Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Tree commissioners upset over handling of fine; Kidd still hasn’t paid

By
From page A1 | May 21, 2013 |

Members of the Davis Tree Commission are not happy with the way the city has handled the penalty it assessed Select Commercial Brokers, owned by Davis resident Jim Kidd, for illegally cutting down trees on city property last year.

The company removed two Chinese hackberries — one completely and one partially — and one coast live oak, worth a total of about $40,000, from the east end of Olive Drive in April 2012.

Public works staff calculated at the time that $12,000 would be an appropriate fine to levy to replace the total inches of diameter lost by removing the trees.

But after the fine was handed down, several commission members learned that the city manager’s office began to work with Kidd behind closed doors toward a mutual objective, possibly to develop the area at the end of Olive Drive instead of collecting the cash.

“This is not being handled in a conventional manner,” said commission member David Robinson. “… Nobody disagrees about what happened. Nobody disagrees (that) what happened was illegal.

“My concern is the lack of openness about this. This should have been as straightforward as a parking ticket and it’s turned into something political. Mr. Kidd should just be writing a check and that should be the end of it.”

Other commissioners have said they were concerned that the funds, which originally were assigned for the preservation of trees, would be used for other city services.

Local art advocates and city planners long have had an interest in molding the industrial-looking turnaround where the trees were cut down at the end of Olive Drive into a more attractive entrance into the city.

Some have envisioned placing a tall figure or sculpture there to transform the offramp into something more representative of the community.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said last week that, in fact, the city had been discussing plans to develop the area with Kidd, who owns property adjacent to city land in that part of town.

But Pinkerton explained that there never was a question about whether Kidd was in the wrong or whether he’d pay for the infraction.

“He was going to pay either way; it was just the manner in which he was going to pay,” Pinkerton said, adding that it was the city’s intention to get as much out of the situation as possible.

Those discussions eventually broke down because it became apparent to Kidd, who Pinkerton said has an interest in expanding his property onto city land, that he would have to pay more than the $12,000 he was fined originally.

Pinkerton also said that as far as the collection of the money, the city views it as a general fund expense and that no special funds for tree preservation exist. But he added that the money will be utilized for trees one way or another.

Still, commissioners aren’t thrilled that it has been 13 months since the trees were illegally removed and that Kidd still hasn’t paid what he owes the city.

“It’s more the secrecy of all of this and the fact that it has dragged on for so long that has annoyed those of us in the tree community,” Robinson said. “I (also) think that this sets a very bad precedent that this is going on in the dark.”

According to City Planner Bob Wolcott, Kidd was scheduled to meet with city officials several weeks ago, check in hand, to pay off the debt, but the local developer failed to show.

Wolcott added that if Kidd doesn’t pay soon, it could become an issue. However, Pinkerton pointed out later that the city doesn’t want to take any action that would cost Davis more than the fine amount.

Multiple attempts to reach Kidd for comment on the matter have been unsuccessful.

Perhaps further complicating the issue, Kidd is in the process of applying to the city to build a new development on B Street. The project, as most recently proposed, would replace two existing bungalows that sit between Second and Third streets just north of the Black Bear Diner, 255 Second St., with a three-story 14-unit condominium complex.

Kidd has said he wants the complex to serve senior citizens.

The Davis Planning Commission was scheduled two weeks ago to hear the proposal and to make recommendations to the City Council on the project, but Kidd pulled the item from the agenda. Wolcott said he was not aware of the reason for postponing the hearing, which has been rescheduled for late June.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8