At the September 2 Escondido City Council meeting, Larry Steneck, president of the Coalition of Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Voters, discussed the plight of residents at the Green Tree Mobile Estates, who had to deal with the loss of over 40 tall palm trees in their community.
Steneck described the 104-space family park (located on 1301 South Hale) as a place where residents exhibit great pride of ownership. He showed councilmembers numerous photographs of tall palms that lined the entrance of the park and others that grew on the residents’ properties and around the mobile-park neighborhood.
“Park management unilaterally decided to cut down all of those palms,” said Steneck. “And to make sure the residents had no time whatsoever to react, they were given a three-day notice. None of these trees were deceased, none of them were a safety hazard, and none of them were causing damage to the streets or property. No residents asked that they be cut down.”
Steneck said the management company takes a portion of the residents’ rent to pay for the maintenance of the trees.
“The property managers simply didn’t want to maintain [the trees] any longer,” he added. According to Steneck, despite complaints and a letter to the management, trucks still rolled in the neighborhood and took down the trees over the course of three days of “carnage.” He said that police were called in and residents placed yellow ribbons on the trees to symbolize their care for them.
Steneck showed the council a photograph of a resident who stood in her yard in front of a tree in an attempt to save it from being cut down; that particular tree survived, he said.
“I recognize that this council majority sides with the park owners and management virtually a hundred percent of the time,” said Steneck. “However, would it be too much to ask of you to ask these park owners to try and be fair and reasonable to residents?... This management company, located in Laguna Beach, has nothing better to do than to come down to Escondido and cut down the palm trees and upset the residents.”