get a hobby you are good at. Trying to freeze time and space is not it.

Just because development happens, you can't ignore the deliberate process, with many inputs and checks, and the particularly good results achieved in Mountain View. Development here seems to be done with long-term, wide benefits and community character in mind. You ought to see what an actual "developerville" is really like. Your obsession with developers as evil forces to be resisted no matter what is right out of a textbook.

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Posted by The good old days
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Whatever happened to good old Mountain View? Pretty soon there will be no mountain veiw if developers and city council have their way. Perhaps it is time to vote in replacements. I for one would like to keep what's left of the old town feel. Without the getto and the high rises.

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Posted by leavethetreesalone!
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm

There is no need to remove the trees, there is a way to go around this "issue" without having to remove them. I agree with Sabrina, regarding how decimated San Antonio Road is now that they have removed so many trees just to make the road more "modern"..we humans take so many things for granted, to some it might just be a tree but to most it isnt "Just" trees.

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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

If you kill that many trees, you can kiss that Tree City designation goodbye...I suggest the name Mountain View will not survive these developers and no spine city about the name
Developer City
We accept all offers!

At every city limit sign Mtn. View has...

The only " green city" in Mountain is when a developer flashes his bankroll.

Then every city official prostrates ( or is it prostitutes? ) themselves before their god Mammon.

The proof: Who designed a tree? Who designs a building and for what purpose?

Methinks there needs to be a change of government and a whole housecleaning with the new broom.

That is if you want to keep the name

Mountain View

A Tree City

Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2012 at 7:13 am

I can no longer see the mountains when I turn left from California onto San Antonio. All I see is massive blocks of construction. When I turn right, passed the MVPD revenue raising stop light I see a San Antonio devoid of trees and all the ugly buildings. Way to go City Council!

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2012 at 7:15 am

@JW, I dont make this stuff up. Just read the comments above about how people frame the argument. Anyone who has walked through the site can see the poorly maintained trees, uneven roads, and a building in disrepair.

To say all of these trees are necessary ignores the obvious health of most of these trees and the tradeoffs to make this a better site. Hard to imagine a serious tech company leasing this site without better landscaping. None of this will happen unless the property owner is allowed to develop his privately owned assets on the site. There will still be trees on the site.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

Drove past this site the other week, needs major landscaping. Checked out some of the plans, don't like the idea of cutting trees down, but then again this site has stood empty, care of the grounds have gone down hill. Some of the plans show plazas which I think they want to bring in sun and views. Plant tall trees, shady trees around the parking lots and the fringes of the property. Palo Alto did cut down trees and San Antonio Road, Mtn View park which didn't really have many trees. Remember the front of the Sears store.

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Posted by ML parent
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I can't understand why the developer feels the need to remove so many beautiful trees that provide a habitat for birds and provide shade to our community and this property. The replacement trees they suggest are not at all on a par with what they want to remove. People *like* trees and they like to work and live near them. Trees increase property values, reduce A/C bills and on and on. I'd like to see the developer rethink their plans and I'm glad the community is standing up to them.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm

As a resident of Monta Loma, it is important to respect the property rights of the property owner. In this case the developer should not have his property rights abridged because of some complaints. Yes, the trees look nice but the Monta Loma residents did not buy the property on the open market to save those trees. It is a fundamental strength of the US constitution that property rights are respected from government intervention. If the developer's property rights which were legally obtained are trampled, then those who put trees ahead of property rights might prefer a neighborhood in Cuba.

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Posted by tree hugger
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Konrad Sosnow, I like your lyrics and I know which song that is too.

Isn't is somewhat of an irony that the city routinely allows developers to rip out heritage trees? If you are going to make a rule, then enforce it, either protect the heritage trees or stop fooling yourself by imagining that you are protecting them!

Thank you Peter Gilli for standing up to those who propose ripping out these huge, beautiful trees. I am sick of out-of-town developers, who are only here for the money, determining what my town looks like.

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Posted by curious
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

I agree with "resident" The building owner has the right to develop his property without interference by busy-body neighbors.

If you dig in, you find that the owner proposes to replace the trees with some that are more compatible with a paved parking lot. But this does not have the approval of the tree "connoisseurs."

Replacing the trees in no way harms the rest of us so let them do what they need to do. Next time YOU will be on the receiving end of a nosy neighbor stopping you from utilizing your property.

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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 8, 2012 at 8:05 am


We as a community have a law about heritage trees. Why is following that rule something that is so difficult? Unless the tree is dead or poses an imminent danger, there is no valid reason to remove it. It is a PROTECTED feature of our community. That is our law. If you want it changed, lobby to have the law repealed.

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Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 8, 2012 at 9:11 am


I'll hazard a guess. Maybe because of the way we flaunt the law for illegal immigrants? Our laws only apply to some people some of the time and are always open to interpretation it seems.

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I agree with Bikes2work -- we have rules about heritage trees because they are important to the community for aesthetic and shade reasons. All property owners need to abide by the heritage tree rules, so the developer of this property is no exception.

I agree with Ned that the immigration laws should also be enforced. But negligence of one law does not mean we should throw them all out.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

Perhaps some should read the HTO for conditions of removal besides death and imminent danger.


The condition of the tree with respect to age of the tree relative to the life span of that particular species, disease, infestation, general health, damage, public nuisance, danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures, and interference with utility services.


The necessity of the removal of the heritage tree in order to construct improvements and/or allow reasonable and conforming use of the property when compared to other similarly situated properties.


The nature and qualities of the tree as a heritage tree, including its maturity, its aesthetic qualities such as its canopy, its shape and structure, its majestic stature and its visual impact on the neighborhood.


Good forestry practices such as, but not limited to, the number of healthy trees a given parcel of land will support and the planned removal of any tree nearing the end of its life cycle and the replacement of young trees to enhance the overall health of the urban forest.


Balancing criteria. In addition to the criteria referenced above which may support removal, the decision-maker shall also balance the request for removal against the following which may support or mitigate against removal:


The topography of land and effect of the requested removal on erosion, soil retention, water retention, and diversion or increased flow of surface waters.


The effect of the requested removal on the remaining number, species, size and location of existing trees on the site and in the area.


The effect of the requested removal with regard to shade, noise buffers, protection from wind damage and air pollution and the effect upon the historic value and scenic beauty and the health, safety, prosperity and general welfare of the area and the city as a whole.

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Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:07 am

Suverkropp isn't the Monta Loma Neighborhood president any longer. And I like this quote: "I just love driving in. It just feels like I'm coming home." I'm sorry, but an empty 500,000 foot office building doesn't remind me of home. It reminds me that they should have built housing and parks on the site instead of trying to refurbish the office building. I notice that the office plans include 2000 parking spaces. Just wait until the building gets occupied...the traffic will be worse than housing ever would have been.

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

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