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Trees and Views

May 22, 2000

We, the public, have spent decades fighting to hang on to our area's magnificent public views, and here they have gone and done it again.

It's bad enough to have to try to eliminate "salt bush" encroachment from obliterating the ocean view along the coast. We have also had a long, arduous fight to eliminate, or at least minimize, most land developers' predisposition for installing "berms" to hide their projects. Berms, like those "temporary" mounds of dirt topped off by 40-foot trees constructed along the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway, have wiped out the view of the coastal hills and mountains.

The public has enjoyed these views since the road was constructed and we have a right to continue to do so. So we fight on, hoping to keep what little we can.

Now, it is happening again in an area where there can be no possible rational reason for doing so. The curbside parkway along MacArthur Boulevard, beginning at the new Newport Bluffs project on the corner of Ford Road/Bonita Canyon and MacArthur Boulevard, down to Bison Street and clear around Bison to the San Joaquin Corridor, has been planted with 20-foot trees. These trees will grow to well over 40 feet high and 40 feet wide in just a very few years.

Very soon they will completely wipe out the magnificent panoramic view thousands of bleary-eyed commuters traveling MacArthur every morning have enjoyed for decades.

For an "old-time" native Californian, that view has been Mother Nature's gift to all of us--one that cannot be described or replaced. It takes one back to the days when you could step out your back door just about any day of the week and almost reach out and touch the mountains.

Obviously, most of the public never will have access to the fabulous views from the palatial estates Newport Beach is famous for. But we do have the right to all those spectacular public views we have enjoyed since before this city's conception. Don't let this happen again.

BERENICE MALTBY

Corona del Mar

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