Thursday, May 5, 2011

Canary Island palm trees cause a stir in NOMA - Santa Monica, CA

Canary Island palm trees cause a stir in NOMA

NOMA — What if Santa Monica planted a tree, but nobody wanted it?

The seemingly unlikely scenario reared its head in this tree-hugging city when officials told residents of Georgina and Marguerita avenues that dying Canary Island date palms would be replaced with California native sycamore trees.

"We were mildly distressed," said resident Margaret Bach, who also serves on the Landmarks Commission. "Through frantic phone calls and e-mails, we were able to suspend the planting process within days of when they were going to start."

Upset, a group complained at the April 12 City Council meeting, and council directed staff to come back with an information item describing how, exactly, the process had been conducted.

The results of that inquiry, posted to the City Hall website last week, describe a process with little public inquiry and a lot of miscommunication.

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