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49 Trees Along Brand to Be Removed

July 29, 1993

GLENDALE — At last, Brand Boulevard merchants will be happy--sort of.

The Glendale Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday approved a plan to yank out 49 ficus trees along the sidewalk that shopkeepers for years have complained hide their signs and businesses from motorists traveling the busy retail corridor.

The targeted trees are in groupings at each of the mid-block bus stops along Brand between Colorado and Doran streets and in a center traffic island on Brand north of Colorado.

The bus stops will be indented into the sidewalk, where the trees now stand, so that buses can pull out of traffic lanes on Brand. The traffic island at Colorado also will be altered to provide a longer left-turn lane on Brand.

The agency waived requirements for an environmental impact study on the removal of the trees-- Ficus Benjamina, also known as weeping Chinese banyan and prized for their ability to screen--because officials determined that the trees are "not of significant size or quality to warrant protection."

At least one veteran retailer almost a decade ago blamed the trees, in part, for the closure of McMahon's Furniture, a landmark Brand Boulevard business. The store was by a bus stop and camouflaged by trees.

The owner lost a bid to retain a protruding sign--deemed illegal--which could be seen above the trees.

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