Rhea Mahbubani

Mountain View Leaders to Mull Google's Request to Cut 160 Trees, Including ‘Heritage' Redwoods

The Mountain View City Council on Tuesday will explore whether Google should be allowed to cut down over 100 trees to make room for its new ultra-modern campus.

The tech giant is seeking to cut down 160 redwood trees to make space for a nearly 600,000-square-foot futuristic campus along East Charleston Road. Of the trees, 100 are considered heritage trees because of their age and size and their removal requires a permit.

Google leaders have promised to replant native trees like oaks and cottonwoods.

A city planner says 160 trees is not an alarming number for a project of this size, and experts say replacing redwoods – which require a lot of water – is a more environmentally sound plan.

"In this area it would be better to introduce a more appropriate tree for the environment," said arborist Lane Kilpatric.

But some Mountain View residents have voiced frustration and call the plan a disgrace that sets a dangerous precedent for other potential developers in the city. They will have the chance to address the city council and share their concerns or support at Tuesday's study session.

NBC Bay Area found that other groups — Microsoft, Intuit, Symantec and El Camino Hospital — are also trying to remove about 200 more heritage redwood trees.

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