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NEWS
By Jason Pannell | April 11, 2013
Around 10 years ago the residents of Balboa Peninsula were stunned to awaken one morning to find the city cutting down all of its grand old ficus trees. At the time a Laguna Beach councilmember was quoted in the paper saying, "We could never do that here, could you imagine the uproar?" Now it appears our city leaders have decided to do just that. I received a map of downtown, which shows eight trees to be replaced in the downtown area. Three of the four are ficus trees on Mermaid Street.
NEWS
June 27, 2013
I am very concerned about the language of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Ordinance, and fear that the intent is focused exclusively on restoring views and removing trees. I have been a resident of Laguna Beach for almost 40 years, and I'm very pleased to say that most of the special qualities that attracted me to Laguna Beach all those years ago, including the abundant mature trees throughout our community, are still present. If our town is denuded of mature trees, that would seriously alter its peace, tranquillity and scenic character.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | April 8, 2013
The Laguna Beach City Council could decide Tuesday whether to remove eight trees within the downtown area as part of the city's Sidewalk Repair Project. If the council approves the tree replacements, work would be done within the next month, according to a staff report. Last month, workers started replacing several sections of the sidewalk where the trees are present and have caused damage, according to a staff report. The trees have caused lifting in the sidewalk or are leaning because they are too close to buildings for their size, Public Works Director Steve May wrote in an email.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | May 9, 2013
A group of residents have dubbed the removal of nine ficus trees from downtown streets as "The Chainsaw Massacre. " Seven speakers voiced their anguish and anger about the removal of the trees at Tuesday's City Council meeting. They urged more prudent pruning and aesthetic consideration in the future - rather than destruction or replacement - to preserve the character of downtown Laguna. "It's true, as Joni Mitchell sang, 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone,'" Barbara MacGillivray said.
NEWS
August 9, 2012
In response to Ms. Blurock's letter dated Aug. 3, "The 'old spirit' of Laguna is still alive," it is incredible to me how one homeowner can hold the entire neighborhood hostage. Her "large grove of Eucalyptus trees" in North Laguna are a danger to nearby homes, pedestrians and motorists. This is not the first time that a big section of one of her very large, 60-year-old trees has fallen, nor will it be the last. I hope Ms. Blurock has adequate homeowners insurance, and the city has sufficient funds to defend its hands-off position regarding these trees, when one falls and hits someone like it occurred in Newport Beach.
NEWS
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. 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.
NEWS
February 27, 2004
Steve Kawaratani "It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees." -- George Eliot "You can always tell when a man's well informed. His views are pretty much like your own." -- Louie Morris I can always tell when it is about to rain, I can feel a subtle change and shift in the wind. Like Catharine and most of us, I have not actually seen the wind. I depend on hearing the leaves rustling in trees, watching palms sway and clouds hurrying by. And delight in watching raindrops splash horizontally into the windows from our bed. This is the time to prune your trees, particularly pine, eucalyptus and deciduous trees.
NEWS
October 15, 2004
CATHARINE COOPER I read the news aloud to anyone who will listen, "She planted 30 million trees, and she won the Nobel Peace Prize." Wangari Mathaai and the organization she founded, the Green Belt Movement (GBM), planted 30 million trees in Kenya during the last 30 years. For this accomplishment, along with myriad others, including the advocacy of women's rights, broad based educational initiatives, development of the tool of reforestation as a vehicle to stave off tribal warfare, and an expansion of the foundation of democracy, Mathaai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
NEWS
April 10, 2009
I strongly disagree with your stance on views. (?Take a look at views,? April 3.) I vote for trees over ocean views: towering, glorious, mountains of green jutting into the blue sky. Here?s some advice to anyone whose life is so empty they sit around lamenting a tree-obstructed view of the ocean: Open your door, walk out and head to the ocean until you at last find an unobstructed view of the big blue. Once there start counting your blessings. Finally, send me the location.
NEWS
By STEVE KAWARATANI | March 23, 2007
"Nothing is so beautiful as spring..." -- Gerard Manley Hopkins "On a clear day/You can see forever." -- Alan Jay Lerner I was surprised, like many of us, by this week's drizzle teaser. But now, despite a very dry winter, we expect spring to March in. Nothing is quite as beautiful as a sunny spring day in Laguna, unless it is a sunnier and warmer spring day in the Baja town of Loreto. Have you noticed how much taller and fuller your neighbor's trees have become?
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NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | October 31, 2013
Landscape architects and Laguna Beach planning commissioners are working to give the city's landscape-related policies teeth. The Landscape and Scenic Highways Element Committee's goal is to consolidate two existing documents that focus on landscape and scenic highways into one unified section of the city's general plan. "This element [document] seeks to create a long-term comprehensive plan that highlights the significance of our picturesque natural setting and unique artistic heritage," reads a description on the city's website . The group includes lead consultant Greg Vail, a former Laguna Beach planning commissioner, current commission Chairman Robert Zur Schmiede, Commissioner Anne Johnson, landscape architects Ann Christoph and Robert Borthwick, and Assistant City Planner Belinda Ann Deines.
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NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | August 21, 2013
Many South Laguna residents thought that trees on their streets were automatically given heritage status when the area was annexed by Laguna Beach, but the City Council ruled otherwise on Tuesday. The council voted 3-1 to require South Laguna property owners seeking heritage status for their trees to file an application. Residents had maintained that when the city adopted the South Laguna Specific Plan, trees inventoried by the county were presumed to come under the same protection provided heritage trees in pre-annexation Laguna.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | July 18, 2013
Twenty-five South Laguna trees made the cut Tuesday to be designated Heritage Trees. The City Council on Tuesday approved the request of 10 property owners for the designation. City Planning Manager Ann Larson said the city's ordinance mandates proper maintenance to preserve the character and health of the heritage trees. The council decision came after two hours of discussion, much of it focused on the process by which heritage trees were chosen. Many South Laguna residents consider the process redundant, explaining that an inventory of heritage trees, including six owned by the city in Village Green Park, was conducted before South Laguna was annexed to Laguna Beach in 1987.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | June 27, 2013
A Laguna Beach City Council subcommittee appointed to craft an ordinance dealing with view loss has been meeting since February and was still hearing passionate arguments at a meeting Tuesday. The subcommittee has the job of creating the ordinance without raising the hackles of environmentalists and property rights advocates, about 70 of whom showed up for the meeting in the council chambers. Among the questions being asked and sometimes vociferously answered: What views should be protected, all or only those from ceremonial rooms?
NEWS
June 27, 2013
I am very concerned about the language of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Ordinance, and fear that the intent is focused exclusively on restoring views and removing trees. I have been a resident of Laguna Beach for almost 40 years, and I'm very pleased to say that most of the special qualities that attracted me to Laguna Beach all those years ago, including the abundant mature trees throughout our community, are still present. If our town is denuded of mature trees, that would seriously alter its peace, tranquillity and scenic character.
NEWS
June 4, 2013
The Steering Committee of the Citizens for View Preservation and Restoration (CVPR) would like to respond to the inaccurate and misleading statements made in May 29 letters from Lenny Vincent and Anne Cox. 1. We do not condone "intimidation and harassment" at public meetings. We encourage a civilized discussion and we respect all points of view. 2. We believe a "common sense" view ordinance is feasible and that views and trees can co-exist peacefully in Laguna Beach. 3. For decades, our city has ignored the growing view obstruction problem and sadly too many good neighbors are now engaged in acrimonious fights over views and trees.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | May 9, 2013
A group of residents have dubbed the removal of nine ficus trees from downtown streets as "The Chainsaw Massacre. " Seven speakers voiced their anguish and anger about the removal of the trees at Tuesday's City Council meeting. They urged more prudent pruning and aesthetic consideration in the future - rather than destruction or replacement - to preserve the character of downtown Laguna. "It's true, as Joni Mitchell sang, 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone,'" Barbara MacGillivray said.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | April 18, 2013
Damaged downtown sidewalks were being repaired this week with some of the trees that did the damage set to be replaced. The City Council approved at its April 9 meeting the replacement of six ficus trees and one eucalyptus, with the replacement species to be determined pending a recommendation by the city's landscape architect. Removal of one other tree was delayed, and no timeline was given for when the new trees will be chosen. "Probably another 50 trees have outgrown their space, but we didn't recommend replacing 50 trees," said Public Works Director Steve May. City Manager John Pietig asked the council to weigh in on the tree replacement because of concerns raised by Councilwoman Toni Iseman that the project was not reviewed by the Planning Commission.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | April 11, 2013
The Laguna Beach City Council gave up four parking spaces to save some trees that are in the way of an approved sidewalk on the east side of Laguna Canyon Frontage Road, still keeping the road wide enough to be safe. Neighbors of Frontage Road objected to a recommendation by the Planning Commission and city staff to remove the trees in order to make room for an American Disabilities Act-compliant, 200-foot-long sidewalk south of Woodland Drive and adequate street width for the passage of emergency vehicles.
NEWS
By Jason Pannell | April 11, 2013
Around 10 years ago the residents of Balboa Peninsula were stunned to awaken one morning to find the city cutting down all of its grand old ficus trees. At the time a Laguna Beach councilmember was quoted in the paper saying, "We could never do that here, could you imagine the uproar?" Now it appears our city leaders have decided to do just that. I received a map of downtown, which shows eight trees to be replaced in the downtown area. Three of the four are ficus trees on Mermaid Street.
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