The cutting down of trees and the beginning of grading on the site of an Elysian Heights housing development has dramatically altered the neighborhood’s leafy landscape. A tractor (pictured in the bottom photo) rests in what was once a grassy field surrounded by a towering and tangled stand of eucalyptus, pine and palm trees near Allesandro Street. The 15 homes planned by developer Plant Home Living will be clustered at the base of the three-acre hillside parcel near Allesandro and El Moran Street. However, concern about the stability of the uphill slope required grading and earth moving as well as the removal of a grove of trees, many of them natives. Residents who opposed the project are now concerned about the impact of all the dust on humans as well as wildlife.
Planet Home has agreed to plant more than 160 replacement trees to replace the natives but it will be a long time before this section of Elysian Heights ever looks like an urban forest again.