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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / SIMI VALLEY

Store Removes 13 Weakened Trees

November 12, 1998|S.J. CAHN

The Vons grocery store on Cochran Street has had to remove 13 eucalyptus trees after workers cut back the root system too far during repaving, city officials said.

Jim Lightfoot, Simi Valley senior city planner, said it was an honest mistake by the store's workers, and that Vons will not risk injury to people or damage to cars caused by a falling tree.

One of the trees fell during a windstorm in early September, prompting Vons to bring in an arborist, who determined the trees were too unstable to remain in the parking lot.

Vons officials then brought their concerns to the city, Lightfoot said, and city staff members agreed the trees needed to be removed. The store is at the northwest corner of Cochran Street and Erringer Road.

The roots were cut back when root guards were installed to keep the roots from breaking the pavement. Ash trees, magnolias or sycamores may be used to replace the eucalyptuses, officials said.

The removal comes at a time when the city is evaluating its policy on tree planting in public spaces. Last week the Citywide Design Guidelines Ad Hoc Committee, which includes Councilman and Mayor-Elect Bill Davis and Councilwoman Barbra Williamson, directed staff members to update the standards for tree replacement. Davis and Williamson complained the current standards allow trees too small to be planted as replacements.

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