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Residents seek injunction over planned palm tree removal in Ocean Beach

Posted at 12:15 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 15:15:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Some residents in Ocean Beach on Thursday continued their fight to keep the City of San Diego from taking down palm trees in their neighborhood.

Several palm trees along Santa Barbara Street and Newport Avenue were slated to be removed by city crews after they were deemed a potential threat to airplanes heading into and out of San Diego International Airport.

According to some neighbors, city crews were in the area Wednesday morning and placed “no parking” signs along the street near the targeted trees.

On Thursday morning, however, there were no signs of crews at work.

“I’ve been waking up every morning, coming out and pretty much patrolling the neighborhood, to try to see if they’re going to sneak in and try to top off some of the trees before anyone is able to catch them,” one resident said.

Attorney Marc Applbaum, who was hired by a group of residents as part of the effort to stop the tree removal, told ABC 10News a cease-and-desist letter was sent to airport officials, the FAA, the City of San Diego, and city arborist Brian Widener.

However, ABC 10News learned the letter was ignored, prompting the filing of a lawsuit that asks for an injunction to keep the city from removing the trees until they are able to go through the proper legal channels.

Once the lawsuit is processed by the City Clerk’s Office, a summons will be issued, and a judge will be assigned to the case.

Applbaum and neighbors are asking that nothing be done until they receive the requested information from the city. They also would like clarification on why the palm trees are considered a threat to the airport’s flight path.

Additionally, residents are asking a judge to stop the removal until there can be a public comment process.

A City of San Diego spokesperson told ABC 10News that their attorneys are aware of the filing, but they are not able to comment further.