Alhambra protestors urge council to preserve hundreds of trees

- Alhambra residents protested Tuesday, urging city council to preserve part of their city. 
 
Once the trees are gone, they’re gone for good," said Melissa Michelson, a protestor.
 
She's talking about 268 trees on a private area on Valley and Morengo a developer hopes to turn into 126 townhouses and a medical center.
 
The developer says a few dozen trees will be temporarily removed.
 
Most of them... permanently cut.
 
In the end, the city says hundreds of new trees will be planted.
 
"Younger trees mixed in....it is better for the environment," said Christopher Paulson, a community services director for the City of Alhambra.
 
Protestors are skeptical.
 
"They're talking about planting 400 new trees. Now I have not seen that in writing, but nevertheless, how long will it take for the new trees to grow?" said Michelson.
 
Others fearing development will spur a slew of different problems.

One by one...nearly 30 neighbors expressing them.
 
"Construction, congestion, traffic, at home and now you're asking my kids to endure it 5 days a week too," said one mom.
The city says the developer followed the California Environmental Quality Act.
 
"Every box that the state would require a developer to check has been checked," said Paulson.
 
But some say the debate isn’t about trees or traffic. 
 
They believe it’s about fearing change.
 
"Change is happening. The whole LA region is growing. There's nothing we can do to stop that. Unless we tell people to stop having children," said another man. 

The council is expected to vote on a decision late Monday night. If they approve the development, they will have a second reading of the project in two weeks and take a final vote then.

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