Neighbors Up in Arms Over PG&E Removing 30 Redwood Trees in Sunnyvale - NBC Bay Area
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Neighbors Up in Arms Over PG&E Removing 30 Redwood Trees in Sunnyvale

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    More than two dozen healthy Redwood trees are being removed in the South Bay. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Monday, June 12, 2017)

    More than two dozen healthy Redwood trees are being removed in the South Bay.

    PG&E says 30 trees along California Avenue in Sunnyvale create a safety hazard. Crews with the utility began the process of cutting down the trees on Monday. The trees have been growing above a transmission line for decades.

    PG&E officials said so far the trees have not caused any damage to the line, but need to be removed as a precaution.

    "In the event of an emergency, should there be some type of a break in the line that firefighters and first responders can quickly access the gas transmission lines in order to stop the leak in order to make the neighborhood safe as quickly as possible," PG&E spokesperson Jeff Smith said.

    Evelyn Dubocq said she has been fighting to save the trees for the last five years.

    "It's wrong and should not be done," Dubocq said.

    When PG&E completes the removal process, her current view of the 30-foot Redwoods will become a view of the sound wall and the Central Expressway behind it.

    "The noise is a major issue," Dubocq said. "The aesthetics is a major issue. Looking at a six-foot sound wall is not going to be appealing."

    Duboq and some other neighbors fear their home property values will drop.

    "Hopefully graffiti won't start," resident Barry Pequita said.

    PG&E plans to replace the Redwoods with smaller trees and shrubs. But on Monday many neighbors are calling the removal harmful and unnecessary.

    "We're fighting to build this neighborhood and they're tearing it down," Dubocq said.

    The tree-removal process is part of a statewide PG&E initiative to make transmission lines safer.

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