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1. Planting Plan
There is a map of the area at
Areas on both sides of the 4th Street on ramp to 280 have been popular areas for homeless encampments, drug use and drug dealing, drinking, and prostitution. These undesirable activities are all encouraged by the privacy that weeds and undergrowth provide. Keeping the area clear, with no privacy from the surrounding streets and houses, has resulted in a dramatic improvement since the summer of 2008.
The planting plan is designed to have two outcomes:
Originally the area was covered with ice plant, which was effective in preventing weeds and undergrowth. Most of this was killed by a severe frost in the 1980s. Some of it remains, but it has not spread back extensively. In some areas, a thick covering of needles from the Monterey Pines provides weed control. For the other areas (identified in the map), the ground cover proposed is myoporum parvifolium. (How many plants are needed per square yard? What size?)
Access to the area from the 4th Street on ramp was at one time blocked by large oleander plants. Some of these plants remain, but not in the critical places (identified on the map) where shopping cart access is possible. The proposal is to establish more Nerium oleander plants in these locations. (Are there better alternatives? What size?)
2. Irrigation Plan
There are two alternative plans to irrigate the plants and ground cover until they become established:
3. Work Plan
There will be no use of herbicides or contractors. It would useful to be able to use a mower to control weeds on the flat areas.
4. Work Schedule for Tree and Shrub Planting and Maintenance Activities
The SUN Board voted to support this Adopt-A-Highway application. The SUN association will help organize volunteers to work on the adopted area including organizing a group who meet monthly (for example the first Saturday of the month) to work on planting or weed and litter control. Another plan is to make a community service program available for local high school seniors who need to fulfill their community service requirement to graduate.
Applicants must develop and submit the following plans and work schedule to the District Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator along with their Adopt-A-Highway Encroachment Permit Application. Applications will not be processed until these documents are received and approved. All costs incurred for adoption activities, including materials, equipment rental, and labor charges are the sole responsibility of the adopter. It is strongly recommended that adopters consult with a Caltrans Landscape Architect or Landscape Specialist before preparing the following documents. If available, Caltrans may provide base plans of the proposed adoption area for reference purposes.
1. Planting Plan(s)
Prospective adopters must provide a plan (or map) that illustrates the location of the site within the highway right of way. If the proposed location requires further clarification, a written description should be included. The plan must show where the trees or shrubs are to be planted. The plan must list the quantity and species of the trees or shrubs. The plan must comply with the following guidelines:
Proposed Plant Quantity and Species
2. Irrigation Plan (Optional)
If Caltrans irrigation facilities are to be used, they must be included on the planting plan or on a separate drawing. Installation (or modification) of irrigation systems by adopters is not permitted.
3. Work Plan
Your work plan must describe how the following planting and maintenance operations will be accomplished. Any assistance to be provided by Caltrans (i.e., mowing or disposal of debris) must be included in the work plan.
A list of any Caltrans-owned underground facilities, such as irrigation and electrical installations, will be supplied by Caltrans. It is the adopter’s responsibility to contact the Underground Service Alert (USA) at 1-800-227-2600 for identification of underground lines that are not owned by Caltrans. USA must be called at least two full working days prior to breaking ground. If underground lines are found, you must call the Adopt-A-Highway representative listed on your Encroachment Permit before proceeding.
Use of Herbicides: If your work plan includes the use of herbicides, please request a copy of the Working With Contractors or the Caltrans Licensing Requirements for Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers Using Herbicides from your District Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator before proceeding. Only Caltrans-approved herbicides may be used on the State right of way.
Use of Motorized Equipment: It is recommended that only Adopt-A-Highway service contractors be permitted to use motorized equipment to perform adoption tasks. However, at the discretion of Districts, volunteers who routinely perform landscape maintenance tasks in a professional capacity, may be permitted to use motorized equipment.
Use of Contractors: If your group intends to hire an Adopt-A-Highway service contractor to perform any portion of your adoption work, please obtain a copy of the Working With Contractors
handout from your District Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator before proceeding.
4. Work Schedule for Tree and Shrub Planting and Maintenance Activities
A proposed, five-year work schedule must be submitted along with the plans. The schedule must give dates for all of the activities mentioned in your work plan. Usually, the best time to plant is after the first rain, in the Fall or Winter, so that the plants can become established during the rainy season. Local weather conditions will determine the best planting dates and watering frequencies.
Statewide guidelines require that you provide weed control a minimum of two times a year. How-
ever, you may be required to work more often if necessary to keep the area in a neat and clean
condition. Plan to control weeds before they reach six inches in height or before they produce seeds. In order to avoid accidentally starting a fire, do not plan to use power equipment for weed control during periods when weeds and brush are dry.
Sample items to include in your work schedule:
Note: Changes to work schedules once a permit has been issued must be approved by the District Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator.
5. Requirements for Renewing Tree and Shrub Planting Adoptions
Near the end of the permit period, your adoption site will be reviewed by a District Maintenance
field representative and either a District Landscape Architect or a District Landscape Specialist. If changes in adoption requirements are recommended (i.e. replacement of dead plants with a different species), the District Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator will communicate these to you.
Groups who wish to submit an application for another five-year permit period must provide a new or amended planting plan and/or work plan to reflect any changes. If there are no changes, copies of existing plans may be submitted along with the application.
Whether or not there have been any changes in the adoption requirements, all groups who reapply must provide a revised work schedule for the new permit period.
Once all plants can survive without supplemental watering provided by the adopter, the adoption will be considered complete. Groups with completed tree and shrub planting adoptions may be offered the opportunity to convert to a vegetation control adoption when the current permit period expires. Vegetation control adopters must remove weeds from the entire, three-acre site, not just around the plants. Adopt-A-Highway courtesy signs will be removed from sites that are not converted to vegetation control adoptions.
The SUN Board voted to support the Adopt-A-Highway application. If the application is approved, the SUN association will help organize volunteers to work on the adopted area. Suggestions included organizing a group who meet monthly (for example the first Saturday of the month) to work on planting or weed and litter control. Another suggestion was to make a community service program available for local high school seniors who need to fulfill their community service requirement to graduate.
Ragan Henninger arranged a meeting where Matthew Hall from SUN and Peter Kolstad from the Market Almaden Neighborhood Association met Rebecca Strouse, who is our Adopt-A-Highway coordinator. Matthew and Peter proposed Adopt-A-Highway along northbound 280 from 7th Street to Almaden Avenue. The meeting resulted in the following email from Rebecca:
Ernesto Ramirez, Arnold Joe and I assessed the area and it looks like the
site from 5th to 7th Northbound along Margaret Way is not adoptable due to
the narrow sloped area and no guardrail above.
The rest of the area from 7th to Almaden is adoptable. There are a few
things that need to be done first:
*Ragan and staff will survey the neighborhood to determine their issues
with the homeless and removing any present vegetation. Also noting that
the homeless may move to someone else's backyard area.
*The gate behind the tile shop will stay for access.
*Caltrans will check for repairs to locks, etc. behind tile shop area
*Caltrans will check with Traffic/Right-of-Way regarding how to possibly
obtain a 1 inch bar fencing along the " Not a Park" area on 7th just before
*Caltrans will check the Right-of-Way at 4th Street.
*I recommend a Tree & Shrub Planting Adoption which includes vegetation
control even with very little planting and litter pickup once a month.
*Mariko Roberts, our Landscape Architect, will provide a small list of
shrubs or plants that may grow in this area. Some plants requested are to
deter homeless pathways. Mariko is cc'd above.
*MYOPRUM PARVIFOLIUM is the quick spreading ground cover that you see
Northbound 101 at the 880 off ramp on the right hand shoulder. It was
present North 280 at 10th Street onramp before. Myoprum requires water to
get established and full sun. It spreads to 7 feet across.
The area is very much improved since I saw it last. Here is your
application . (See attached file: 01_program_app_(mtce-018)_07-09.pdf)
Please fill it out and you may fax it back to me at (510) 622-5703. The
postmiles are 1.5-2.0 Northbound. Once this is approved and you submit a
planting and work plan then we can issue an Adopt-A-Highway Permit. (See
attached file: tree_shrub_p&s.pdf) Your group will then be required to
attend a safety orientation, obtain updated gear and supplies and then you
can continue. At some point, the local Maintenance Region may do a general
sweep through the area prior to your group starting.
Note: Southbound is also adoptable as well.
Please let me know if I have left anything out.
Assistant Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator
Office (510) 286-6227
Fax (510) 622-5703
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