‘Hello Granny Flats, Adios Trees’

by on December 1, 2021 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Sheila Pell / San Diego Reader / Nov. 30, 2021

San Diegans want more trees. That was made clear in surveys for the climate action plan update, but tree advocates say the urban canopy is stuck in time.

Under the 2015 climate action plan, a goal of 15 percent coverage by 2020 fell short; today trees cover 13 percent of the city.

Amid losses to development, pests, and disease, the city has removed as many trees as it planted in the past two years, according to Anne Fege, chair of the community forest advisory board.

That’s where private property owners come in. The city’s website notes that an urban forest “is an entire ecosystem that includes trees on both public and private property.”

Advocates say homes and businesses offer ground to expand the urban canopy, and owners are likely to care for the trees, while the city’s budget for street tree maintenance languishes.

Tree fans worry it will be a missed opportunity. In many new developments, including those with backyard granny flats, mature shade trees are being removed and not replaced. San Diego lacks a policy to mitigate their loss.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kh December 6, 2021 at 3:47 pm

The previous code at least required granny flat permits to include a tree in the front yard or right of way. I believe the tree requirement has been removed in the latest code cycle.


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