HAB staff report

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					                                                                      ITEM 7-A


                     HISTORICAL ADVISORY BOARD
                          AGENDA REPORT

DATE:                    November 5, 2009

TO:                      HONORABLE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE
                         HISTORICAL ADVISORY BOARD

FROM:                    Simone Wolter, Planner I
                         510.747.6882
                         swolter@ci.alameda.ca.us

APPLICATION:             Certificate of Approval – PLN09-0339 – 2510 Eagle
                         Avenue. The applicant is requesting a Certificate of
                         Approval to allow removal of a Coast Live Oak
                         (Quercus agrifolia). The subject tree has caused
                         property damage.

ZONING DISTRICT:         R-4, Neighborhood Residential District

GENERAL PLAN:            Medium Density Residential


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The applicant requests a Certificate of Approval to remove an approximately 27”
Coast Live Oak tree at 2510 Eagle Avenue because it has caused damage to
the foundation at 2514 Eagle Avenue and will cause additional damage if not
removed. The tree is located in the front yard of 2510 Eagle Avenue and is
situated along the western (left) property line. The tree is within two feet of the
neighboring structure and is damaging the foundation of the structure. Staff
recommends that the Historical Advisory Board approve the Certificate of
Approval based upon the findings contained in the attached Draft Resolution.

BACKGROUND

The tree is presumed healthy; however, the engineer’s report dated June 27,
2003, states that the oak’s root system has cracked the foundation of structure at
2514 Eagle Avenue (see attachment 2). The arborist’s memorandum dated
September 16, 2003 (see attachment 3) states that the tree roots cannot be
pruned without compromising the structural integrity of the tree. A

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Members of the Historical Advisory Board                            November 5, 2009


recommendation has not been provided on the prospect of modifying the
structure’s foundation to bridge to tree root(s)

Except in cases of emergency, a protected tree may only be removed if a
Certificate of Approval is granted by the Historical Advisory Board. In order to
grant approval of a tree removal request in the City of Alameda, certain criteria
must be met. Pursuant to Alameda Municipal Code (AMC) Section 13-21,
Preservation Of Historical And Cultural Resources: “Applicants shall submit an
arborist’s report in a case where the health of
the tree is the reason for the requested
removal of the tree, or a contractor’s report in
a case where damage to foundations or other
structures is the reason for the requested
removal of the tree.”

STAFF ANALYSIS

A site visit was made on October 14, 2009,
staff verified that the oak tree’s canopy, trunk
and limbs are very close to the existing
historic residence at 2514 Eagle Avenue. The
owner of 2510 Eagle Avenue is requesting
permission from the HAB to remove the tree,
because the owners of 2514 Eagle Avenue
have requested that the tree be removed so
that it no longer impacts the foundation of the Figure 1 - 2510 Eagle Avenue
building at 2514 Eagle Avenue. In addition to
the close proximity of the tree to a structure
on a neighboring property, the tree is impacting, and possibly being impacted by,
the concrete driveway that is at the base and underneath the dripline of the tree.

The Alameda Municipal Code requires that two replacement Oak trees be either
planted on site or a donation be made
to the City’s Parks and Recreation
Department that will fund the planting
of two trees in a City Park. Although
the font yard of 2510 Eagle Avenue is
large,    the    expansive    concrete
driveway and location of existing
mature trees makes placement of two
new Oak trees on this site infeasible
as two new trees would quickly
compete for limited space and
groundwater. Oak trees can reach 70
feet in height and their canopy and
                                           Figure 2 - Coastal Live Oak
root system often spread in a
horizontal distance that exceeds this

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Members of the Historical Advisory Board               November 5, 2009


dimension. Any new trees planted on site will compete with other trees and will
have the potential to negatively impacting existing structures, which could result
in the need to remove the trees before they reach maturity.

Given the limited space and potential for negative impacts to existing buildings,
staff recommends that the applicant pay a $250.00 in lieu fee to the City of
Alameda, equal to the cost of two fifteen gallon trees, to be used for the
purchase and planting of two trees on City owned property.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

This proposed project includes the removal of one Coast Live Oak that is
classified as resource whose removal requires consideration of a discretionary
permit per AMC Section 13-21.7, which permits the removal of mature oak trees
when it has been demonstrated that a tree is unhealthy or a threat to structures.
The AMC requires replacement planting or payment of in-lieu fees to mitigate the
loss of the resource. Consequently, the project is Categorically Exempt from
additional environmental review pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA) Guidelines, Section 15304 – Minor Alterations to Land.

PUBLIC NOTICE

A notice for this hearing was mailed to property owners and residents within 300
feet of the site, published in local newspapers, and posted in public areas near
the subject property.

This agenda item was advertised in the Alameda Journal on October 16, 2009.
Notices were mailed on October 15, 2009 to residents and property owners
within 300 feet of the project location.

RECOMMENDATION

Conditonally approve the Certificate of Approval based upon the findings
contained in the attached Draft Resolution and require payment in lieu of
replanting the trees.


RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED BY:                   REVIEWED BY:


____________________________                 _______________________________
Simone Wolter                                Jon Biggs
Planner I                                    Planning Services Manager
Members of the Historical Advisory Board          November 5, 2009


Attachments:
   1.   Draft Resolution
   2.   Engineer’s Report dated June 27, 2003
   3.   Arborist Memorandum dated September 16, 2003
   4.   Site plan