The Marin Post

The Voice of the Community

Notice Post

Susan Kirsch

Propoal to Remove 5 Trees, Camino Alto intersection

Mill Valley Council Chambers
26 Corte Madera Avenue
Mill Valley, California 94941
February 19, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

The Mill Valley Zoning Administration will hear a proposal to remove 5 of 7 trees at 590 E. Blithedale, on the site of the former Gira Polli restaurant at the corner of E. Blithedale and Camino Alto.

The Arborist Report, prepared by Bartlett Tree Experts at the request of Echo Summit Construction, says the purpose is "to reduce risk posed by tree failure and to reduce property and sidewalk damage." The report doesn't define "tree failure" and only one tree was rated in "poor" condition. The report describes two trees "which have low-hanging branches" which cause safety concern related to impaired sight at the intersection.

One tree is in poor condition with few leaves and many dead limbs. It should be removed as a fire and safety hazard. The other 4 trees slated to be cut down are 30-40 year old 50-60' Red Ironbark Eucalyptus. They provide an attractive canopy of swaying beauty at one of the busiest intersections in Mill Valley. Trees are known to removed carbon from the air, and these four trees provide a valuable health service considering all the cars and congestion that are polluting the air.

Staff calls for planting 11 new 20’ tall maple trees to replace the 5 to be removed, but leaves open the possibility of the maples being planted off-site, or even not planted at all, in favor of an in-lieu fee.

Something doesn't seem right about this proposal.

If the problem is low-hanging branches, why not trim them? That would be cheaper than tree removal. Planting 20' trees will barely cover the roof line, while removing nature's swaying artistry.

Maple trees are everywhere, whereas the Red Ironbark Eucalyptus is unique. If the sidewalk damage warrants repair, let's compare the time it takes to repair a sidewalk to the time it takes for a tree to grow from 20' to 60'. And what's the deal about promising 11 trees, but having the option to reneg and put the trees on another site? This arrangement would not replace the benefit of 60' trees doing the daily work of providing shade and removing carbon from the air.

Check it. out for yourself. Read the staff report. Send comments to Senior Planner Lisa Newman,

If your schedule permits, join me at the meeting on Wednesday.

Organization: Kirsch Associates

Contact: Susan Kirsch

Contact Phone: 415-686-4375

Contact Email:


trees, tree removal