Protection of views, protection of trees

Many of us decided to live in the hills because of the beautiful scenery and gorgeous forests. Some of us paid handsomely for sweeping views. But one person's tree might be another person's view blocker. In 2006, Oakland amended its VIEW ORDINANCE GOVERNING THE RIGHTS OF VIEW AND TREE OWNERS. Please note that certain trees like oaks are protected.

Cost allocation: tree owner, view owner

15.52.060 Apportionment of costs. The cost of all restorative actions, replacement plantings, and arbitration shall be apportioned between the view claimant and the tree owner as follows:

a. The view claimant and tree owner shall each pay fifty (50) percent of such costs in those cases involving any tree planted or allowed to sprout as a result of natural regeneration by the tree owner subsequent to the effective date of this Chapter (Ordinance No.9962, passed August 5,1980),

b. The tree owner shall pay one hundred (100) percent of such costs in those cases where:


1. The tree owner has refused to participate in good faith in the initial reconciliation or voluntary arbitration processes (Section 15. 52.090B) and where the view claimant has prevailed at trial or judicial arbitration; or


2. In any subsequent dispute between the same parties, to restore any view obstructed by the same tree or trees or any of the plantings substituted for the original offending tree or trees described in subsection A of this section.


3. The tree owner plants a tree(s) against the expressed, written objection of the view claimant and the same tree(s) later become subject of a view claim.


 c. In all other cases, the view claimant shall pay one hundred (100) percent of such costs.

Montclair's Gateway Beautification Project

Ever rolled your eyes at the stretch of Mountain Blvd that takes traffic from Highway 13 ramps into the Village? Not very welcoming. But it could be!

In spring 2015, community activists formed a partnership with the Montclair Village Association, District 4 Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington, various City agencies and Keep Oakland Beautiful to beautify the stretch of Mountain Blvd from Highway 13 ramps to the Mash gas station near Scout Rd.  

For the most up to date information on donating and volunteering, see the Gateway Beautification Project team's webpage.

 Here's what we see today-- Let's all pitch in to Make Montclair More Magnificent!



Project priorities

The team divided the project into three phases to keep a tight focus on plans and fundraising.


  • Phase 1: "Muralize" the 500-foot concrete wall (top right image below)
  • Phase 2: De-weed and beautify the paths on both sides of Mountain so they're clean and safe for pedestrian travel
  • Phase 3:  Gussy up all the medians with drought-resistant and weed-free solutions  (left photo)

Phase 1 progress and plans


  1. July:  Artist and public school teacher Mandy Lockwood was selected as the project's muralist. She completed her concept design.
  2. Mid-September: crowd-sourcing campaign launched to raise $10,500 for the mural. Within the first four weeks, individual donors contributed over $4,000; and Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley joined the campaign with generous donations.
  3. October 24: Community Day of Service held to clear the wall of debris and weeds. Twenty volunteers lent a hand for four hours, collecting more than 40 bags of garbage and debris and a HUGE pile of branches that had overhung the wall.
  4. November 8 and 15: Volunteers will prime the wall
  5. Thanksgiving: Mandy will begin painting the huge California Live Oak, the mural's centerpiece.
  6. 2016: as weather permits and Mandy's teaching schedule allows time off, she will complete the wall with a swarm of Sister Butterflies

The project team will begin developing plans for Phases 2 and 3 once the fundraising is complete for Phase 1.

Donate today to help reach our goal of $10,500!


Here is a quick view of volunteers in action on October 2015's Community Service Day. Click on the first picture to begin the slide show and see the debris 20 people can amass in four hours.