Columns
March 26, 2019
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City of RP Updates

Darrin Jenkins
For the love of trees
January 11, 2019

Trees are a wonderful part of our community. They produce oxygen, provide shade, support wildlife, absorb carbon dioxide and contribute to our well-being.

Before the city was created from the Rohnert Seed Farm, the area was virtually devoid of trees. As the city developed, we planted trees – lots of them, with about 16,000 trees along our streets and in our parks today. When we constructed our present day creeks as flood control channels there were no trees along the banks. Now those same creeks are home to thousands of mature trees providing a beautiful urban forest. Including all the trees on private property, there are probably as many trees as there are people in Rohnert Park—all planted in the last 63 years. The city’s tree-lined streets are a reminder of our community commitment to trees. We’re proud that we received recognition from Tree City USA for our love of trees.

Careful review and attention goes into the preservation of our gentle green giants. We require that commercial property owners obtain permits before removing or relocating trees on private property. We have a stringent tree replacement formula that requires fees or replacement of healthy trees that are removed. Prior to construction, a certified arborist must be hired to inventory all trees on the property. Protective barriers are to be placed around the dripline of certain trees as a safeguard.

We place a high premium on our trees and their proper care. We are now approaching the final phase of our three-year commitment to remove and replace 83 dying trees along Country Club Drive. Each year the original pine trees on the city’s two golf courses, that are dying due to an invasive bark beetle, are replaced with dozens more.

The downtown project is removing a number of trees from the original State Farm office complex as part of the downtown transformation. Some of the redwood trees will be harvested and provided to the Rancho Cotate High School wood shop students for projects. The builder has plans to reuse some of the lumber in the downtown project elements themselves. They will also plant hundreds of replacement trees in the parks’ plazas and lining the new streets. The downtown project will address the community’s strong desire for parks and green spaces by including 1.1 acres of park land. To find out more about our tree preservation ordinance or the downtown development, contact the city’s planning division at 588-2236.

Code compliance

As we enter the New Year, now is a good time to remind our residents about code compliance. Our code compliance officers are often out on the town responding to residents’ reports of problems such as excessive storage of vehicles in front yards, yards with overgrown weeds, graffiti, curb and sidewalk repair and other nuisances. Our officers are here to work with the community to ensure that the city’s zoning, buildings and other requirements are consistently met. They strive to maintain a healthy, safe and clean community.

If you see a property of concern, you can make a service request quickly online at www.rpcity.org/code-compliance. Our team attempts to resolve all reported problems. They will address more serious violations first, regardless of the order in which the service request was received.

Priority is given to violations that present an imminent threat to health and safety or the environment, followed by building code violations, land use and zoning violations and then other requests that are incomplete.

For questions about the city’s code compliance program, contact our code compliance staff by phone at 588-2249 or by email at code@rpcity.org.