The Fairfax Town Council unanimously approved the removal of eight trees on Pastori Avenue at a special meeting on Oct. 20.
The Liquidamber trees border the east side of Good Earth’s east parking lot and range in size from 32 inches to 48 inches. An arborist otwn officials hired determined the trees need to be removed because they wouldn’t be structurally sound after a new sidewalk is installed this fall.
The new sidewalk and retaining wall on Pastori Avenue, funded by the Federal Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, are part of Fairfax officials’ efforts to improve pedestrian, bicycle and other non-motorized transportation, according to the resolution the council adopted with the decision to remove the trees. A copy of the resolution is attached at the right.
Town officials selected B&M Construction to build the sidewalk and work began on Oct. 16. It was earlier, on Oct. 10, when the contractor, interim town manager and two engineers met to evaluate the trees, which would have major root damage done during the construction.
Interim Town Manager Judy Anderson said she decided to call a council meeting to make a decision about the trees because she wasn’t comfortable making the call on her own (and the town doesn’t have a public works director).
Ray Moritz, a consulting arborist, said the trees have structural defects that compromise their health, stability and longevity. He found the “existing tree conditions in conjunction with construction requirements would create a high risk of tree failure and a threat to people and property.”
Mortiz recommended the trees be removed and replaced with at least 15 24-inch box trees - which wouldn't create root damage to the town infrastructure. Mortiz and the landscape architect for the Fairfax-Anselm Plaza will determine which tree species are best for the site.
“They are beautiful trees. We don’t take trees out lightly,” Anderson told Patch.
The town council first held a special meeting on Oct. 16 to discuss the status of the trees. At that meeting, Good Earth representatives and the property owner expressed concerns about removing the trees, according to the tree removal resolution.
Councilmembers Ryan O’Neil and Vice Mayor John Reed did not attend the Oct. 20 meeting when the council approved the resolution.
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