The sidewalk in front of the Larchmont Blvd. Rite Aid and newsstand is now repaired, and two trees have been planted to replace the trees that were removed.
The new trees, African Fern Pines, Afrocarpus falcatus in the Podocarpus family, may look familiar, as they are among the few trees the City of Los Angeles really likes these days. As we reported earlier, the Windsor Square Association’s Tree Canopy Committee Chair Helen Hartung had proposed several other trees that were rejected by the city for a variety of reasons. Though small now, the African Fern Pine can grow to a height of 50-65 feet ,at rate of 12 to 36 inches per year.
The sidewalk repair was set in motion once the City’s Department of Disability determined the sidewalk condition was not in compliance with federal accessibility laws. As we previously reported, the sidewalks were deemed non-compliant by the city’s compliance officer (a copy of that determination can be found here), so they had to be replaced.
As for the placement of the new trees, Mark Pampanin, spokesperson for City Council Member David Ryu, said the City’s Urban Forestry Department determined the location of the trees (not the owner of the building, as has been reported elsewhere).
According to Pampanin, the Urban Forestry Department initially determined that only one tree could be planted on the street, but officials reconsidered after the council office explained it was very important to the community that two trees be planted to replace the two that had been removed. Ultimately, forestry officials agreed…but they also insisted on placing the trees farther apart to avoid complications with the root systems, even it meant placing the second tree closer to the parking lot driveway than would otherwise be advised.
The location of that tree was a special case, however, in which Urban Forestry officials worked things out among the city council office and the appropriate city agencies, explained Pampanin.