Advice needed for paver driveway next to Silver dollar eucalyptus trees

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by jreddy, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. jreddy

    jreddy New Member

    Nov 19, 2019
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    San Jose, California
    I am trying to build a home on a very challenging lot in SF bay area and out of the only two locations approved by our traffic consultant, we chose to propose a driveway next to our neighbor's (flag lot in the back of our property). They have silver dollar eucalyptus trees on either side of their 10 year old paver driveway and about 2-5 ft away from the base of the trees. Our arborist and architect proposed a paver driveway on top of geotextile fabric next to theirs along with recommendations to hand dig the prep work, and during the architectural review meeting, the neighbor strongly objected to our driveway location. They brought in another arborist to dissect our arborist report, saying that the 5 ft distance is not adequate enough for our driveway and is too close to their existing trees. We need to go 5 ft closer to the lot line due to requirements from fire dept for fire truck turnaround.

    As you can see in the pic, the neighbor's current paver driveway is on the right and we are proposing our paver driveway on geotextile fabric and sand base to the left of the trees. Our driveway starts 10 ft away from the property lot line on the right and then goes 5 ft away from lot line (to accommodate fire truck turnaround), and then goes back to 10 ft and then 20 ft away from the property line. See pic which shows the driveway. Our own euclayptus trees (marked 1,2,3) have been stunted in growth due to their trees and we are requesting city permission for their removal.

    During the meeting, the neighbor's arborist was present and our arborist could not attend the meeting. The neighbor's arborist during questions by the commission as to what would be safe distance for our paver driveway mentioned at least 15 ft should be maintained.

    The city does not have a staff arborist to break the difference of opinion between the two certified arborists.

    Unfortunately, having to maintain 15 ft away from these trees will cause major redesign on section of our home while still trying to comply with fire truck turnaround radius.

    1) What is the expert opinion on the "safe" distance our paver driveway can be from these trees?
    2) how do we bring in a neutral third party expert into the mix so that the city can make informed decision, and not hold on to the approvals of our project?
    3) any other feedback on the driveway construction methods that are safe and cost effective, and accepted by other cities/towns especially in the SF bay area and other places.

    Thank you in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Justin Taylor

    Justin Taylor ArboristSite Operative

    Dec 21, 2018
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    In my opinion 3feet would be fine just think about it like this in my city we have big trees downtown that have 1 foot on each side road-sidewalk and there doing fine. when you build or someone builds the driveway do 8-10 inches of class 5 that class 5 will add a big buffer for roots when they grow and 1 inch of sand that driveway will be over kill but won’t be destroyed by roots I would also bring in material (fill) to raise the driveway to you don’t have to dig as deep.
  3. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

    Mar 20, 2009
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    Victoria Australia

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