School District Explains Why Torrey Pines at Point Loma High School Were Chopped Down

by on June 24, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

After the OB Rag reported on Saturday, June 22 that the tall pine trees in front of Point Loma High School on Chatsworth Blvd were chopped down, a reader responded by sending what purports to be a letter from the district’s supervisor of facilities communication, Samir Naji. The letter was a response to an inquiry about the project.

“Thank you for your interest into our Point Loma High School Whole Site Modernization Phase 1 project.

The original design intent as indicated in the rendering was to preserve as many of the existing Torrey Pine trees as possible. During the design process we consulted with a certified arborist, our landscape consultant, and our own in-house landscape team to help determine the health and viability of the mature Torrey Pine trees along the Chatsworth frontage.

After extensive evaluation of the trees, however, it became clear that it would not be feasible to maintain them during the course of construction given their placement and general condition.

Given this determination, a decision was made to remove all the existing Torrey Pines and replace them with 5 new and healthy Torrey Pines that could continue that legacy.

In addition to the new Torrey Pines, new dragon trees, shrubs, and landscaping will help frame the new entrance to the high school.

The old Torrey Pine trees will be memorialized in the new library building of the high school as there are plans to repurpose the wood from the trees and provide an opportunity for educational enrichment.

Thank you again for your inquiry.”

Here is a link to an article in the Beacon months ago about the plans for the PLHS renovations.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar Geoff Page June 24, 2019 at 1:08 pm

Every time the city or an agency cuts down trees, they hint at the “health” of the trees as a reason for removing them. That is supposed to assuage any anger from cutting down trees.

They said “we consulted with a certified arborist” and “given their placement and general condition.” Notice, not one single fact about the actual health of the trees, which were fine. More telling was this “it became clear that it would not be feasible to maintain them during the course of construction.”

I’ve been in construction my whole career and have seen many, many instances where trees were protected during construction. They may have been a construction inconvenience but it may have been possible to work around them. The school district did not value them enough to do this. There was nothing in the statement about them directly interfering with something to be built. It was just easier to do and when you are the school district and you can thumb your nose at the public, why worry? The public is just noise to be ignored like the uproar over the ball field lights.

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