The California Coastal Commission has finally approved removal of 90 palm trees planted illegally in the Playa del Rey area by Los Angeles World Airports — the City of Los Angeles department that operates city airports — in a landscaping project that began in February 2000.
The project is bounded by the south side of Waterview Street, Rindge Avenue and Napoleon Street — between Pershing Drive and Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey.
Airport commissioners agreed to have the trees uprooted and replanted near LAX terminals at a cost of $200,000 at a meeting earlier in the week.
Airport officials had failed to apply for a permit from the California Coastal Commission prior to planting 90 Mexican fan palms.
The project was originally designed to beautify a 30-foot wide strip of land — covered with weeds, rodents and occasional snakes — along Waterview and Napoleon Streets, and Rindge Avenue from Pershing Drive to Vista del Mar.
Some homeowners were annoyed by the trees, calling them “ugly,” and said the palms blocked their ocean views.
A local environmental organization claimed that the palms were non-native vegetation that could harm sensitive plants and insects in the adjacent dunes area.
Airport officials said that a delay in removing the palm trees was caused by the need to confer with environmentalists, to ensure that native vegetation wouldn’t be harmed by the removal of the palm trees.