Rhea Mahbubani

Mountain View Leaders, Google Reach Compromise Over Request to Cut More Than 150 Redwood Trees

Mountain View leaders agreed to a compromise Tuesday in the face of a request by Google to fell more than 150 redwood trees to make room for its new futuristic 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.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the City Council decided to cut down trees in phases with the hope of saving as many redwoods as possible. Sick or damaged trees will be removed first, they said.

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 decried the plan for setting a dangerous precedent for other potential developers in the city. 

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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