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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

Council Votes to Remove Jacarandas From Streets

May 04, 2000

YORBA LINDA — However brilliant their purple blossoms may be, jacarandas are just too messy, say residents who have persuaded Yorba Linda to chop down 25 of the flowering trees in their neighborhood.

Over the objections of some city officials, the City Council voted 3 to 1 Tuesday to remove the trees around the intersection of Rose Drive and Bastanchury Road.

Residents told the council that leaves and sticky flowers litter their patios and choke spa filters.

"Jacarandas are beautiful," said resident Larry Mansfield. "But they don't belong near homes. Their leaves and flowers make a mess on our yards and patios that's impossible to clean."

Of 25 homeowners in the area, 24 signed a petition calling for removal of the trees, with trunks up to 2 feet in diameter. Home builders planted the jacarandas along both streets in 1978 to meet a city development requirement.

Public Works Director Roy Stephenson recommended against removing the trees, saying it could lead to future requests from residents to uproot other trees that add to the aesthetics of the neighborhood.

Mayor Ken Ryan voted against removing the trees. "I think it's a mistake to take out mature trees," he said. "They are beautiful and it would be unfortunate to see them removed."

The city and the homeowners will lose the environmental benefits that mature trees provide, said Andy Lipkis, president of Los Angeles-based Tree People, an environmental organization.

"It's going to take many many years to replace these trees and reestablish shade in the area," he said. "Jacarandas also have a wide canopy and one or two little trees won't replace [them]."

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