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Trees Come Down to Make Way for SMART

Workers remove trees between Los Robles Mobile Home Park and the Wells Fargo Bank branch at Hamilton.

Residents of a southern Novato community were a bit surprised Thursday to hear the sounds of chainsaws and watch some fairly large trees come crashing down.

Workers associated with the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system, which is preparing Novato's railroad tracks for a commuter rail system, cut down eight trees over the course of Thursday and Friday. The trees bordered the Los Robles Mobile Home Park in an area just off Highway 101 between Hamilton and Bel Marin Keys.

SMART spokesman Matt Stevens said the trees were on SMART-owned right-of-way and needed to be cleared out as construction crews prepare to upgrade the tracks for the rail system. The trees were just behind a branch of Wells Fargo Bank

"We are studying ways to mitigate the loss of screening, and we hope next week to have an answer to that," Stevens said.

Stevens said there is a chance more trees might have to come down, but crews would study the situation before firing up the chainsaws again.

"Our construction people are pretty sensitive about only taking trees that need to be taken out," Stevens said. "We're trying to be good neighbors."

Los Robles residents put up a fight when SMART wanted to place a southern Novato station right next to the mobile home park's entrance a few years ago. SMART yielded and picked a different location about a half mile south. Construction has not started at that station or one scheduled to be built off North Redwood Boulevard near Atherton Avenue.

SMART says trains will run between San Rafael and Santa Rosa by 2016. The transit line is primarily funded by tax dollars from Marin and Sonoma county residents as well as government agency grants.

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Eileen Plunkett February 03, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Jerome and Craig, , you have no knowledge whatsoever concerning the fire station outside our gates. All of us LOVE having it here for however long it takes to get the other one rebuilt. What you don't know is that it was the Fire Dept which told US, without our asking, that they would always give residents the right of way if they are responding as one of us. Is leaving or entering the park. That is NOT the problem, the problem is that they have a concealed parking area, concealed to make it look nicer, and when going off duty, tend to forget the speed limit. There have been three incidents thus far where a fireman almost hit one of our residents so action is being taken by the fire dept to end this hazard. We appreciate what they do. My son and husband were both firemen in New Jersey so I do know what it's like and appreciate all of our brave firefighters. I wish that you could be as understanding as they are concerning this hazard. Perhaps were it your parents or grandparents living here you might be more knowledgable about the situation and not be so condescending to seniors. My name to you Craig, is Eileen, I am NOT your Grandma!!!
Craig Belfor February 03, 2013 at 07:05 PM
The problem with kittens is that they grow up to be cats. Every time you tell pops to climb aboard you're voting for development, as those little tykes will grow up to want their own, crib. Bitching the shopping center, the fire department, and the railroad are common gripes if you're an Indian, but really, Grandma(fortunately, not mine) is something old geezers do a lot. Get used to it, like you did with the wheel and fire.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr February 03, 2013 at 07:32 PM
LMAO!
Eileen Plunkett February 03, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Craig and Jerome, you both can have the last words on these topics even though they make you look like the foolls you apparently are...........I have said all I needed to say. Now on to some other project......
David Randolph February 22, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Stevens said. "We're trying to be good neighbors." Ha, that's a laugh.

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