One of the most beautiful parts of all of Los Angeles is in the suburbs of Studio City, California, and one of the most amazing neighborhoods is behind the posh shopping district of Ventura Boulevard known as the Silver Triangle. In that area is an amazing tree-lined beautiful street known as Cantura Street.
Now, the trees are in danger, and the neighbors are protesting.
"I grew up on this street. We used to able to climb these trees," says Cynthia Schneider. "The least we and the city can do is save the trees from being cut down to make room for a front yard that is 2/3 driveway!"
The neighborhood has 105 trees known as London Plane Sycamores and over the past few years about five healthy trees that are estimated at 90 years old were taken down by builders to make large houses in place of the older smaller ones.
See the Protect the Cantura Street Sycamore Trees Petition here:
"Over the years, every single person who visits comments on the beauty and specialness of our trees," says Jacob Axelrad who lived in the street for more than 20 years. "When people ask where I live and I tell them, they say, 'Oh, I know that street. It's my favorite street in the Valley.' Every tree that is chopped down feels like one of the neighborhood's limbs is being chopped off. Please save this one-of-a-kind street."
Lisa Atkins and her brother lived on the street for 35 years. "I drive on it frequently. I love the canopy of leafy branches that meet in the middle all summer, and the lacy bare winter branches. We know that in addition to their beauty, trees improve the very air we breathe. We should be adding, not subtracting trees!!"
The history of the trees is that they were planted in the 1920s and they reach more than 100 feet. Movie and TV crews have used the street as a backdrop for many movies, and the shade provides a lot of coolness from the summer sun.
Activists living in the neighborhood are asking for a permanent protection status for the trees and a moratorium on cutting them down for construction. They are asking that any new houses must be designed to preserve the existing trees.
The letter and petition specifically names:
Eric Garcetti, Mayor, City of Los Angeles
Paul Krekorian, Los Angeles CD2 Councilman, Los Angeles CD2 Councilman
Karo Torossian, Los Angeles, CD2 Planning & Land Use
Alan Dymond, Pres., Studio City Residents Association
Barry Johnson, Land Use, Studio City Residents Association
John Walker, Pres, Studio City Neighborhood Council
Lisa Sarkin, Land Use, Studio City Neighborhood Council
Greg Good, Director of City Services, City of Los Angeles
Michael LoGrande, Director of Planning, LA City Planning Dept.
George Gonzalez, Urban Forestry Division of the Bureau of Street Services, City of Los Angeles
Raymond Chan, General Manager, LA Dept of Building and Safety
and a letter asks all of the above, and more, to sign the petition.
Stephanie Levy, who has owned a home on the street for more than 30 years points out, "These sycamores not only beautify our street, they save energy by providing a cooling canopy in summer, saving on air conditioning and electricity. And they make the street a pleasant stroll for neighbors, and a large number of folks who come here from nearby to walk their dogs, or simply enjoy a lovely street on which to stroll."
Levy says it's a shame that the trees are cut down to double wide driveways to an expanded cement parking areas where cars can be parked in front of double garages.
"Not one more elegant tree on this highly unusual street, should be sacrificed for no reason," Levy added. "And developers should know that we will do whatever we can to save these cooling, beautiful shade givers."
Read more testimonials on the site that houses the petition.
Go to sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/paul-krekorian-los-angeles-cd2-councilman-protect-the-cantura-street-sycamore-trees