tv [untitled] January 11, 2012 8:31pm-9:01pm PST
street from these beautiful trees. we have some of coincidences' that have been influencing the judgment of a lot of professionals here. i do understand that given the proximity of children that these concerns are taken very seriously but if we look at the pattern that has been identified, the pattern of lamb failure -- limb failure, the pattern is based on the diseased tree, which had been belatedly noticed by the school and before the city got a chance to remove the tree. there was a catastrophic limb failure and it was the weather related limb failure. there are many trees where there
are high traffic areas. we're not selling because they are ficus trees all ficus tree should come down. we have testimony these are stable root systems because they are tolerant to pruning. we have a record that is full of the specific instances that caused these two failures. we have three other thriving trees that are the last trees remaining on oak street. i do not know if you are aware. this were the california department of transportation building used to be. when people are tongue-in-cheek saying it is ugly, it is a utilitarian building that the school graciously painted in some colors. respectfully, i believe that in the future, if there is more evidence after watching these things carefully, they should be attended to but now i do not
think we have that time. thank you. commissioner hwang: thank you. next speaker, please. >> i also live at 179 oak, the only residential unit on the block. i believe mr. klingerville has overstated his case. it was one tree and it was identified as jamie just said. taking these trees down will take down all the big trees. the ones they put up in place are little spindly things. we already lost all the large trees on our side of the block. we lost several when they build the auditorium which they had to do because of the construction. i understand that. but the one that is the biggest
bone of contention is the one that has been referred to as tree no. 5 on the corner. that does not overhang of playground. that overhangs some picnic tables and let's face it, kids are not going to be out there in the rain eating their lunch. there will be downstairs in the cafeteria. the concerns expressed by the school are a little overstated. that is all i would say. i would also say that like others have said, all trees are subject to failure. i parked my car underneath those trees. i am willing to take the risk. >> thank you. next speaker. >> hello. i live across the strait -- street. i have lived there for 35 years
and have been emotionally attached to those trees for a long time. they change the whole atmosphere of the area. as someone mentioned, the fire department is on the corner. they go the wrong way on the street with every light and bell and siren going. it makes a tremendous difference with a big tree canopy. there are going to destroy -- make that street look like baghdad. they constructed these cement walls and they have huge steel fences. it was -- it has been a beautiful block. they can still be a beautiful block. we have to protect the beautiful, huge trees. i realize there is some distant danger. there is a much greater danger to these children being in an environment that is ugly,
burkle, that is cement, steel, and not leafy and green and beautiful. and san francisco is a beautiful city. it has become an ugly city. it is because of the destruction of what is here. again, i do not in any way except the idea that we can replace these beautiful large, well grown beautiful trees with these ready little sticks they stick in the ground. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> i wanted to tell you, please do not cut down our trees. thank you. >> if you would fill out a
speaker card, that would help with our minutes. any other public comment? seeing none, we will move into rebuttal. you have three minutes. >> i have been living on a hoekstra for more than 30 years since 1979. i want to be fair. i want everybody's interest to be represented in a way that makes sense so we can all use of street. however, i do not think the school is being a good neighbor in this instance. i think that they are rich and
they want what they want. with money you can buy stuff. for me, i have a limited amount of money. there'll be other trees even if you cut these down. that is about it. >> thank you. the schools recognize the attachment that many people have to these trees. we like to have the trees as well. they shield the school from sound and traffic. they are nice to have. but all of that taken into consideration, for us, the risks to life and safety is simply unacceptable. with the determination that
these trees are imminent hazard, the risk to us of a child getting hurt is clearly unacceptable. the prospect of catastrophic liability to us if we allow our children in an area where they could be endangered by these trees is unacceptable. i would think that the city also has some concern about liability for these trees since this matter has been brought before the city for its review. nobody is in favor of simply removing trees for the sake of removing trees. we do intend, of course, to replace these trees so that there are trees in the neighborhood. the removal of trees in the neighborhood in general that many speakers have spoken to is something that should be considered. why is that those trees have been removed? they're likely was a good reason in each of those cases. collectively, it is unfortunate we have three more before us but
each of these cases needs to be looked at on its own merits. the schools look to you for guidance on how to deal with this. thank you for considering. president goh: the tree we saw on the video, had that been hit by a truck? >> one of the people indicated it had been hit and they called the school. that may be the case. i was not made aware of a telephone call on that matter. >> you have it on video? >> it is not on the video i captured for purposes of archiving. the data from that date range is no longer on the system. i would also add -- president goh: what date range? >> last june. we cannot record that much did
it. we have staff members in our lobby which overlooks the courtyard and we have staff members who saw the tree falling because they heard it starting to crack and groan. they did not report any lightning. nor was there any loud thunder that was reported to me from people who were in close proximity to that location. >>president goh: what about any black and -- blackened limbs? >> i will ask. president goh: we did hear from ms. short who indicated limb failure as a concern, more of a concern from her standpoint than the root trimming. i am looking at a photograph of
the view of the close to launch- recess area. i am wondering if the school considered the cutting of those limbs there, the ones that would overhang into the yard area. did you consider that as a viable alternative? >> that would be one thing to do. i think the concern for us and in particular with regard to that tree is the assessment that the tree in its totality could fail at the rear -- root. if that were to occur, the direction of fall would be into the area that has picnic tables and used for our kids for a luncheon recess. i do not think that trimming the the limbs on that tree would address the issue.
president goh: is that in your submission, the movement, if you were to simply cut the limbs and the direction of the routes based on how their work cut would suggest -- >> i did not address that. president goh: where did you get that from? >> that is my thought now. based on the question of removing limbs on the sidewalk side. if that were to be contemplated the issue still is if the tree is not stable because of the cuts being on the curbside, the most likely direction would be away from the curb and towards our property. >> hour or burst is standing up. i would like to hear about that theory. -- our arborist is standing up.
>> the issue as characterized by daniel relating to read kaeding and those trees falling away from the cuts, that is the pattern of operating failures we see when they occur. -- root cuts occur. the leverage is offset by the roots opposite the direction of the fall. there is a -- the roots towards the curb and under the street would have been a counterbalance to the forces that would cause the tree to fall. directly into the playground and lounge area. directly onto the school property.
that is how trees would fail. >> thank you. >> that is typical of all trees, not this particular trade. -- tree. >> you have three minutes. >> i have a question. looking at the pictures of the failed trade -- tree, does it appear in has been hit by lightning? >> we did not see any evidence it was hit by lightning. sometimes, there is clear evidence when atreus hit by lightning but i am not sure there is always clear evidence if a tree is hit by lightning. we did not see anything but i would not assume that did not occur. >> there is nothing in the photograph?
>> there's nothing in the photograph. what we would see that might indicate lightning had struck would be some jarring -- charring on the tree where it was hit. sometimes there is flames. >> the photograph three from the end of the set of photographs before it -- photographs before the report. it can see one of the place -- you can see one of the play structures and the tape. does that look like charring? >> it does not. it looks like a fungal disease that we see or even just some sooty mold. it is fungus on ficus trees and
it presents like soot. where we would see the charring is at that point of impact which is to be aware of when it occurs. again, just because we do not see that evidence does not mean that there is no evidence or did not occur. >> thank you. >> let me try to get this clear. it occurred to me i am confused. the first thing that happened was the department went and looked at the trees and recommended they not be allowed to be cut down. is that the first step? >> the first step was that we identified one tree for removal. it was protested and during the protest, because -- it had been approved at a hearing. that tree then failed.
>> it had been slated for removal? >> that is right. the school requested we take another look at the tree which we dead -- we did. before this june failure we looked and we did not identify that history presented a hazard at that time. with the recognition there is always some risk. it subsequently failed. we were asked by the school to look at it again which we did. and still felt that our initial assessment, there are occasional failures that are not predictable. and with the understanding that the structure is not ideal. we looked again and we still felt that some pruning was warranted. >> i wanted the bare facts about what happened.
the tree fails and you reassess and this is a different arborist or is it you? >> the two of us went together. >> you recommend that the trees not be allowed to be cut down. >> we recommended pruning. the school opted to apply to remove the trees. we were inspecting them at the request of the school. when we did not determine they met our criteria, the report -- applied for removal. we formally applied -- denied there approval and may apply. >> you gave your testimony and the other arborist gave his testimony? >> we don't send two people. >> you gave your testimony before the hearing at dpw. >> yes. >> their decision was to ask to have the trees are removed.
>> to grant three of the four for removal. >> have you come around to where you totally agree? there is a reason i am asking, not to put you on the spot but i wanted to make a point. >> i understand where that decision was made. there is a lot of risk. in this case. i certainly agree that there is greater risk for a traffic accident, far greater. injuries due to a tree failures are very small. especially compared to traffic accidents. so, i do not know that answers your question. >> how often is it the case that the department reverses the decision or the position of its own arborist? >> i do not have a percentage for you. >> hasn't happened to you?
>> it has. it has happened in the reverse direction where we have recommended removal and the department determined we need to implement more rigorous monitoring. and keep the trees. >> the person that overturned it, is that a single person? >> that is right. there is one hearing officer. >> what is the training of that individual? are they themselves and are breast? was this based on risc or -- risk or expertise on things having to do with trees? >> they rely on the department arborist. we present the data. i was out with chris for two of the three business. the hearing officer will frequently seek our opinions. they will also listen to outside our breasts -- arborists.
while i initially assessed that much of the risk could be mitigated through pruning, not all could, and i recognize these larger limbs that shed our concern. there was some equivocation on our part just in terms of -- i feel the limb failure is the greater risk. not the route failure. -- root failure. >> thank you. >> commissioners, the matter is submitted. who is starting? >> it was not fair of me to put her on the spot.
i was trying to assess her feelings about this. if anyone has watched the board of appeals, i can remember how long she's been coming before us. how many years? seven years. i would just, grabbing a figure out of the year, she has opposed cutting down trees 95% of the time. it is rare that she wants to have trees cut down. some people were emotional in their appeal, in their statements about the trees and that is understandable. i would have you know that the matter how much you love them, i would guarantee ms. shaw loves them also. this is a considered opinion. based upon basically two things
in my opinion. one of them having to do with the fact that there is great potential, or there is potential, i do not want to say great. a potential for limb failure and that is a life safety issue. even though it might be more dangerous to be in traffic, i personally, when the department which it is rarely, recommends the trees be removed, for us to go against that and for some pedestrian, someone walking by their to be heard, is not a risk i want to take. as for the tillman that spoke about being comfortable about parking his car under the tree, i have a grove of eucalyptus trees and when the wind is howling, and it is raining heavily, i park nowhere near those trees. it is a question of time before one of them comes down. it or easily.
i intend to uphold. -- it worries me. i intend to uphold. >> in the seven years that she has been here, we have disagreed the most on this particular commission. it is not necessarily related to what we love or what we think should be. the issue i have always had is it is more from the point of view that i think there are specific cases where renewal is necessary. in some cases where it was purely aesthetic, i had also and from a designer's point of view, i also supported certain instances against her recommendation. this, however, is very clearly to me a case where renewal is
necessary. i am prepared to support the permit. the approval of the permit. president goh: after reading the materials i felt of the view of my -- my fellow commissioners articulate. listening to the testimony and thinking about it further and listening to ms. short, i am inclined to go the other route. i am not -- we already heard from people who will vote for granting and that makes my vote not worth a lot. i am not going to win this one. i do appreciate the testimony and the heart for these trees,
and a related move me today. -- it really did move me. >> your vote would be to allow the removal. uphold the department. i am on the fence on this one. like commissioner huang, it does not matter. these are majestic trees and they are spectacular. i went by them for a site visit. i generally vote with ms. short because we are generally voting to save trees and i will vote that way in this particular instance. my vote will not matter. do we have emotion, commissioners? >> i would move that we deny the
appeal and uphold the department and allow for the removal of these trees. i have to go through your findings or is that automatic? does that have to be read into the book? >> you can incorporate the dpw order number. >> do you have that number? i already put that aside. 179675. >> you can call the roll. >> we have a motion from the vice-president to deny this appeal, uphold the permits. on the motion, commissioner fung, aye. commissioner huang, no. commissioner goh, aye.
three vortes are -- votes are needed. this permit is upheald by -- upheld by default. >> we will move on to the next case. item nine has been continued to january 18. we will move to item 10 which is appealed number -- [no audio] appealing the imposition of penalty for construction work done without a permit. the application no. -- we can start with the appellant.
they keep. you have seven minutes. >> good evening, a board of appeals. my name is -- and i am just here to write a letter on his behalf. an english manor, explaining, giving them a broad, general idea of what he is bringing forward to you, ok? so his name is mr. jose pocasangre, and his letter is like this. my name is jose pocasangre, and my wife is marta pocasangre, and we decided to buy 178 madrid street. the house needed some remodeling. so they began to work