The Santa Monica Planning Commission heard about 30 speakers talk about the slated removal and destruction of the ficus trees on 2nd and 4th Streets. While the Planning Commission has no authority to call a halt to the tree removal work scheduled to begin on Monday, October 8, it was decided, at the suggestion of Commissioner Julie Lopez Dad, to draft an email letter to all members of the City Council, listing the concerns raised about the survival of the trees, as well as other issues brought up by Planning Commission members. The letter will ask the City Council to reconsider the tree destruction and relocation plan, and to allow time for compiling more information about the environmental impact of the plan. The next City Council meeting is Tuesday October 9. Any decision made to reconsider the Council’s original vote on the tree issue must come from one of the Councilmembers who voted for the prevailing decision. Councilmember Kevin McKeown was the sole member who voted against the removal of the trees.
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