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'Save Our Big Trees' Lawsuit Costing City $80,000
On the consent agenda for the Tuesday, May 13 Santa Cruz City Council meeting is a resolution appropriating $80,000 in funds to cover the legal costs of the 'Save Our Big Trees' lawsuit which was filed by local residents shortly after the city revised its Heritage Tree ordinance in the Fall of 2013. Activists filed the lawsuit because they feel the ordinance does not adequately protect the city's oldest, most beloved trees.
A report submitted to the City Council by the Parks and Recreation department indicates legal expenses to date in the lawsuit total over $50,000 spent, and the total legal fees for fiscal year 2014 are estimated to be $65,000 to $80,000.
The lawsuit against the city was filed by Wittwer/Parkinon, who represent a number of residents who want to stop the Heritage Tree ordinance. The city has retained the Remy Moose Law Firm in this lawsuit.
The group Save Our Big Trees is a grass roots organization of local residents who support protecting the City of Santa Cruz's Heritage Trees. In addition to the Save Our Big Trees lawsuit, the group is also currently working to protect a 110-year-old Red Horse Chestnut tree located at 407 Broadway in Santa Cruz, which has been cleared by the city for removal so that the owner of the property can build a new Hyatt Hotel.
Save Our Big Trees