November 24, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council to Decide on Century-Old Sycamore Tree’s Historic Designation

California Avenue sycamore to be designated City Landmark?

By Sam Catanzaro

A nearly 100-year-old tree will be the center of attention at tonight’s Santa Monica City Council meeting.

The tree in question is a 97-year-old, 82-foot Western Sycamore tree located at 1122 California Avenue. On October 16, 2017, John C. Smith, on behalf of the Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition (Wilmont), filed an application to designate the tree as a City Landmark.

“Santa Monica is rapidly losing its stock of aged trees on private land due to development,” Smith wrote in the application. “This tree has a large canopy of shade, a root system that prevents erosion and is home to owls peregrine falcons (protected) as well as other native species. It is also one of the largest and oldest trees (Sycamore) in the city.”

The Landmarks Commission, after conducting two public hearings on the application, on December 11, 2017, and May 14, 2018, and, in consideration of public testimony, reports and materials introduced into the public record, designated the tree as a City Landmark by a 4-2 vote. The Commission found that the tree met two of the six criteria for designation as a City Landmark as outlined in Santa Monica Municipal Code.

On May 24, 2018, the property owners, Iradj and Lesley Shahriary, filed an appeal of the Landmarks Commission’s decision to designate the tree. The appeal states that the subject tree does not meet any of the six criteria set forth in the Landmarks Ordinance for designation as a City Landmark. The appeal.

“Sycamore trees are not rare. There are many other western sycamore trees just as notable as the tree in question, found throughout the City,” reads the appeal. “Although large and more than 40 years old, this tree(s) is not unique, historic or culturally significant and therefore does not rise to the level of designation as a local landmark. In the 42 years since the Landmarks Ordinance was adopted, there have been only 5 trees designated as landmarks in the entire City. The subject tree(s) does not rise to the level warranting a landmark designation. This tree(s) does not even stand out on this particular block, let alone throughout the entire City.”

City staff is recommending the appeal be granted and the City Council deny the designation, based on the draft findings set forth in this report.

Related Posts

SMMUSD Reopening Updates: Santa Monica Beat – November, 23, 2020

November 23, 2020

November 23, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Reopening Updates * Homicides Reach 300 Highest Rate in A...

SMC Maintains 30 Year Run Streak as No. 1 Transfer College to UC System

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

SMC sent 1,197 students to UC campuses in prior academic year Santa Monica College (SMC) has maintained a record 30-year...

Westside Chefs React to New Dining Restrictions

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

Capacity in Los Angeles restaurants capped at 50 percent By Toi Creel Local restaurants are having to make some big...

New Findings Show Botched Santa Monica Police Response to May 31st Riots: Santa Monica Beat – November, 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * New Findings Show Botched Santa Monica Police Response to May 31st...

Free COVID-19 Antibody Test in Santa Monica

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

November 19-21 at Calvary Baptist Church of Santa Monica A Santa Monica church is pairing up with a non-profit charity...

Randy’s Donuts Coming to Santa Monica

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

2021 opening pegged for popular donut shop  By Kerry Slater  Randy’s Donuts is opening in a Santa Monica space that...

Westside Golf Course to be Affordable Housing?

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

As Los Angeles continues to grapple with an affordable housing crisis, an architect is proposing converting a Westside public golf...

12-Story Senior Housing Center to Include Memory Care Guest Rooms and More

November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

Belmont Village project to go before Westwood Design Review Board By Sam Catanzaro A 12-story, 153-foot-tall, senior housing project is...

Santa Monica to Provide Thanksgiving Groceries to 1,430+ Food-Insecure Students and Families

November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

SMC Foundation has raised $35,460 of the $50,000 toward charity event By Staff Writer Santa Monica College (SMC), the SMC Foundation,...

Edify TV: Reopening of Popular Westside Beach Workout Destination

November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

“It’s just so great,” says a man on the reopening of a popular Westside beach workout destination. “This is therapy...

City Council Unanimously Votes to Weight In on Malibu Leaving SMMUSD: Santa Monica Beat – November, 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Unanimously Votes to Weight In on Malibu Leaving SMMUSD...

Fire Breaks Out Near 10-Freeway in Santa Monica

November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

Fire put out Monday morning near Lincoln Boulevard exit By Sam Catanzaro The 10-Freeway in Santa Monica was closed to...

91-Year-Old Sent to ER After Mugging at Santa Monica CVS

November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

Woman robbed exiting CVS at Lincoln Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard over weekend By Sam Catanzaro A 91-year-old woman was...