City halts unsanctioned tree removal | News


The City of Carpinteria last week issued an immediate stoppage order for unauthorized tree felling at the Shepard Place Apartments, a condominium for 55-year-olds and older at 1069 Casitas Pass Rd. in Carpinteria.

The city heard last week from residents of Shepard Place Apartments that the complex’s new owners had ordered the removal of “a number” of mature trees, according to Nick Bobroff, chief planner for the city of Carpinteria. The new owner, an investment company, bought the complex late last year.

According to Bobroff, management said the new owners identified more than 70 trees that they believed were either causing damage or tending to cause damage and began removing those trees.

However, the property has an approved landscaping and zoning plan, and any “significant changes” to the landscaping — including widespread tree cutting — require prior city review and approval.

“City officials acknowledged that these may be compelling reasons that might justify the removal of some trees, but that it is outside of an immediate life safety threat scenario, such as renovations,” Bobroff said.

The city asked the administration to provide an analysis by a certified arborist explaining why the trees need to be removed and not trimmed. a tree replacement or revised landscape plan; and an exhibit detailing all trees removed and scheduled for removal. As of Tuesday, the city is awaiting receipt of these materials.

“Management has been directed not to proceed with any further tree felling unless and until the city approves the tree felling plan and an appropriate replacement/transformation plan,” Bobroff said.

A person who picked up the phone at Shepard Place Apartments reception refused to give her name, said she had no comment and hung up.