This is "the only beautiful aspect we have left" on the Peninsula, she
wrote in a recent e-mail to Councilman Tod Ridgeway. "Our 40-year-old
trees that canopy over the road."
The trees have been marked for the bark chipper as part of the Balboa
Village project to improve the area's looks and business prospects.
Dave Niederhaus, general services director for Newport Beach, said the
roots of the large trees are responsible for extensive sidewalk damage
and intrusion into sewer lines.
The Balboa Village project calls for long-term improvements to the
area, including fixing up roads and sidewalks. The city also had been
hoping to take care of the tree problem that led to the cracked
conditions in the first place.
In place of the mature trees, Niederhaus said, much younger
species--possibly palms or some kind of ornamental tree--would be
But Doran, along with some other residents, has raised two complaints.
First, she argues, young trees will not be as beautiful as the ones
that already are there.
And second, Doran said, not enough public review has been given to the
proposal to ax the greenery.
"The street is going to be so bare without trees," said Elaine
Linhoff, a Peninsula resident who also is trying to change the city's
plans. "It would take a long time to get the kind of canopy that we have
Linhoff said the Peninsula Point Homeowners Assn. plans to meet
Saturday to discuss the issue and figure out what its position should be.
In response to the criticisms of its plans, the city onWednesday began
considering another option: trimming the roots of the trees in a way that
will allow them to stay without allowing them to wreck the roads.
It might seem like a smart compromise, but Niederhaus is far from
happy about it. He doesn't like the $165,000 price tag that would be
attached to protecting the ficus, and he doesn't like the fact that the
city is spending time and money to evaluate the idea.
"It's a terrible waste of money," he said. "Money that could be used
for other things is being spent on retaining trees that within six months
are breaking sidewalks."
An evaluation of the tree-saving approach should be ready within about
30 days, Niederhaus said.