Love where you live!
"They are starting to fail,'' said John Vigil, the La Mesa banker who serves on the La Mesa Village Merchants Association Board and is the godfather of Christmas in the Village and the holiday lights. (see photo right).
The lights come down as the leaves begin rising on the many trees that have framed La Mesa Village along La Mesa Boulevard for decades now. These trees have always been an odd sort of linear copse for a city street -- planted too close to some buildings, causing root damage to the sidewalks and structures, and too far from the sidewalks in other locations spurring regular and damaging confrontations with auto bumpers and fenders.
Still, trees are eventually elegant and the best of them have a way of becoming like pets, a subtle part of the family -- or the local business.
The massive ficus outside Cosmos Coffee shop (above) has, for some, become a La Mesa landmark. Modest tables clustered beneath, the good weather has inspired many who would like to see the tree spared the upcoming La Mesa Village streetscape redesign.
Ari Bejar, Cosmos' peripetetic owner, said he has had conversations with city staff and believes he's convinced them to either spare the tree or, if a replacement is necessary, provided something more than a new sapling.
"It should be either that tree or a mature one with a full canopy,'' Bejar said. "I believe I have their agreement on that.''
But for the vast majority of trees now along the avenue, the redesign will require replacement, with a species of tree that doesn't have the aggressive root challenges the current trees bring. The plan does envision a tree-lined street. (see sketch below).
The La Mesa Boulevard redesign project is still in the planning stages but work could start early next year.