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City Council Report


City Council Meeting: June 14, 2011

Agenda Item: 3-B

To:               Mayor and City Council 

From:           Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works

Subject:        Tree Relocation and Removal and Site Demolition Contract for Palisades Garden Walk



Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a contract with American Landscape, Inc., a California-based company, for tree relocation and removal and site demolition services at the Palisades Garden Walk project site in an amount not to exceed $913,000 (includes a 10% contingency). 


Executive Summary

This site preparation work is a significant component of the overall Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square project.  This proposed contract will provide tree relocation, removal, and site demolition services that are required in order to prepare the park site for the importation of 55,000 cubic yards of soil from the Village Housing Development in fall 2011.  Staff recommends American Landscape, Inc., for the project with a total project cost not to exceed $913,000.



The design of the Palisades Garden Walk calls for four distinct “hills” ranging in height from 6 feet to 18 feet.  These were features that were included in the City Council review of schematic design on December 14, 2010.  A large amount of earth, approximately 55,000 cubic yards, will be required to create this dramatic topography.  The opportunity to achieve significant cost savings for the soil procurement requires some advance site preparation, including tree relocation and site demolition, prior to the anticipated start of construction.


The excavation for the Village Housing Development (Village), which is directly adjacent to the park, is scheduled for fall 2011.  The soil from this excavation, which has been tested and shown to be clean, is suitable for the Palisades Garden Walk project site.  Although the park construction is not scheduled to begin until summer 2012, the preparation to receive the soil and the eventual use of soil from the Village site will save the park project an estimated $2.8 million.


This work includes the relocation of 58 trees (including the “Three Amigos,” the three giant Ficus trees that are intertwined) to locations in the new park where they will permanently reside or to new locations within the City.  Two Ficus trees, which have been in serious decline for some time, will be removed from the site and not relocated.  The demolition of the asphalt surface and numerous above ground site features (signs, light pole, parking kiosks, security gate arm, wheel stops, bollards, etc.) and the installation of protective fencing for all of the replanted and existing trees are part of this scope.


On April 13, 2011, staff presented an Information Item updating Council on the current status of the Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square Project, including this site preparation work.



The City issued a Notice Inviting Bids for tree relocation and removal and site demolition services on March 23, 2011.  The notice was published in the Santa Monica Daily Press and posted on the City’s website.  The City Clerk’s office received two formal bids that were publicly opened by the Deputy City Clerk on April 3, 2011.  The bid results are as follows:


Total Base Bid

American Landscape, Inc.


Environmental Tree & Design




Staff from the Public Works and Community and Cultural Services Departments evaluated the bids based on qualifications, fees, direct experience on similar projects, public sector work, hourly rates for services, understanding of the project’s scope, approach to the work, qualifications of proposed staff and scheduling of project activities.  American Landscape, Inc., is recommended for its clear understanding of the project, track record on projects of similar size and scope, competitive bid, and excellent references.  Projects completed by American Landscape, Inc., include Big League Dreams Sports Park for the City of West Covina, Los Amigos Golf Course for the County of Los Angeles, and Anaverde Park for private developer Empire Land in the City of Palmdale.  Staff contacted reference agencies and all reported that American Landscape, Inc., performed very well on their projects.  The Contractors State License Board of California verified that American Landscape, Inc.’s license is current, active, and in good standing.


CEQA Review

Pursuant to CEQA, environmental impacts associated with Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square were addressed in the Santa Monica Civic Center Specific Plan EIR SCH #2003011074 (certified by the City Council on June 28, 2005).  In particular, the EIR analyzed construction traffic, construction air quality, geology, and historic impacts that could occur as a result of development of the parks in the Civic Center.  The Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square Design meets the parameters of this park project analyzed in the CCSP EIR.   The analysis within the EIR considered site grading (export/import) as well potential historic issues.  The current design of Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square would not result in new significant impacts and/or an increase in the severity of previously identified significant impacts.  Rather, the current design of Palisades Garden Walk, which includes four “hills”, would reduce the need for soil export/import due to the re-use of fill from excavation from another CCSP project, the Village Housing project, and consequently, would result in reduced impacts relative to construction traffic, construction air quality, and geology.  In addition, as identified in the EIR, mitigation measures were incorporated to ensure that the Town Square would not have a significant impact on the historic City Hall.  None of the conditions described in CEQA Guidelines Section 15162 have occurred which would necessitate additional environmental review.    


Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

The contract amount to be awarded to American Landscape, Inc., is $913,000.  Funds are included in the FY2010-11 budget at account C170772.589000, Civic Center Planning and Design.


Prepared by:  Jean Bellman, Architect




Forwarded to Council:







Martin Pastucha

Director of Public Works


Rod Gould

City Manager