The fate of several landmark oak trees along Folsom Boulevard will be a top item for discussion at Folsom’s City Hall Tuesday as City Council holds its first meeting of July. The much talked about oak trees reportedly now stand in the path of the ongoing Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) Light Rail Modernization Project. The project, known as “15 Minutes to Folsom,” aims to enhance the light rail service by reducing train headway times from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes.

Tuesday night, City Council members will discuss and consider whether or not to adopt Resolution No. 11218, which seeks to declassify five landmark trees within the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Landmark Grove, allowing for their removal to accommodate the construction of a passing track, an additional loading platform at the Glenn station, and the adaptation of the existing platform.


The trees in question, some of which date back centuries, have long been recognized for their exceptional characteristics, ecological contributions, and historical significance along what many refer to as the gateway into Historic Folsom. The trees placement on the Landmark Tree Registry underscores their significance to the city, which now faces a decision that could determine their fate.

Established in 1996, the Landmark Tree Registry recognizes particularly noteworthy specimens within the City that contribute to Folsom’s character and “Distinctive by Nature” adage. In order for a tree to be added onto the Landmark Tree Registry, the City Council must find that the subject tree(s) is exceptional due to outstanding characteristics, special ecological contributions, or historical importance. Trees designated as Landmark Trees within the City of Folsom are added onto a special registry and are eligible to receive assisted maintenance and monitoring by the City Arborist. You can see a map and listing of all of Folsom’s Landmark Trees HERE.


Earlier this year, SacRT identified the need to remove several trees to advance the light rail project. The initial application led to the declassification of 13 trees. As construction progressed, additional impacts on the trees were discovered, prompting further requests for declassification,” according to the staff report presented to council members prior to Tuesday’s meeting. In the latest application submitted by SacRT identifies four additional native oak trees for removal and another eight that will require pruning to accommodate overhead powerlines. A recent redesign also necessitated the removal of a fifth tree. The Community Development Department has recommended that the City Council adopt the resolution to allow these changes.

The proposed removal of the landmark trees has sparked a discussion amongst residents and leaders about balancing development with environmental stewardship. The trees in question are in good health and provide significant habitat value, making their removal a point of contention, according to supporting documents included in Tuesday’s staff report.  According to SacRT, the trees prevent reasonable use of the property for the planned light rail improvements that are already well underway. The City’s Urban Forester has confirmed that the project, as currently designed, cannot proceed without the removal of these trees.


On Monday, Folsom Mayor Mike Kozlowski and Vice Mayor Sarah Aquino we scheduled to meet with arborists on the topic to fully understand the proposed needs and concerns prior to Tuesday night’s meeting where the resolution will be fully discussed amongst all council members. The item was originally on the agenda for the final meeting of June, but was pushed to July 9 due to a heavy council agenda at that time, which included finalization of the city ‘s 202-25 fiscal year budget that took a good portion of the evening. 


According to the staff report, if the resolution is adopted, SacRT would be required to mitigate the loss of these trees. This could involve planting 43 oak trees from 15-gallon containers or 21 oak trees from 24-inch boxes and one from a 15-gallon container. Alternatively, SacRT may pay in-lieu fees estimated at $10,750, which will be used for tree planting and maintenance within the city.SacRT has prepared an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the project, ensuring that environmental impacts are minimized. The project proponents are currently exploring potential mitigation strategies involving the planting of replacement trees elsewhere in Folsom which is being fully reviewed by council members. The entire staff report and supporting documents on the proposed resolution can be found a BY CLICKING HERE.  

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Folsom City Hall. Residents are always encouraged to attend meetings either in person or through the live webcast that can be accessed through the city’s website. 


In addition to the hot tree topic, other items on the agenda Tuesday will include a resolution to execute Amendment No. 7 to the Memorandum of Agreement regarding sharing of costs for legislative advocacy services between San Juan Water and the city of Folsom; A resolution to execute a renewal of the service agreement with Dropcountr, Incorported. for two years; A resolution to execute an agreement with Water Systems Consulting, Inc. for consulting services for the Water Conservation Needs Assessment.

Additonal items include A resolution to execute an agreement with NTU Technologies, Inc. for the purchase of chemicals for the water treatment plan; A resolution to execute Amendment No. 4 to the contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. for additional National Environmental Policy Act environmental studies for the Folsom Placerville Rail Trail Project and appropriation of funds ;A resolution to execute Amendment No. 1 to the contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. for Mangini Ranch Trails Project design and engineering and a  public hearing and introduction and first reading of an ordinance to amend the zoning district for two parcels at 1000 and 1010 East Natoma from agricultural to residential and more.  The complete agenda and packet links can be found below.

City of Folsom Regular City Council Meeting Agenda

July 9, 2024 6:30 p.m., Folsom City Hall, 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA

(Click links for Staff Reports/Documents)

Councilmembers:     Aquino, Chalamcherla, Rodriguez, RohrboughKozlowski

The City Council has adopted a policy that no new item will begin after 10:30 p.m.  Therefore, if you are here for an item that has not been heard by 10:30 p.m., you may leave, as the item will be continued to a future Council meeting.


Members of the public are entitled to address the City Council concerning any item within the Folsom City Council’s subject matter jurisdiction.  Public comments are generally limited to no more than three minutes.  Except for certain specific exceptions, the City Council is prohibited from discussing or taking action on any item not appearing on the posted agenda.AGENDA UPDATESCHEDULED PRESENTATIONS:


Items appearing on the Consent Calendar are considered routine and may be approved by one motion. Councilmembers may pull an item for discussion.


  • 13.Ordinance No. 1346 – An Uncodified Ordinance to Amend the Zoning District for a 2.47-acre parcel (Lot 1) from R-1-ML and A-1-A to R-1-ML and to Amend the Zoning District for a 2.14-acre parcel (Lot 2) from A-1-A to R-1-ML for the 1000 East Natoma Rezone to Residential project (Introduction and First Reading)
  • 07-09-2024 Staff Report ORD 1346- Amend Zoning District.pdf (1.83 MB)



Folsom Times photos: Bill Sullivan