Residents in a Carlsbad neighborhood are fighting to keep decades-old trees from being torn down.
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A housing development is being built near a date palm grove that sits in a canyon near Towhee Lane.
Several community members are trying to save the trees, saying many animals call the area home and without the trees they will have nowhere to go.
"The inhabitants in the canyon are our neighbors, too," said Diana Lincoln, who is part of the local conservation group Friends of Aviara.
"Coyotes like to live underneath this palm grove. We've witnessed Cooper's Hawk, red-tail hawks in the canyon," said Lincoln.
Carlsbad officials said with the development of a new condominium complex near the grove, there's a requirement to keep some open space. Because the trees are not native to the area, they will be removed.
"This is considered non-native. It's been here for four decades. It's less destructive to the wildlife to just leave these palms," said Lincoln.
Emails between environmental consultant group Dudek, the city of Carlsbad, developers and Friends of Aviara show an interesting story.
In an Aug. 7 email, Dudek wrote "The plan is to leave the palms as they are."
However, a day later, Carlsbad city planner Van Lynch said the palms would be removed. He wrote, "The city has recently included palms as invasive and to keep them would not be in compliance with the Plan."
Lynch told 10News a decision is not yet finalized, but the city is sticking with the recommendation to remove the trees and there is no plan or money set aside to maintain them for the future.
Lincoln, a local real estate agent, said she is not against development, but believes there is a way for conservation and development to work together.
"It's all about the animal wildlife that we've seen in here
we want the animal life to continue to enjoy it," said Lincoln.
The community group will meet Thursday with city officials to try again to plead their case.
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