Pierre Morillo will pay a $25,000 price for removing three protected Chinese elm trees from his La Cañada Flintridge property without permission, the Planning Commission decided Tuesday night.
The commission voted 4-0 to require Morillo to place at least three new protected trees on his St. Katherine Drive property, with the remaining money used to plant trees throughout the city. Commissioner Arun Jain was absent from the meeting.
The commission reduced the proposed restitution from $45,000, which a city arborist said is the value of the removed trees.
“One thing everyone knows in this city is trees are protected,” said Commissioner Michael Cahill. “If we don't treat it seriously, it'll be viewed as a cost of construction to take down trees and replace them with a number of smaller ones.”