Permits Needed to Chop Down Parkway Trees, But

The City’s Urban Forestry Department is checking to see if the developer had a permit to chop down a healthy eucalyptus  tree located on a parkway on Almar.

Owner on Via Bluffs Removes Four Without a Permit

Residents who live near Via de las Olas and Mount Holyoke and those who often visit the little  bluff park to admire the sunset were outraged when the homeowner at 15539 Via de las Olas chopped down three giant healthy eucalyptus and a large pine tree.

Additionally, when the stumps were pulled out, the water main pipe to about 40 houses broke.

On Nextdoor Palisades, one neighbor wrote: “This travesty should be reported to the City. The trees were approximately 100 years old.”

Neighbors on Via de las Olas contacted L.A. City to find out if the owner of 15539 had received permits to chop down four parkway trees.

L.A. City Department of Public Works public information officer Paul Gomez responded in a June 5 email to Circling the News about a permit.

“There was not a tree removal permit taken out to remove the trees. The Bureau of Street Services is in the process of looking into the matter,” Gomez said.

Meanwhile, the City halted the homeowner’s construction at 15539 Via de las Olas. Chief Inspector for the Inspection Bureau of L.A. Building and Safety (LADBS) Kim Arther wrote to CTN on July 17:

“On June 28, 2019, LADBS issued a “NOTICE TO STOP CONSTRUCTION AND NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVOKE BUILDING PERMITS” due to the property owner not obtaining the required approvals and permits from the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Street Services, Urban Forestry Division (UFD) to remove street trees.”

Arther, in a July 18 email, said the property owner needs to rectify the situation by obtaining the required approvals from the Urban Forestry Department.

“They are actively doing that now,” Arther said.

In addition to refiling for the necessary permits, Gomez was asked what else would happen to the owner for chopping down parkway trees without a permit.

In a July 24 email, he wrote “The property owner will be required to plant eight replacement trees and a monetary amount that will go towards maintenance of the trees.”

One reader on Nextdoor wrote: “We all need to be more proactive in watching development and construction in our neighborhoods. . . Developers blithely ignore rules regarding street trees and their replacement and permeable driveways.”

CTN received a July 24 email from a reader: “This morning, at 525 Almar Ave, a beautiful, healthy eucalyptus was taken out. This tree matched all the others on this designated street and will be sorely missed. It was probably older than anyone in this town. This seems to be happening more and more lately with no one caring.”

A message was sent to Gomez, who responded “I’ll check on the location at Almar.”

Our reader was alerted that the City was checking for a permit and responded, “Developers these days seem to do whatever they want. This same house on Almar was approved with plans that are different from what was built. I guess this is the new normal.”

Please dial 311 or (800) 996-2489 to report a parkway tree being cut down and to check if there is a permit.

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5 Responses to Permits Needed to Chop Down Parkway Trees, But

  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you for the update about the trees they are sorely missed!

  2. Scott says:

    They ought to do a lot more than just make the builder get a permit and plant 8 trees. That is what he would have had to do anyway, even if he had followed the rules. The replacement trees will be much smaller than the ones they cut down. Where is the PENALTY for not following the rules??

  3. Sue says:


    The building was also required to pay an amount to the Urban Forestry Division. The government spokesmen did not tell me the amount. I also learned that the house had been approved by the Pacific Palisades Civic League with the requirement that the trees remain, but the builder ignored that requirement.


  4. Jack says:

    Thanks for this. The address on Almar is actually 725, between Northfield and Junaluska.

  5. Sue says:

    Thanks. I’ll update the City inspector.

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