Fate of trees in hands of arborists

October 18, 2002

-- Barbara Diamond

The fate of two endangered eucalpti in the Thurston Park

neighborhood hangs on a report by a consulting arborist, hired by the


City officials took emergency action Tuesday night to engage an

expert to determine whether the two 80-foot trees had been so

severely damaged during grading for a new home that they would have


to be removed or could be saved.

The city's consultant visited the site Thursday morning and was

expected to report back the city's Community Development Department

by today.

One previous report gave the property owners the option of

removing the trees or trying to save them by cabling them to an

adjacent tree, crowning them and watering them should be left up to

the property owners.

Bill and Claudia Hardy will have until Tuesday to decide whether

they will comply with any new recommendations.

Bill Hardy said the trees were inadvertently damaged during

grading. Councilwoman Toni Iseman wanted immediate action taken to

preserve the trees.

"You don't wait around on a eucalyptus," Iseman said. "You have to


The cost to cable and crown the trees was estimated at $4,000.

"We didn't mean to hurt these trees," Hardy said. "But the

likelihood of them surviving is not good. To spend another $4,000 is

not sensible."

Claudia Hardy said a condition of the Design Review Board's

approval of the plans for the home included the provision that if

trees were damaged they had to be replaced.

"We want to do that," Hardy said.

Should the Hardys decline to accept the arborist's

recommendations, a special City Council meeting will be held Tuesday

to take action.

Friendship Shelter raises funds for homeless

The third annual fund-raiser for Friendship Shelter raised more

than $26,000 to help the homeless in Orange County.

More than 200 people attended the "Endless Summer Luau" benefit on

Oct. 5 at the Woman's Club. The food was donated by Pei Wei's Asian

Diner, a division of P.F. Chang's, and the rest of the evening was

underwritten by an anonymous donor. The merchants of Laguna Beach are

to be applauded as well, as they dug deeply to donate spectacular

items for the silent auction portion of the event.

Friendship Shelter is a nonprofit agency, which assists homeless

adults in regaining their self-sufficiency and self-esteem. The

shelter provides a program of mental health care, substance abuse

rehabilitation and life skills classes to our residents. Volunteer

opportunities are endless at the Shelter. Information: (949)


Playhouse, shelter willed thousands

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