Updated 8/4/2021 10:00 am Contact email for more information
Background: In Spring 2021 BART announced it wanted to remove 49 street trees along Market St in order to begin construction of BART entrance canopies. Since street trees are under control of the SF Dept of Public Works (DPW), it held public tree removal hearings for all 49 trees on June 28. The results of the hearings were 15 DPW Orders (each Order covers 1 to 4 trees) — in other words remove about 2/3 of the trees.
Josh Klipp worked with DPW to reduce the number of Orders from 15 down to 6. Five of the Orders we decided we didn’t need to appeal, and the remaining 10 Orders were combined into one Order.
Sierra Club on proposed Market Street tree removals
San Francisco Group of the San Francisco Bay Chapter
28 July 2021
Dear Supervisors, Directors, and Colleagues:
The Sierra Club is deeply concerned about a pair of proposals to remove hundreds of trees from the Market Street area, driving the loss of the street tree canopy and Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly habitat on Market Street. It is extraordinary that at a time when the destructive impact of climate change is in the news every day, simple measures are not being implemented to counter the environmental damage of removing trees and established habitat.
What’s next? The DPW Removal Order can be be appealed to the SF Board of Appeals. The filing deadline to appeal the Order is August 16, 2021, and the filing fee is $100.
To successfully appeal this particular Order we will need many groups to file appeals.
If you are a member of an organization, your group is encouraged to file an appeal. As an individual you can also file an appeal. The more distinct groups and individuals we have appealing the removals, the better. We can provide any group or individual who appeals with written arguments and other materials.
For details of the appeal filing process see the Board of Appeals site, and scan down to the heading What to Provide for your Appeal. If you want to file an appeal you must do so by Monday, August 16, 2021.
The Order we are appealing is DPW Order# 205249 , total 32 removals — click to view and include a copy with your Appeal Filing.
A sample appeal filing
Send an email to Board of Appeals
Click on the above link to generate a template email, then change the information to your name, address, and phone, and send it.
Do not mail a check. The Board will assign you a case# — when you receive it write that number on your check. The Board also has an online payment portal.
If clicking the link above does not generate an email correctly, create an email like this:
Subject: Appeal of DPW Order 205249
My name is Joan Doe, 123 Main St, My City, My Zip, My phone is 123-456-7890.
I understand there is a $100 filing fee and that I may file an optional statement
(one-page, 12pt type, double-spaced).
The Order is
If your organization wants to file an appeal but cannot do so by August 16, 2021, an individual in the organization may file an appeal and then later transfer it to the organization.
After you have filed an appeal
The next deadline is three Thursdays before your hearing date, when you must submit a brief via email: up to 12 double-spaced pages, with unlimited exhibits.
At the hearing each appellant has 7 minutes to argue the case, plus 3 minutes rebuttal. An unlimited number of Public Comments from 1–3 minutes each will be heard.
If there are multiple appellants, each will have 7 minutes plus 3 minutes rebuttal. The respondent (in this case Public Works) will have 7 minutes argument plus 3 minutes rebuttal times the number of appellants. For example, if there are three appellants, Public works will have 21 minutes argument plus 9 minutes rebuttal.
Problems with removing the trees:
San Francisco has been removing a huge number of mature street trees all over the City and planting very few replacements. Market Street is the latest grand boulevard to be deforested.
BART has designed station canopies that interfere with many existing, mature trees that provide human and environmental benefits
BART wants to remove other trees, even if they don’t interfere with the station canopies, just for convenience during construction
People need street trees for our health and well-being.
The Market St trees provide a habitat for Western Tiger Swallowtail butterflies, that was first discovered on Market Street in the 1980’s.