Around Pacific Palisades

Impossible to Walk the Sidewalk?

If you plan to walk to Will Rogers State Beach down Temescal Canyon Road sidewalk—and maybe push a stroller, be prepared to traverse a hazardous course of wood (and a broken sidewalk.)

The L.A. Municipal Code (Ord. No. 77,000, Sec. 66.25) states: No person shall deposit any non-combustible rubbish or any refuse of any kind whatsoever upon or in any street, sidewalk, parkway or upon any lot or private premises (including wood). The penalty is a $1,000 fine or six months in jail or both.

Leaving cut wood on the sidewalk along the west side of Temescal has been a Palisades tradition for years but over the past few weeks it has resulted in wood stretching almost a third of the way down the road to Pacific Coast Highway.

Councilman Mike Bonin’s office was asked last year who would be liable if someone became injured trying to avoid all the wood on the sidewalk. The answer? The City.

When Field Deputy Lisa Cahill, who had formerly worked with the TreePeople, was contacted last year she wrote in an email to a constituent: “The fact is that it is a safety issue on multiple levels, which is why I agree it is important to address regardless of the tradition/free firewood aspects.”



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4 Responses to Around Pacific Palisades

  1. Marge Gold says:

    What started years ago as a sweet community tradition has turned into a situation that is totally out of control. What we have now is an eyesore and an accident waiting to happen. Tree companies that leave this wood should be fined for illegal dumping.

  2. Barbara Marinacci says:

    Some months ago Council District 11’s Lisa Cahill – Mike Bonin’s deputy in the Palisades – attempted to bring about a crackdown on this wood dumping. Apart from the big nuisance (usually only a portion of the wood gets picked up), there’s concern that uninspected wood could harbor insects, such as (currently) the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle, that transmit fungal diseases fatal to trees. More small “No Dumping” signs were put up on lamp posts, etc. and attempts were made to notify landscape and tree services about the prohibition. Initially there was a definite decrease in the wood depositing. But despite the ruling you’ve cited, there was NO enforcement and crackdowns done by any City agency, including LAPD, LAFD, BSS, Sanitation, or Recreation & Parks. Periodically the wood not picked up by recyclers (or scavengers) somehow gets picked up by some major City service and then the sidewalks get swept clean. There is often a lot of rotten wood, piles of junky branches, and sawdust that nobody would want, much of it spilling across the sidewalk and into the street. And then suddenly it will all go away! So what public entity does this frequent periodic cleanup … and at what total cost to the City? Builders in business and landscape services operating in nearby cities (such as Santa Monica and Malibu) can conveniently dump here too, at no cost to them. One day from across the street I shouted at a guy dumping wood from his small truck and said that tree dumping there was illegal. He just yelled back and called me a Bitch. It looks worse there now – far more wood thrown down – than I’ve ever seen it. Good photo of the wretched long lineup of wood, starting with that very nasty heaved sidewalk!

  3. What used to be a minimally invasive, quaint kind of free convenience has turned into an industrial scale disposal facility. The tonnage and quantity of logs is totally ridiculous. Moreover, a high percentage of the logs there today, Aug 13, are more than 18″ diameter, rendering them useless for any fireplace, without being split. Maybe the dumpers believed that giant funeral pyres are a PP tradition. Nice example of what happens to completely anonymous, unregulated conditions.

  4. Ira Erenberg says:

    I understand all of the arguments expressed thus far but I’m wondering about a financial issue.
    Included in the price we pay for tree trimming are the cost to haul and dump in a legitimate location. Usually these dumps are quite a distance away. My question is, are we paying for hauling that distance and paying the fee for dumping when in fact it is merely dumped on Temescal?

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