A COTTESLOE resident has bypassed street tree protection rules by offering to replace a Cook pine with a mature example of the town’s iconic Norfolk Island pine.
“This decision will set a precedent that will see anyone with a Cook Island pine out front saying ‘I want to remove mine too’,” counillor Sandra Boulter said at last month’s council meeting.
A staff report said the Broome Street resident wanted the Cook pine removed because it “was not in keeping with the species theme” on the route through central Cottesloe.
Cr Jay Birnbrauer said the council risked approving “everything” requested by residents if they offered to pay the costs.
Adjacent Torrens Street residents also requested removal of a Japanese pepper tree on their verge, and a Brighton Street ratepayer wanted a Cape lilac taken out.
Those residents’ reasons included claims the trees damaged crossovers and plumbing, caused health problems, and attracted caterpillars and cockatoos that caused mess and damage.
However, the council’s Street Tree Policy only allows verge trees to be removed as a last resort if they are dead or dangerous.
The 15.5m Cook pine the Broome Street resident wanted replaced with an 8m Norfolk, with an offer to maintain it for two years, was not found to be dying or a safety hazard.
Councillors decided to support the request 5-4, with all costs to be paid by the resident.
“As far as setting a precedent goes, each request is considered on its merits,” Cr Mark Rodda said.
The requests for removal of the trees in Torrens and Brighton streets were rejected because the trees were not dying or dangerous.