Alhambra Development Could Come At The Cost Of Healthy Trees, Beautiful Birds

ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — Wild parrots are part of a daily airshow in front of 77-year-old Violeta Willsey’s home in Alhambra.

“I sit here every day. Just to feel the trees and to enjoy the oxygen,”  Willsey said.

Willsey is worried about the future of these birds and the more than 200 trees on her 12-acre property, which houses a senior care center, at the corner of Marengo Avenue and Valley Boulevard.

The owners want to turn the mostly vacant piece of land, into town homes and some commercial medical offices.

“It’s accurate to say some trees will be removed for the construction,” Said Christopher Paulson, Alhambra Director of Community Service.

Here’s what’s in the development plan: There are currently 268 trees on this property.

Five will be saved in place and 36 will be temporarily relocated and moved back to the project. The remaining 227 will be cut down.

But more trees will replace them after construction.

Critics like Melissa Michelson say the environmental impact studies that have been done are not thorough enough.

“It definitely seems like city hall is going to rubber stamp this,” Michelson said.

The project’s developer is expected to lay out its plans during tonight’s city council meeting.

Willsey calls the trees: nature’s air filter.

She says she used to suffering from asthma but after a few years of living here – she was able to breath easier.

“I don’t run for inhalers anymore.”

If the city council approves the development it will go before the council for a second vote in two weeks.

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