Taking a lead from neighboring Rolling Hills Estates, the City Council has directed city staff and the Planning Commission to develop a policy and ordinance to reduce view obstructions caused by trees.
"The preservation of views is an important issue for people who purchase properties in Rolling Hills because they are part of the attraction to the area," City Manager Terrence Belanger said.
Planning of the policy will start at the commission's June 16 meeting, and several public hearings will be held as the ordinance is developed, Belanger said. "It is too early to say what the ordinance needs to say," he said.
The Rolling Hills Estates Planning Commission has been holding hearings on a proposed ordinance that would set up a system for arbitrating disputes among residents over whether trees block views and should be trimmed, thinned or removed. Under the measure, the planning director would serve as mediator and, if no agreement is reached, the commission would make a decision, which could be appealed to the City Council.
"There is definitely a problem," said Robert Huskins, Planning Commission chairman. "There has to be some safeguard from being inundated by the jungle."
Belanger said the issue could prove controversial "because some properties have had trees on them for years and years and years."