A plan to cut down all 54 queen palms along the entry to the Whispering Palms community in Rancho Santa Fe will be discussed at a public town hall on Wednesday, July 20 at 6 p.m. at the Morgan Run Club & Resort clubhouse.
The trees slated for destruction line the entry medians along Cancha de Golf and are more than 40 years old. Soaring 40- to 65-feet high, these queen palms are the iconic namesake of the Whispering Palms community.
The Whispering Palms Community Services District (WPCSD) has dictated that the trees should be removed to update the community’s appearance and because this county agency deems the trees a potential public safety hazard.
“These queen palms have been evaluated by three certified arborists, all of whom have differing opinions on whether the trees are a safety hazard,” said Lisa Margolin-Feher, spokesperson for the KeepOurPalms.Org, an organization funded by Richard Cavanaugh, the developer of Whispering Palms and a resident of the community.
“If some of the trees are unhealthy, then of course they should be removed. But why destroy all 54 trees when only a small number may need to be taken down or replaced? This is what will be discussed at the July 20 town hall,” said Margolin-Feher
For approximately two years, the Whispering Palms Community Services District has planned the removal of the palm trees. One public presentation was held on March 29 to display three options for replacement landscaping. All three plans include the destruction of all 54 palm trees.
“We believe there is a fourth option which allows us to save the healthy palms while replacing the grass on the medians with drought-tolerant ground cover,” said Margolin-Feher. “This option would potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the cost of the current plan mandated by the WPCSD.”
The July 20 Keep Our Palms Town Hall will be held at the Morgan Run clubhouse at 5690 Cancha de Golf, Rancho Santa Fe. For more information, visit keepourpalms.org or call (858) 222-1007.