Trees take center stage at Old Courthouse Square reunification forum

Preliminary designs of a reunified Old Courthouse Square were both blasted and applauded during a packed public forum Saturday morning in a building space on the west side of the square in Santa Rosa.
About 200 attended the meeting, many of them standing because of insufficient seating. They voiced strong opinions about the project, ranging from opposition to eliminating some of the square’s old redwood trees to ecological concerns about the installation of a lawn in the middle of downtown.
But other attendees, some of them business owners on or near the square, called the three design proposals a good compromise that would save the majority of the site’s redwoods, add needed parking and revitalize an otherwise dreary urban landscape.
“If we do nothing, nothing happens,” said Michael Hyman, owner of the Pawn Advantage on Fourth Street. “I go through the square nearly every day. … It’s depressing. No one goes through the square; no one goes there to look at redwoods.”
As expected, many attending the forum were concerned about the removal of nearly two dozen trees, particularly redwoods, from the site. A number of them objected to the removal of trees for what would become angled parking on the west and east sides of the reunified square.
“I don’t think we need all that parking space at the expense of all those beautiful trees,” Santa Rosa resident Carlos Dabe said during the public comment section of the forum.
Read more at: Trees take center stage at Old Courthouse Square | The Press Democrat