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Newport Beach

Letters to the Editor

Are the cutting of trees what the community should really be doing?

The Newport Heights, Balboa Island and Cliffhaven communities have experienced a “tree saving” effort the last several months. Because these older areas have more numerous and larger established trees than most of the other communities in Newport Beach, it did not come as much of a surprise that many residents spoke out in favor of saving them. 

First the city, and secondly the school district, announced that the removal of foundation trees was necessary for safety and architectural reasons. Some in the communities charged back, that for them the trees were too important to remove because of esthetic and biological reasons. Also, many of them failed to agree with the validity of the safety issue. In their defense, they point out that the trees provide the vital infrastructure for healthy ecosystems. 

To give a little historical and literary perspective to the “save the tree” movement, we can turn to a nineteenth century poet and journalist Walt Whitman, who mourned the loss of trees in his beloved Brooklyn. 

One of my neighbors foraged through literary works to find this inspiring excerpt printed in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: “The beautiful large trees that stood long on Dr. Hunt’s old place, corner of Concord and Fulton streets, were cut down the other day, to gain a few inches more room, to build brick and lime walls on. Now, though we hold to as little intermeddling as possible, by the press, with private rights, we pity and denounce this work of death. Why don’t they let the trees stand and build their fine edifice a few feet farther in?”

It is difficult to find the proper balance between progress and nature. I have experienced this dichotomy on a personal level and have not always been consistent in my choice. I just know that in the long run, I find a lot more solace in green than grey. 

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach

Extra-large approved Kings Road home is now even bigger, resident wonders what’s going on?

Recently, the 1113 Kings Road residential project that was approved for a 12,300-square-foot structure by the City Council obviously did not recognize that the plans were changed and finalized for an almost 18,000-square-foot residence. This happened AFTER your vote at the Council Meeting. This neglectful decision now has the potential to destroy the adjacent homes. 

The residents are in favor of private property rights; however, the Council once again listened to City Staff.

Personally, the number of homes that I am aware of being compromised is up to 86 and counting.

This “structural virus” and the continued need for greed is literally destroying the charm of our town.

I suggest that in the future the Council focus on the majority of tax-paying stakeholders’ advice, as opposed to the nouveau riche that are swarming into Newport Beach like parasites. 

Let this be a lesson learned that when the Council is presented with the future of the 215 Garden Project and the Newport Village Project, please listen to your constituents. As these are two more additional projects that will further erode the charm of our town. 

This epidemic must be stopped. 

We are just trying to live in peace without having our homes compromised by these oversized structures. 

Peggy V. Palmer

Newport Beach


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