Landscape renovation at Lakeview Center

IMPROVEMENT—American Heritage Landscape workers dig in at the Lakeview Corporate Center in Westlake.

IMPROVEMENT—American Heritage Landscape workers dig in at the Lakeview Corporate Center in Westlake.

Residents concerned about trees being removed around the perimeter of Lakeview Corporate Center in recent weeks should know that none of the trees are protected under city law and all have been deemed unhealthy, an official with the City of Thousand Oaks has told the Acorn.

A landscaping renovation underway at the center will remove 57 unhealthy trees—none of them protected oak or sycamore trees— and install drought-tolerant plants.

The city’s consulting landscape architect found that all of the trees being removed from the 22-acre center at Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Lakeview Canyon Road are in poor condition, said John Prescott, T.O.’s community development director.

Many of those trees are dying and 10 percent of them, mostly alders, are already dead, Prescott said.

“The original landscape planning involved trees fairly close together,” Prescott said. “As they grew and have now reached maturity, they were impinging on each other.”

The trees, which include alder, cottonwood and tulip, are being removed from the perimeter of the site facing Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Lakeview Canyon Road and Via Merida. Ninety trees will be retained, he said.

While no oak trees will be removed, 12 oaks will be planted.

“As you go along Thousand Oaks Boulevard now—they’ve done that street—the trees that you see there now will remain and will be augmented with some new coast live oaks and new ground cover,” Prescott said.

The landscaping plan gave special consideration to oak trees, said Mike DeArmey of LBA Realty, which has owned the site since 2007.

DeArmey said he’s aware of the controversial removal last year of protected oak and sycamore trees from nearby Westlake Plaza, just across the 101 Freeway.

“There’s a lot of sensitivity in the city right now (regarding oaks),” he said. “That’s informed how we’ve proceeded with the city and tried to be transparent and let everybody know what we’re doing.”

The project will help maintain the health of the oak and sycamore trees at the site, he said. The renovation involves the perimeter of the site, which has 68 oak trees and one sycamore.

“A lot of the oak trees were being affected by these other trees and plants that were crowding them,” he said. “There are actually trees growing up through the oaks.”

“(The city arborist) agreed with removing a lot of the ground cover as long as what we’re putting back was not affecting the oaks.”

The renovation, which will be completed this summer, will include the trimming of oak and sycamore trees around the property, and the conversion of an old parking lot next to the Equinox gym into a sitting area for tenants that will offer Wi-Fi and bocce.

DeArmey expects the improvements to give the center a more “corporate feel” and draw more tenants.

“We do have some leasing challenges that we’ve been trying to tackle,” he said.



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