The trees along the promenade in front of the Natural Grocers in Casa Linda will be removed, but other compromises were made to try and make the Casa Linda redo more palatable to neighbors fighting the removal of the trees.
A meeting took place earlier this month between neighborhood leaders and Edens staff and subcontractors, where each side made their case. Historic preservation, redesigning the traffic flow, the importance of the trees and the character of the neighborhood were all discussed.
Edens, who owns the property, says that the root structure of the trees would not allow them to be removed or to take out parts of the promenade to provide a cut-through, and that rerouting the traffic would have caused a bottleneck due to the plan to minimize the slope near Starbucks and prevent traffic cut-throughs.
The property owners are making upgrades to the trees coming into the center. Four of the new trees will be 72-inch cedar elm box trees that are each 25 feet tall. Edens says they are biggest trees that can fit in the area and still be healthy.
In a Facebook post, District 9 City Councilman Mark Clayton wrote, “There was a mutual desire to continue dialogue” between the two sides. “It will be roughly $50,000-$75,000 to acquire the additional trees, but Edens is making the investment because the community has expressed the importance of bringing in trees of similar canopy as opposed to the Charlie Brown Frisco tree.”
“Being a long-term good neighbor requires listening to your customers and now the end result will be 34 additional new trees on the Natural Grocers side added to the existing 23 trees,” Clayton wrote. “Ultimately, they will also end up adding trees on the Albertson’s side which will complete the tree lined canopy on both sides of Buckner.”
Edens says they are working to bring back the Christmas event at Casa Linda, and are in touch with a descendant of the original owners and designers of the shopping center, the Brown family. “We are working directly with the family to find meaningful options and creative ways to continue celebrating the awesome history of Casa Linda and the Brown Family,” an Edens spokesperson wrote.
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