Developer's Sales Barred Until Trees Are Replaced

The developer of a West Hills housing tract has been barred from selling his luxury homes until he replaces three large oak trees that vanished from the construction site, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus said Thursday.

Picus said she will also ask the city attorney's office to prosecute developer Ezra Raiten on misdemeanor charges of violating a city ordinance designed to preserve oak trees.

As part of an agreement with the city, Raiten was to relocate the oaks to a nearby lot. But Raiten said the trees "died when we moved them," adding he would replace them.

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