In addition, the property owner would be responsible for complying with the required mitigation measures to help alleviate the impacts that result from the unpermitted action (construction, tree removal or tree trimming). Typically, the required mitigation consists of the following: an arborist deposit for assessment and monitoring, replacement planting(s) and/or a donation to the tree replacement fund equaling the assessed value of the tree or its damages.
The city hired certified arborists to assess the value of the three Chinese elm trees that were illegally removed at 991 St. Katherine Drive ($45,327) and to determine the impact and cost of the damages inflicted on the six oak trees that were excessively trimmed at 530 Berkshire Ave. ($3,650). The Planning Commission significantly reduced both amounts to $25,000 and $2,000, respectively. The Planning Commission, however, has not made a final decision on the 991 St. Katherine Drive tree removal. The Planning Commission continued the case to June 12 to allow the applicant to prepare a landscape plan indicating the location, species, and size of the replacement trees.
The Planning Commission gave the applicant the option of applying the $25,000 to the cost of the replacement trees and/or paying the difference to the city's tree replacement fund.
Over the last year, the city has been revising the tree ordinance. Chinese elm trees and California pepper trees have been removed from the protected tree list in the draft ordinance. The removal of these species was a result from input provided by the community and certified arborists. The tree ordinance revision will be reviewed by the City Council at a future meeting.
Director of Community Development
City of La Cañada Flintridge