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Menlo Park Residents Consider Plan To Save Tree

MENLO PARK (KCBS) --- A nearly 300-year-old heritage oak tree that's nearly three centuries old is a step closer to being saved on the Peninsula. Menlo Park residents are negotiating with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to preserve the elder oak, which stands in the way of an expensive water pipeline project.

There is a tentative plan to preserve "Granny," as the oak tree is called, which is located on the 800 block of Fifteenth Ave. in unincorporated Menlo Park.

KCBS' Matt Bigler Reports:

The San Francisco PUC has said it can tunnel under the 65-foot-tall oak tree thereby preserving it, but the neighborhood has to agree to assume responsibility for Granny which means assuming liability for the oak tree and maintaining a park-like area around it.

The neighbors said that responsibility would mean raising about $6,000 a year, and they’'ve put forward a counter-proposal with side-by-side cost comparisons.

Utility officials claim it will cost about $310,000 to dig the seismically strengthened pipeline beneath the tree and about $100,000 to cut it down. Those who want to save Granny think it's worth any cost to keep the heritage oak.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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