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Old oak to be removed for new Base Line development

Despite concerns raised by commissioners that the city had already pre-approved a tree removal, members of the Community and Human Services Commission pushed forward with the removal of a health Holly Oak tree at the Serrano II housing development on Base Line Road.

The commission’s approval, placed in the agenda’s consent calendar for the Wednesday, March 2 meeting, will allow the city to remove a Holly Oak tree from the 700 block of Base Line Road to accommodate a new entrance to the development, according to the minutes of the February 17 committee meeting.

During that meeting, Senior City Planner Mark Carnahan emphasized that, according to the city’s Tree Policies and Guidelines Manual, “the community services staff and arborist have the authority to approve a request for a tree removal if the tree is deemed hazardous.”

Mr. Carnahan argued that the tree, described by Claremont city arborist Jeremy Cawn as a “healthy mature tree,” would be hazardous to vehicles on the new development entrance.

During the meeting, commission member Butch Henderson suggested the tree being transplanted, to which Mr. Cawn said the roots were under the sidewalk and it would be difficult to facilitate a successful transplant.

Commission member Lynne Marsenich noted that she felt like she was “being asked to rubber-stamp a decision that has already been made,” asking at what point the tree committee could have been briefed on the matter.

Commissioner Lee Kane moved that the community and services commission approve the decision to remove the tree, as well as allowing Mr. Cawn the authority to determine if any additional trees need to be removed during the Serrano II’s roadway construction.

The approval to remove the tree was passed, along with the rest of the consent calendar, with unanimous approval from the commission.

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com