Proposal to cut down Elysian Heights trees delayed

The city’s  Board of Public Works  postponed a hearing scheduled for today on the removal of more than 40 native trees on the site of an Elysian Heights housing development.  The head of the commission,  Andrea Alarcon,  will be setting up a meeting involving several community leaders to discuss the matter, according to Echo Park neighborhood council board member Lisa Baca-Sigala, who attended today’s Public Works meeting.

Developer Planet Home Living has applied with the city to cut down more than 40 native trees on part of an approximately three-acre site  near  Allesandro Street and Rosebud Avenue.

Planet Home, which last week announced it was willing to sell the property and the right to build 16 homes, said it must cut down the trees to comply with a city order to stabilize a slope on the property. The developer  proposes to plant more than 160 new trees on the site and build a trail on land that would be dedicated as public open space.

A new public hearing to review the tree cutting permit has been rescheduled for Oct. 6, said Baca-Sigala.


  1. Don’t ever trust developers.

  2. Hope they hold this meeting closer to the actual neighborhood – like at Allesandro Elementary School – so actual neighbors are more inclined to attend.

  3. Gee, talk about missing the point in a story. The issue here is not NATIVE trees, but specifically oak trees. Oak trees have special protected status in this county and cannot be cut down by anyone anywhere without getting the permission this developer is seeking.

    If it were some native trees other than oaks, they would already have been cut down for this project.

  4. Tom – Based on your knowledge that it’s oak trees specifically which they want to cut down, did you attend the first meeting? Can you provide any details from it?

  5. The trees are oak and black walnut, in the “protected trees” category. Many other trees not protected are proposed for removal to secure the “hill of fill” above the development area. The Board of Public Works, (BPW), through their Urban Forestry division has considerable discretion here to address the issue and thanks to them, and CD 13 requesting a postponement, this sight will be looked at more closely.

    The 160 replacement trees would be considered mitigation for the necessary removal the hillside trees, but on further inspection of the site possibly changes to Building and safety”s requirements can be compromised. Certainly, not allowing removal permits to be issued until construction bonds are in place would seem sensible. If we had a dollar for every demo permit issued, prior to construction funds becoming liquid in Echo Park, we’d be a well funded ‘hood!


  6. “Planet Home Living”- what a bogus “eco-friendly” name for a real estate development company.

  7. I attended today’s Board of Public Works meeting. I was at the September 9th, 2011 meeting, and I’ll attend the Wednesday, October 5th meeting (NOT October 6th as referenced by Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council Chief Information Officer Lisa Baca-Sigala.)

    For additional updates, please continue to check with The Eastsider LA or redcarproperty.blogspot.com.

    The removal of forty-two protected trees (one Coast Live Oak and forty-one California Black Walnuts), not to mention additional mature trees is truly heartbreaking.

    If you are able to attend the October 5th meeting, please note time and location:
    Board of Public Works
    Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
    9:30 a.m.
    Edward R. Roybal BPW Session Room
    Room 350 City Hall
    200 N. Spring Street
    Los Angeles, Ca.

    Thanks to The Eastsider LA, redcarproperty.blogspot.com, Planning Lady and concerned friends of the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists’ Tract.

    Cindy Ortiz

  8. Hello everyone,

    Below you will find the text of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council’s letter to the Public Works Commission regarding the concerns raised.

    Thank you to Cheryl Parisi, James Nunya and Cind Ortiz for bringing this matter to our attention.

    September 28, 2011

    The Honorable Andrea Alarcon
    President, Board of Public Works
    200 N. Spring Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Re: Fee Tree Removal Permit at 2400 Allesandro Street [Bureau of Street Service Report No. 3 (9-9-11)]

    Dear Board President Alarcon,

    I am writing on behalf of the Board of Governors of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council to inform you of our Opposition to the Bureau of Street Services Report No. 3 dated 9-9-11 recommending the issuance of a tree removal permit for the property located at 2400 Allesandro Street in Echo Park.

    Our Board met on Tuesday, September 27th were we agendized the item for discussion and possible action. After allowing for public comment and board discussion, we voted unanimously (13-0-0) to adopt the following:

    Request from the Executive Committee for the Board of Governors to Oppose the issuance of a fee tree removal permit by the Board of Public Works [Bureau of Street Services Report No. 3 (9-9-11)] allowing for the removal of one Coast Live Oak tree and forty-one California Black Walnut trees to allow for the construction of fifteen new homes at 2400 Allesandro Street, with tree replacements being required, until the Applicant secures the following: a building permit with approved plans, transfers the open space portion of the project to a public agency, secures a grading permit and obtains a bond or some type of insurance for the cost of demolition, upkeep or removal of an unfinished project (one year of inactivity) that becomes a blight in the neighborhood.

    Although we are not disputing the merits of the development project we do share the concerns many of our local residents have expressed with aspects of this project. The neighborhood council is particularly concerned with the recent revelation that the property has been placed on the market for sale. This action does not exude confidence that the project will be completed. Our neighborhood has experienced a number of unfinished developments that have created blighted properties and we do not want this project to be one more example. Therefore we would like to see a number of concrete commitments before this tree removal permit is issued. It would be a horrible tragedy if the trees were to be removed, the project does not move forward and we are left with a barren hillside.

    We appreciate your every consideration of our request. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 213-308-2826 or by email at [email protected]


    Board President
    Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council

  9. Thanks for the updates Planning Lady, Cindy O., and Jose S.!

  10. Making the right choice on removing trees is important. Once you cut them down it takes many years for a new tree to grow in its place. It is always good to have thee developer and the city be held accountable if they are too remove that many trees.

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