People who have walked along the sidewalk adjacent to Hancock Park Terrace, located at 651 Wilcox Ave., know it’s not a smooth venture. Uneven concrete makes traveling the stretch of Melrose Avenue from Wilcox Avenue to Seward Street a major inconvenience.
Cynnthia Johnson, facility administrator for Hancock Park Terrace, said the complex took sidewalk repairs into its own hands after trees damaged the sidewalk. Johnson said the roots also damaged sewage pipelines under Melrose Avenue.
“[The sidewalk] is a hazard to pedestrians and a liability for us,” Johnson said. “Who thought putting ficus trees here was a good idea? The roots caused damage to our pipelines that lead to the sewage system. Residents were complaining about their plumbing backing up.”
Johnson said roots from the trees caused $60,000 in damages to the sewage pipelines and an additional $67,000 in sidewalk repairs. Construction along Melrose Avenue from Wilcox Avenue to Seward Street will continue through the end of the week.
Johnson said she spoke to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works (LADPW) last year about the problem, and the city put asphalt on the sidewalk. It wasn’t enough, she said, and soon after, Hancock Park Terrace obtained a permit to move forward with tree removal and sidewalk construction.
“Placing asphalt on the sidewalk didn’t help much. We’re paying for it because it needs to be done now rather than later,” Johnson said. “The city seemed agreeable to move [construction] along quickly though.”
According to the Los Angeles Urban Forestry Division (LAUFD), sidewalk repairs are the responsibility of the property owner under the Los Angeles Municipal Code. Tree removals require a permit and are at the expense of the owner. Costs to repair sewer damage caused by tree roots also fall under the property owner’s responsibility.
At a joint committee meeting on Monday, Los Angeles city council members gave initial approval for a plan to repair all the damaged sidewalks in the city.
The full city council will consider the plan this month. However, the city will not pay for repairs completed before the plan is approved.
Johnson said regardless, she plans to pursue reimbursement from the city.
After getting approval from LAUFD to remove the trees, Johnson said the sidewalk repairs are nearly complete, but for every tree removed, Hancock Park Terrace has to plant an additional two trees.
“There’s not enough space for 18 trees on the sidewalk, so we will plant 13 and give the city five [trees],” Johnson said.
Paying to have the trees planted will cost approximately $65 per tree, she said, and under the permit with LADPW, the complex also has to water and maintain the trees for a minimum of three years.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.