Donald Trump has won the right to block the icky houses neighboring his Trump National Golf Club, thanks to a turnover on the Rancho Palos Verdes city council. The Club had previously illegally planted ficus hedges in 2007, then was denied permission for the trees twice, in 2007 and 2009. Trump has said that the houses the hedges are meant to block are "unsightly" and in "horrendous condition." His man at this week's council meeting backed off of that message, according to the Daily Breeze, but only a little bit: "When you're on the driving range, that range of sight should be a pin flag and nothing else?Right now, it's these homes." Meanwhile, the city council's staff report on the hedges says that staff "believes that although the proposed hedge does affect some views from residences, the public right of way and from a public trail, the affects are relatively minor given the significant breadth of view experienced over the site from these locations."
"Significant breadth of view" aside, the hedges had a couple other points in their favor: some of the city council's strongest hedge opponents have left office since the last denial, and the Club has reduced the amount of shrubbery it's after and switched the plant from ficus to New Zealand Christmas tree. The planned hedge will range from six feet to 9'8" and sit along the western edge of the driving range. Some residents are concerned the hedge will grow too fast; the council agreed it would trim the hedge and give the bill to the Club if that was allowed to happen.
The hedges will still have to get California Coastal Commission approval.
· Trump wins right to plant trees at driving range in Rancho Palos Verdes [Daily Breeze]