[fosc] Case File No.:DV03-185/Pallid Manzanita

Brenyah-Addow, Maurice MBrenyah at oaklandnet.com
Thu Jan 12 17:00:15 PST 2006


Hello Ralf,
 
Thanks for your email below.
 
During the Design Review stage of the subject project, it was brought to my
attention that a protected  species of Manzanita was located on the adjacent
City-owned lot to the north of the subject site. To ensure the plant's
preservation, a Condition of Approval was attached to the approval letter
for the project to require the applicant to protect the plant and submit
photographs showing preservation of the plant before, during, and after
construction.
 
Following our phone conversation, I visited the subject site with one of our
Zoning inspectors and confirmed that there is what appears to be a Manzanita
shrub on the adjoining City lot, close to the northern property line of the
subject site. It was evident that grading activities at the site had
commenced and it looked like some clearing had occurred close to the plant.
One of the lower branches appears to have been broken off and that was
likely caused by the proximity of vegetation clearing around the subject
property. 
 
In view of the above we have recommended that all construction activity at
the site be suspended immediately until proper protection measures are in
place to ensure that no further damage is caused to the plant. Meanwhile I
am in consultation with various City departments, including Parks and
Recreation officials to solicit appropriate preservation requirements to
ensure that the plant is fully secured. I will update you with any further
development on this matter.    
 
Again thanks for bringing the situation to my attention.
 
-Maurice Brenyah-Addow - Planner III
Community & Economic Development Agency
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Ralph Kanz [mailto:rkanz at earthlink.net] 
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:43 PM
To: mbrenyah at oaklandnet.com
Cc: Jean Quan; FOSC List; Richard Cowan; Brad Olson; Charli Danielsen; Laura
Baker; Randy Hayes; Claudia Cappio; Dianne Lake
Subject: Case File No.:DV03-185/Pallid Manzanita
 
Maurice,
 
Today I noted the grading taking place at 7728 Skyline.  Located on the site
is an endangered Pallid manzanita.  This afternoon I inspected the file and
found you had issued the project a Categorical Exemption from the CEQA
process.  As you know a project cannot be exempted from CEQA when a special
status species might be impacted.  My inspection of the pallid manzanita on
the site found it has been directly impacted by the grading activities,
including removal of some vegetation. 
 
In the file is a letter from a neighbor, dated June 12, 2003 advising you
that "there is an 'Alameda manzanita' bush on the property.  I believe that
it is located uphill from where the building is situated, but provisions
should be made to protect it during the building process."  You faxed this
letter to the architect for the project.  You also faxed the architect a
list of "biologists with expertise in whipsnakes but may also have some
knowledge on the Alameda manzanita plants." (Pallid manzanita was formerly
referred to as Alameda manzanita.)  There are no further documents in the
file referencing Pallid manzanita.  
 
Clearly the City was aware of the presence of an endangered species on the
site and yet did nothing to provide for its protection during the
construction of this project.  No biological surveys were done to determine
how many plants were present on the site.  No mitigation measures have been
put in place to insure the continued existence of the species on this site.
 
Pallid manzanitas are in serious decline in the City of Oakland.  Mitigation
measures for previous projects have failed to be implemented, resulting in
the loss of plants.  Fuel reduction activities for wildfire prevention have
taken Pallid manzanita.  We cannot afford further losses of this species. 
 
Please let me know how you plan to protect the endangered species present on
this site.
 
Ralph Kanz
 
 
 
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