SDG&E strikes deal on controversial tree-cutting proposal

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SAN DIEGO -- A massive compromise was reached Thursday night at the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting on a once highly debated issue involving trees in Carmel Mission Park.

There were plenty of heated moments in the last year between people who didn’t want to see any trees cut down here in the park and San Diego Gas and Electric's vegetation management department, who believed 74 trees were a hazard.

SDG&E argued the trees were too close to the transmission line corridor that runs right through Carmel Mission Park.

Officials with the department said tree removal was necessary to prevent the 60 to 80 foot trees from falling on those transmission lines.

Many residents were immediately opposed to the idea, but after months of discussion and debate, a compromise was reached.

"We went through each tree and we came to a conclusion that 35 trees are good candidates for removals and the other 39 trees will be crown reduced," said Greg Peck with SDG&E.

Long-time advocate of saving the trees Tara Mackey spoke about the compromise at the meeting.

"It's a huge win for personal democracy, meaning that if we have a question about whats going on in our community and we fight for it, we can change the outcome of our future," said Mackey.

SDG&E will also be replacing the 35 trees that need to be removed, by giving 70 new trees to the city to plant as needed in the park or surrounding area.

Tree removal is scheduled to begin late October, early November. Tree trimming on the remaining 39 trees will likely take place in December.

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