Encinitas officials are looking for an in-house arborist who can speak for the trees.September 2016:
Call it the city’s very own Lorax.
The council at last week’s meeting voted unanimously to direct City Manager Karen Brust to determine if they can staff the position in-house with existing personnel.
Four massive ficus trees in downtown Encinitas will be removed within the coming weeks, despite a neighborhood push to save the towering plants.Next to meet the city's chain saws: Leucadia's historic eucalyptuses.
Public Works Director Glenn Pruim delivered that news during an emotion-packed community meeting Tuesday, saying the purpose of the gathering was to collect input on how to replace the trees — not to revisit the city’s decision to yank them.
Dozens of people said the targeted trees — two in the 600 block of Second Street and two in front of rental housing at 1011 Third Street — are an integral part of the neighborhood’s character and help soften the effects of noise from downtown bars and restaurants.
"We have been under siege for years ... (removing the trees) is going to make it worse," said Third Street resident Joe McNelley.