"We are widening the street 8 feet at that point in order to
create a dedicated right-turn lane from Wilson eastbound onto
southbound Brand," Public Works Director Steve Zurn said. "This is
being done to improve traffic flow into the downtown area in
The street expansion is being done in preparation for the
Americana at Brand project and is part of Phase I of the South Brand
Boulevard Improvement Project, Zurn added.
Christopher Nyerges, manager of the Glendale Farmer's Market, said
he was surprised to see the trees go, but would not miss them.
"I find the trees along the sidewalk rather worthless," Nyerges
said. "They are not like the alder trees we have on the lot, which
are beautiful and provide a lot of shade."
The farmer's market is scheduled to return to its original
location on Brand Boulevard in front of the Exchange building in
August, after street upgrades there are completed on that stretch.
The lot is owned by the Ohio State Teachers' Retirement Fund.
"That group is currently in escrow with a group called Bosa
Development, which has proposed a 135-condominium development at that
site," said Philip Lanzafame, the city's interim development services
The project is still going through the design review process and a
construction date has yet to be set, Lanzafame said.
"The tree removal had nothing to do with the condominium project,"
Another reason for the trees' removal was that ficus are extremely
large and are very intrusive to infrastructure, Zurn said.
"We are currently looking into alternative trees to plant in the
adjacent area, to maintain a park-like appearance," Zurn said, adding
that the city's urban forester is examining replacement options.
The replanting will take place after the widening is complete and
a new sidewalk is installed, Zurn said.
He could not give an estimated completion date for the project.
* FRED ORTEGA covers City Hall. He may be reached at (818)
637-3235 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.