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Lake Residents Protest City's Efforts to Remove Shrubs

November 04, 1998|CHRIS CEBALLOS

Members of the Lake Mission Viejo Assn. are again protesting the city's continued efforts to force the removal of a 1,500-foot stretch of oleander shrubs along Marguerite Parkway.

About a dozen association members attended a council meeting Monday, contending the city should not be trying to control landscaping of the private lake.

City officials have said the oleanders could grow to block lake views for pedestrians and motorists.

An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled in August that the city's 1989 ordinance prohibiting plants from being used to screen views of open spaces did not apply to the oleanders.

The city appealed that decision last month, and said it will draft an ordinance that would require the association to remove the shrubs. The proposed law will come before the council later this month.

Jeffry Miklaus, president of the association, said neither the Mission Viejo Golf Course along Oso Parkway nor the Mission Viejo Youth Athletic Park along Olympiad Road has been cited for obstructing views with landscaping.

Mayor Susan Withrow said the council was not singling out the association, but was merely "acting upon the complaints of residents too numerous to mention."

Bill Schwartz, general manager of the association, said the group has always planned to maintain the shrubs' height, and cited the removal of juniper trees in August as proof of their intentions.

"[The view] has never looked better now that the junipers are gone," he said.

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