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Street tree duty falls to property owners

Street-tree-051505On Tuesday, the council will consider a new law that makes homeowners responsible for maintaining street trees and sidewalks and liable if they fail to do the job and someone gets hurt.

The city says it no longer has the money to proactively prune trees after eliminating several tree-trimmer jobs last year. It still has two pruning crews that work on trees that pose immediate safety risks.

Under the new law, property owners must maintain street trees and other landscaping mostly along the grassy parking strip between the sidewalk and the gutter.

If a property owner doesn’t do his/her duty and someone gets hurt from uneven sidewalks or a low branch, then the property owner is liable for damages, under the proposed ordinance. And if the city gets sued over that, it can try to recover its loss from the property owner.

On the bright side, residents won’t have to pay a fee to obtain a permit for replacing a street tree. But if they damage a street tree, fines range from $250 to $1,000

Matt Artz

  • West

    Charlie, Why don’t you work on getting the Minor league team from
    San Jose, now that they are the New Home of the A’s.
    It would be fitting to have the San Jose Giants Minor league team move to, Fremont.
    Charlie have you found someone, to help you with your Mental Health Problems, good luck with that.

  • bbox231

    Public ignorance is the government’s best friend.

  • charlie C

    Calguy…If you were twice as smart, you’d still be stupid.
    bBOX…Public ignorance = electing VBacon.

  • bbox231

    The voice of intelligence … is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all it is silenced by ignorance.

  • Marty

    Penis.

  • charlie C

    The voice of desire said build it and Fremont will prosper… as you know this was “silenced by the ignorance” by the usual suspects, VBacon, KMac and the FCN. Lew W spent 80 mill…and you and your ilk have got to know that wasn’t a head fake. Fremont would a, could a been a major leauge city. Thanks to you it is *NOT*!

  • West

    Charlie have you found someone, to help you with your Mental Health Problems, good luck with that.

  • charlie C

    #57
    Hey CalGuy…
    1. Look up ignoramus.
    2. Look at youself in the mirror.
    3. Vote for Bacon.

  • bbox231

    So – here’s another re-restart on the sidewalk maintenance thread. Like so many other topics of significance to Fremont residents – this one took a powder with the re-do of the TCB web site.

    In today’s press, we find a nice article about some Fremont taxpayers getting caught in the attempts by City management to pass off years of neglect for trees and sidewalks to residents.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_24167011/fremont-residents-voice-frustration-over-citys-policy-maintaining

    But – what is nowhere to be found in this article are some important decisions and ensuing battles that have continued in the courts over this very issue.

    First up – the Supreme Court weighs in and effectively says that cities are liable for the condition of their infrastructure – which includes sidewalks.

    “In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court underscored cities’ responsibilities for sidewalks, in Barden versus the City of Sacramento. The case established a nationwide precedent, holding cities accountable for providing accessible public sidewalks.”

    http://safesidewalks.com/pdf/safesidewalks_white_paper.pdf

    And, here’s a nifty little consideration – - it turns out that the ADA might just have something to say about the condition of public sidewalks.

    “In what could be a major financial blow to cities nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear an appeal from Arlington asking the court to clarify whether sidewalks are programs or facilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

    Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/21/3752581/us-supreme-court-declines-to-hear.html#storylink=cpy

  • Charlie C

    Yeah…Bacon is *really* making things better!

  • bbox231

    You’re absolutely correct, Charlie.
    It wIll be really tough for Vinnie (or anyone else) to un-do many years of bad decisions made by Bill, Anu and Susie . . . and that assumes that the legacy council members aren’t so wedded to their past mistakes that a common sense discussion of how to remediate these kinds of flawed policies can gain traction.
    Unfortunately, the historical record would argue to the contrary.
    After decades of planning, installing and maintaining our sidewalks, someone passes a vote and thinks we can just pass off responsibility to the taxpayers and no one will notice or object. What rocket scientist whipped this out of their Martha Stewart cookbook?
    Incredibly, we had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to remind these individuals about, what can only be described as, one of the most basic of essential services they are responsible for providing *and* maintaining.
    WOW!

  • VinnieBacon

    Charlie will just automatically blame me for anything bad that happens, or has happened, in Fremont. I’m not sure he even noticed that this post is about a decision Council made in 2010, a full two years before I was on the Council.

  • Charlie C

    Dear Vinnie,

    In retrospect do you have any regrets about the consequences of your actions? Opposing the ballpark was bad for Fremont and history is proving me to be correct. Your thoughts?

  • VinnieBacon

    We’ve discussed this over and over and over and over. If you don’t know where I stand on this issue, you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Charlie C

    I was hoping going forward you might do what is Fremonts best interest. After all Nixon went to China didn’t he? Professional baseball would have put Fremont on the map my friend. I hope going forward you are capable of doing what is best for *all* the people you represent.

  • VinnieBacon

    I was hoping that we might drop this issue since it has been dead for several years now and there is absolutely no indication that the proposal is going to be revived in any way, shape or form. We both have stated our positions on this issue many, many times and I fail to see any reason to do so again.

  • Charlie C

    So are your saying those fields of weeds will never be fields of dreams? Sorry to inform you that your opposition to the ball park is as good as a tatoo on your forehead. This will forever be your legacy. Many of us remember how you and the *vocal minority* swiftboated what was in the best interest of our city. Anu please call Lew!

  • bbox231

    Anu – please call Lew. Charlie – please call Anu . Dorothy – please call Auntie Em.
    Clueless morons mired in a distant past – all.

  • Charlie C

    9 out of 10 clueless morons believe Bacon means bussiness and Toto the dog didn’t cost two grand either…play ball!