Hi Julie - Adding your Note to the Discussion Forum since it may need to be referenced later on.
Here is the email from the Arborist who looked up the regs for the Valley Oak. As below, he came to the conclusion that he was able to remove a Valley Oak that was not in a stand of 4 or more, without a permit. He also verbally told me that the tree would have to be removed to prevent splitting in half and falling onto fence and street.
It was a pleasure meeting you on Friday. I've attached a proposal regarding everything we discussed (I think I got it all!). I included the removal of the Valley Oak after reviewing the requirements for a tree removal permit in Contra Costa County. Valley Oak is listed as indigenous, but apparently only requires a permit to remove if it's part of a "stand of four or more trees". I've included the text from the county below.
Please write or call with any questions at all - I'm happy to speak with you.
James H. Riddle
Bartlett Tree Experts
Certified Arborist #WE-10276A
ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY ORDINANCE:
A permit is needed to remove a tree under the following conditions:
Trees on any property within the unincorporated area of the County that meet the following description:
• Any tree required to be planted as a replacement for an unlawfully removed tree
• Any tree shown to be preserved on an approved tentative map, development or site plan
• Any tree designated as Heritage
• Any Tree required to be retained as a condition of approval
• Any tree that is part of a riparian, foothill woodland or oak savanna area
• Any tree part of a stand of four or more trees and is 6.5 inches in diameters measured 4 ½ from ground level and is included in the following list of indigenous trees:
• Arroyo Willow • Coast Red Elderberry
• Bigleaf Maple • Coast Redwood
• Black Cottonwood • Digger Pine
• Blue Oak • Fremont Cottonwood
• Box Elder • Interior Live Oak
• California Sycamore • Knobcone Pine
• California Buckeye • Madrone
• California Juniper • Tanoak or Tanbark Oak
• California Black Oak • Toyon
• California Bay or Laurel • Valley Oak
• California Black Walnut • White Alder
• Canyon Live Oak • Yellow Willow
• Coast Live Oak
Or any tree measuring 6 ½ inches diameter measured 4 ½ from ground level, or any multi-stemmed tree with the sum of the circumferences measuring 40 inches or larger, measured 4 ½ from ground level, or any significant grouping of trees, (groves of four or more trees) that is locate on any of the properties specified below
• Any developed property within any commercial, professional office or industrial district
• Any undeveloped property within any district or private property that can be subdivided.
• Any area designated on the general plan for recreational purposes or open space;
• Any area designated in the county general plan open space element as visually significant riparian or ridge line vegetation and where the tree is adjacent to or part of a riparian foothill woodland or oak savanna area. (Ords. 94-59, 94-22)
Permit Process: For application please call: Community Development for permit 925-335-1381