The San Ramon City Council is set to consider whether to approval the proposed Dougherty Valley Tree and Planting Strip Management Plan following a hearing Tuesday night.
The plan would address the large tree species planted in narrow turf planting strips throughout San Ramon's Dougherty Valley, which are causing significant damage to infrastructure in the area, according to city officials.
Ever since late 2012, city officials have reported receiving hundreds of citizens' requests for service due to damage or potential damage caused by tree roots in the planting strips.
In response, the San Ramon council approved a specific capital improvement project in 2013 to deal with the problem, which would include removing individual trees that had caused or had the potential to cause infrastructure, and, where appropriate, replace them with other, smaller tree species.
But because of the wide scope of the tree damage, city staff later recommended crafting a new plan to handle the troublesome trees -- by January 2017, tree roots had caused thousands of irrigation breaks and significant sidewalk damage at an estimated cost of over $450,000 since 2012 and millions more in potential future damage. About 400 new trees had been planted to replace the over 600 that were removed.
"Since that time, tree removals have been put on hold, except for emergency situations," reads the plan's environmental review document. "As the region has emerged from drought conditions, tree‐related repairs and costs have continued to increase along with continued tree growth."
On Jan. 10, the council authorized an agreement with California Tree and Landscape Consultants, Inc. (CalTLC) to develop the Strip Management Plan, and three months later the council appointed a group of residents to the Dougherty Valley Citizens Tree Committee.
After months of discussions and deliberation, the Tree Committee has come up with three options for the plan.
The first -- preferred by the committee as the "hybrid option" -- would develop an initial annual plan to address existing service requests, and then a follow-up multi-year plan to remove and replace trees and landscaping in areas with significant damage (or potential damage) to utilities and infrastructure.
The second option would involve proactively removing and replacing trees and turf with appropriate species, and the third option is to respond to service requests and deal with problems as they arise.
The council will consider approving the tree plan itself as well as the accompanying environmental review at Tuesday's meeting. The costs of implementing the plan will be presented during the fiscal year 2017/18 mid-year budget review, and additional funds for the project will be requested as part of the city's five-year capital improvement program 2018-23.
If the plan and environmental review are approved, staff will begin developing an annual work plan and schedule, create a report to revise the city's tree ordinance and form a standing Urban Forest Citizens Review Committee, as recommended by CalTLC.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber at San Ramon City Hall, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.
In other business
* The council will consider moving forward with new actions on The Preserve development, with three items on the agenda revolving around the project: a resolution that would approve annexation of four subdivisions to a San Ramon Community Facilities District, along with two resolutions that would approve the final maps and authorize the mayor to execute improvement agreements for two of the subdivisions within the project.
The Preserve (formerly known as the Faria Preserve) is situated on a parcel of land between Bollinger Canyon Road and San Ramon Valley Boulevard, about 1,500 feet north of Crow Canyon Road, within the Northwest Specific Plan Area.
The facilities district is authorized to fund a variety of public facilities and municipal services, such as police services and facilities, parks and recreational services and facilities, street lighting and landscaping services and flood and storm protection and water treatment.
The annexation resolution was already up for approval at a council meeting on Oct. 10, but council members requested that the item be reviewed by the Finance Committee for additional information. After review of the development's fiscal impact study on Nov. 6, the committee recommended the council consider the annexation as recommended by the study.
Also on tap for Tuesday, the city will consider approving final maps for The Preserve's subdivisions 9443 and 9457. Subdivision 9443 covers an area of about 21.70 acres on the north side of Faria Preserve Parkway and west of Purdue Road, and will create 141 residential lots. Subdivision 9457 consists of an area of nearly 10 acres, also on the north side of Faria Preserve Parkway and west of Purdue Road, and will create 69 residential lots.
* Council members will consider appointing a vice mayor for 2017-18.
* Mayor Bill Clarkson will recognize the participants in this year's Citizen's Planning Academy in a special presentation.
* Inez Mahon, chair of the Senior Advisory Committee, will present to the council the committee's annual report.
* During a special meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, the council will hold a workshop, during which time the council will hold a recap of their council-appointed budget focus group and update the council's 2017-18 goals.
The special meeting will be held in the EOC Meeting Room, also at City Hall.