Arroyo Grande council teetering over tree removal policy
September 15, 2014
While reluctant to do so, the Arroyo Grand City Council may amend city policy in order to make the process of removing problematic oak trees more manageable. This is after the council denied an ill man the ability to remove a tree causing him health issues. [Tribune]
Currently, the city of Arroyo Grande enjoys the distinction of being a nonprofit-designated “Tree City USA.” The recognition requires Arroyo Grande to greatly restrict the removal of trees inside the city.
An Arroyo Grande ordinance prohibits the removal of any trees from commercial, residential or mixed-use areas, unless a permit to do so is obtained. One can acquire a removal permit if the tree is dead or dying, damaging property, preventing construction or posing risks to public health and safety.
At last week’s city council meeting, Arroyo Grande homeowner Steven Andrews appealed to the council for permission to remove an oak tree on Tanner Lane. Andrew said the tree rains down with debris and gives him allergic reactions, making him very ill a few times a year because he has a weakened respiratory system.
The council rejected Andrews’ plea, with the majority arguing that it would set a precedent for future tree removals. The council indicated, though, that it may hear Andrews’ appeal again if his health does not improve.
Likewise, the council directed city staff to prepare a discussion on tree policy for a meeting in the next month or two.