If you have ever had an unpleasant experience with the city planning department over protected trees, you have not seen anything yet. If you think the planning department has been unreasonable in the past, the new ordinance more than doubles the arbitrary power of the planning department or the planning commission to tell us how we can deal with the protected trees on our private property. It is time that we stop the unreasonable actions of the city. We did not incorporate in 1976 so that our city government could interfere more than Los Angeles County ever did with our individual rights to develop, maintain and enjoy our private property to the fullest extent possible.
Each of us owns all of the trees on our private property, and we collectively own all of the trees on public property, not the city. I am not against reasonable regulation of the removal of protected trees, but I do not think the city should be able to tell us how we can trim, water or fertilize our trees. I further believe that the only protected tree should be California native oaks and not deodar cedar or sycamore trees.
Copies of both the present tree ordinance and the proposed new tree ordinance are available in the planning department. Read and compare them and then let the council know how you feel about the proposed new tree ordinance when the council meets in City Hall on Nov. 19.
Richard S. Cohen
La Cañada Flintridge