The resident of a “beautiful tree-lined” street in Canyon Country was moved to anger Monday morning when he saw city crews cutting down two towering pines near his home.
City officials said they removed the trees on Ermine Street for safety reasons since the roots of the pines were lifting up the sidewalk and part of an “ADA ramp” – a wheelchair access ramp built according to the standards set out by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
For Gary Marshall, however, who lives across the street on Ermine west of Whites Canyon Road, the removal diminishes the character of the neighborhood.
“Our beautiful tree-lined drive has two less trees and is now down to less than a dozen trees,” he said.
“This is wrong, and it makes the neighborhood look like hell.”
Gail Morgan, spokeswoman for the City of Santa Clarita, said cutting down the trees was the right thing to do in light of safety issues.
“There is damage to the sidewalk and the ADA ramp,” she said.
City officials notified the resident whose house actually fronts the two pines – each between 30 and 40 feet tall – about plans to cut them down, she noted.
“We will replace them,” Morgan said about planting replacement trees.
Marshall said he doesn’t want to see new trees planted. He wanted the grown trees to have remained where they were.
He said city crews could easily have “ground down” the exposed roots and replaced damaged sidewalk as they did to a tree in front of his own house.
“We can do that,” Morgan said, noting however if city officials “feel it’s going to come back again” then it’s best to remove them.
“We don’t like taking out trees,” Morgan said. “We love trees, but we have to err on the side of safety.”
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