SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A group of Sacramento tree advocates is upset about a new city proposal that would cut down almost two-dozen trees on R Street.

The group is now pleading with the Parks and Recreation Commission to keep the trees standing.

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“The trees that are being removed, many of them are in bad shape and they are planted in locations that aren’t ideal for pedestrians,” said Todd Leon, the development manager for the R Street development project.

The goal is to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

“This project is adding sidewalks, a new roadway and pedestrian lighting,” Leon added.

Leon says many of the trees between 13th and 16th streets are too close to the property line, and in one case, are blocking a parking garage on 16th and R streets.

“That would be easily resolved if they trimmed the trees,” said Luree Stetson.

Stetson is an advocate of Trees for Sacramento.
She says her main concern is the city getting rid of trees that are otherwise healthy — in the name of economic development.

“They can put the tree wells up for them so the trees can grow,” Stetson said.

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But the city is adamant most of the trees are diseased and need to be replaced.

CBS 13 took photos two weeks ago of a tree that had crashed down on a Prius on 16th and R streets.

“It’s a little weird that in the city of trees they are cutting down trees.”

Danny Draughn’s car was totaled by a tree in June while he was parked in another part of downtown Sacramento.

Draughn supports the city chopping down trees that could be a safety hazard, but he worries the project will impact businesses on R Street where he works.

“These trees they wanna cut down are gonna take away some shade for the businesses,” Draughn said.

That’s the other side of the argument for tree advocates.

Stetson says cutting down some of the trees on R Street will compromise air quality, water control and energy savings in the area.

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Tree advocates initially appealed the city’s decision in June, when the public works director decided to spare six Elm trees.