Controversial Redwood on Lombard one step closer to landmark status

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News previously told the story about a controversial Redwood tree on San Francisco's Lombard Street and a hearing being held to decide it's fate. On Friday, that decision was made. And reaction is split between people who love the tree and people who worry about it.

RELATED: SF residents at odds over massive redwood tree

At San Francisco City Hall, people make life-long decisions and commitments Monday through Friday, but one decision that happened Friday morning included some unwilling participants.

"I told you it lives to be a thousand or two thousand years old," said Mari Jaye, the woman who planted the redwood sapling in 1962.

It has since grown to be more than 100 feet tall, creating fears among her neighbors. "The tree looms over us," said Heidi Blotski. "And it has branches that weigh hundreds of pounds and we fear they would fall on our children or perhaps the whole tree."

The concerns became an issue last Sept. when Jaye applied to the San Francisco Urban Forestry Council and asked them to grant the tree landmark status. Doing so would make the tree legally untouchable, even for future homeowners.

Most neighbors knew about the tree when they moved in and insist this is not about improving their views. "I don't have a view," said neighbor Dan Kassabian. "No view affected by this tree at all."

Finally Friday, there was a unanimous vote in favor of landmark status. Next, it needs approval by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. Jaye was thrilled and forgiving.

Mari Jaye celebrates after her redwood tree is declared a landmark in San Francisco on March, 24, 2017.


"They were newcomers," Jaye said. "Probably from out of state and do not know the redwood forest."

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