The real estate market maybe dead but development battles are still alive in Elysian Heights

Tuesday by the City Council’s Planning & Land Use Management Committee. They claim that residents were not made aware of the large amount of grading that would scrape away the natural contours of the hills and destroy the trees, which includes a woodland of native black walnut. They want the committee to either reject Nunez’ applications or adopt protections for the hillsides, trees and wildlife.

Nunez said that battling his opponents and refining his initial proposal has delayed the project by more than 18 months. He has given up plans to build the homes himself and has put the property up for sale for $1.9 million as he seeks final approvals from the city.

“This is a model project,” Nunez said. “We did exactly what we have been asked. These people just don’t want anything built on the property.”

But Edwardson and others residents fear they will be stuck with a hillside gouged by bulldozers and denuded of trees for years to come until the real estate market revives. What they fear will be lost is the atmosphere that nourished artists like Landacre, who wrote:

“You see, art is practiced here along with various other concerns -pruning trees, repairing the roof, watching and feeding wildlife … It must be conceded that to some of us this kind of environment is not only valuable, but absolutely necessary – a degree of seclusion, the life of growing things, awareness that we are a part of nature.”

Photos: Diane Edwardson

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