News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 11/06/2009
Subject :

Council to Discuss California Avenue Tree Plan on November 16
Contact : Glenn Roberts, Public Works Director    650-329-2325
Palo Alto, CA -- On November 16, the City Council will review the updated tree planting plan for the initial phase of work on the California Avenue Streetscape project. The revised plan, developed by landscape architectural firm of Royston Hanimoto Alley and Abey (RHAA), is based on recent input from the community, advice from local arborists, review by the nonprofit group Canopy, feedback from the Architectural Review Board (ARB), and comments from the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC). The public is invited to attend the meeting or send comments about the updated plan to staff prior to the Council meeting.

Recent public meetings for this project included community meetings on October 8 and October 22, ARB meetings on October 15 and November 5, and the PTC meeting on October 28.  Comments from the public and commissions have focused on including a mix of tree species, balancing the use of evergreen and deciduous trees, and using a unifying common tree.  The revised design reflects the local character of California Avenue and what ties it to the adjacent neighborhoods and its past.  The new plan uses traditional streetscape design elements such as the creation of gateways, accent trees at intersections, and a sense of balance in the use of larger species.  

On November 5, RHAA presented a revised tree plan (Plan C) to the ARB
that incorporates strong design principles and includes many aspects of comments from the public and at the Commission and Board meetings.  The ARB noted the design should have prominent gateway trees at both the Caltrain and El Camino Real entrances onto California Avenue and should have additional unifying street trees to give more continuity to the streetscape.  During the ARB meeting, many community members spoke in favor of the revised plan (Plan C) and wanted street trees planted this winter to avoid delay. The plan and design statement are available on the City of Palo Alto website, as well as the report for the ARB.  RHAA's revised plan, based on comments received from the ARB on November 5, will be posted to the City's website on Tuesday, November 10.  

"Although this important streetscape project had a rocky start, we believe that through active collaboration, the community has developed a unique tree replanting plan for the California Avenue business district that we can all be proud of," said James Keene, City Manager. "By proactively seeking citizen input early on, we can incorporate community values into our major initiatives, address any concerns that arise, and keep projects on schedule.“

The City is seeking comments on the updated plan by noon on Monday, November 16, in advance of the City Council Meeting.  The public is invited to attend the meeting or submit additional comments for Council consideration. All comments received on the refined street tree replanting plan will be summarized as part of the City’s presentation on November 16th.  Please send your comments via email at or by letter to Kate Rooney, Public Works Engineering, 6th floor, City Hall, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA  94301.

For more information on the project description and existing tree selection plan, visit  

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