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Claremont trees get utility top cut

An update to Claremont’s Sustainable City Plan may be in the works—due before city council this fall—but recent reports indicate things in the City of Trees may be right on track.

 

According to the latest sustainability report card, presented earlier this month, the city is either meeting or exceeding 90 percent of the goals outlined in the Sustainable City Plan, originally adopted in 2008. These goals include reducing waste, encouraging sustainable building practices and encouraging fossil-fuel-free transportation.

“We have been fairly consistent,” said Chris Veirs, senior planner and sustainability coordinator for the city. “In 2010, about 78 percent of our target areas were exceeding or meeting our goals. In 2012 we were actually approaching 90 percent. We are making steady progress as we hoped.”

Residents have already stepped up to the table, providing input on a number of areas felt to be lacking in the city’s overall sustainability plan. Several have noted increasing concerns with the upkeep of the city’s urban forest since the city eliminate the city arborist position in favor of contracting the position out.

“Both historic and irreplaceable street and park trees...are historic markers of this town and such trees are easily killed by lack of water and bad pruning evident throughout the city,” Ray Fowler expressed to the council.

“The city's pruning of many historic trees —to fit a trash truck purchase decision and cheaper pruning costs or for whatever cause —without an experienced certified arborist on the staff to balance internal City Hall staff decisions as they are being made, has been done in a manner that may negatively impact the continued viability of Claremont's important trees,” he continued.

City Manager Tony Ramos assured that the city continues to comply with professional pruning standards. He also noted that the tree trimming policy will be reviewed as part of the update to the Sustainable City Plan, and will be brought back to council.

Residents are invited to join the discussion. The next meeting of the Sustainable City Committee will take place this Monday, June 29, at 4 p.m. in the Citrus Room above the City Council Chamber, 207 Harvard Ave. For more information, visit www.ci.claremont.ca.us or call 399-5460.

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