CARMEL VALLEY (NEWS 8) – Carmel Valley residents on Wednesday pushed back against SDG&E’s plan to cut down dozens of trees at a local park.
For many Carmel Valley residents, the majestic Torrey Pines and eucalyptus trees lining the park are beloved and a valuable part of the community landscape.
SDG&E said it needs to take more than 70 trees out of the Carmel Mission Park to keep them from falling into transmission lines.
“They have been here a long time. If they can figure out a maintenance program, I think we are going to be in good shape,” said
SDG&E’s possible plan, which would remove up to 75 trees over the next three years to prevent the 60 to 80 foot trees from toppling and crashing into nearby power lines, has energized much of the community to launch an opposition.
“I am against it. It’s excessive,” said one resident.
Carmel Valley resident Dennese Flowers questions the lack of foresight in planting the trees in their current spot in the first place.
So far, more than 1,200 residents and supporters have signed an online petition to oppose SDG&E’s “a vegetation management plan.” The utility company said the plan remains under analysis.
In a statement, SDG&E said:
At SDG&E, we take providing safe and reliable power to our customers very seriously. That sometimes includes the removal of trees to ensure the safety of the communities we serve. We are working on a vegetation management plan related to Carmel Mission Park, specifically in areas near our existing transmission lines, to determine if a safety hazard and reliability issue exists. We will provide more information after our analysis. SDG&E manages more than 460,000 trees that are close to our infrastructure to prevent them from touching power lines that can spark power outages or fires. Keeping nature at a safe distance helps to ensure reliable energy and keeps or customers safe.
Carmel Valley resident Glenn Gordy said he is torn on the issue. “I think it’s a little extreme, but I can see the rationale in it.”
Other residents said they are not giving up the fight to save the trees.
Carmel Valley residents will have a chance to have their say at the next Carmel Valley Planning Board meeting that will take place on January 25th, at 7 p.m., at the Carmel Valley Library on Townsgate.