City Considers Removing Tree near New Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine

Published : Monday, January 7, 2019 | 5:47 AM

Image courtesy of the City of Pasadena

[Editor’s Note: This article has been changed to reflect the facts that the tree’s removal is due to its confliction with the building’s design and not the construction scaffolding.]

The City of Pasadena’s Urban Forestry Advisory Commission will deliberate on Wednesday, January 9, on a request by Kaiser Permanente to remove one of three trees that stand along the frontage of what is going to be Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine at 98 S. Los Robles Avenue.

A memorandum by Parks and Natural Resources Administrator Charles Peretz for the commission says Kaiser Permanente prefers to keep the trees and prune them instead of removing them, but the Department of Public Works said one of the trees need to be removed because keeping it would conflict with the articulated building façade on the northwest corner of the project closest to Los Robles Avenue, which juts out to the property line of the project.

The recommendation to the Committee is to remove the tree and retain the two others, according to the memorandum.

Image courtesy of the City of Pasadena

The three trees are all of the Indian laurel, or ficus microcarpa nitida, specie, Peretz said in the memorandum.

Kaiser Permanente has received City approval to build the future School of Medicine, which will be a four-story, 80,000 square foot building, with three levels of subterranean parking. An articulated building façade is now under construction on the northwest corner of the building where the trees are located.

Once built, the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will be a fully accredited medical school for future physicians.

“The project will bring a notable improvement to a previous parking surface parking lot within the Central District of the City,” Peretz’s memorandum said. “The project will provide approximately 150 new jobs, and serve approximately 200 students at full occupancy.”

Kaiser Permanente earlier said they plan to open the school to its first class of about 40 to 50 students by 2019.

Wednesday’s meeting of the Urban Forestry Advisory Commission begins at 6 p.m. at 233 West Mountain Street Second Floor in Pasadena.

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