Residents have complained about the removal of trees from the Peninsula Center parking lot, including a stand of eucalyptus 30 to 70 feet high. The city and the center's management, however, say the trees will be replaced and the parking lot will be made safer during a $5-million renovation of the 25-year-old shopping center.
Stephen A. Emslie, city planning director, and center manager Richard Funke both said they have received several telephone calls, and Funke acknowledged that the tree removal has given the center a public relations problem. The center will display renderings of what the center, the first one built on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, will look like after renovation.
Emslie said between 18 and 25 trees were removed with city permission from various areas in the 1,520-space parking lot. "An important feature of the remodel was improvement of the circulation system," he said. "Plans call for channelization of vehicles with landscaped medians throughout, which we saw as a significant improvement to safety. Right now, people are traveling willy-nilly through the lot."
Emslie and Funke said new trees will include palm, olive, flowering jacaranda and Chinese flame. Eucalyptus will not be used because of root damage and because they obstruct drivers' views, Emslie said.
Parking lot improvements and tree replacement are to be completed by Nov. 15, when new facades for the Thrifty and Safeway stores also are to be finished.