A preliminary ruling in Orange County Superior Court sided with the city of Costa Mesa on Thursday, contending that a resident's case for keeping some trees was unfounded.
Judge Peter J. Wilson denied resident Kimberly DeBroux's request to override the removal of seven Canary Island pine trees in her neighborhood along Yukon Avenue, near South Coast Plaza.
DeBroux, 59, had contended that the Parks and Recreation Commission erred earlier this year when it allowed the removal of the trees, which she wrote have "majestic beauty" and are not a public safety hazard.
Wilson ruled that DeBroux "has not presented admissible evidence that she has a beneficial interest in this matter," according to court documents. Furthermore, she failed to sufficiently carry the burden of "presenting admissible evidence demonstrating that an agency's decision is invalid and should be set aside," Wilson wrote.
Costa Mesa's attorney, James Touchstone of Jones & Mayer, wrote in the city's opposition that some residents, affected by the trees, asked for their removal last year. The pines, he wrote, were presenting safety problems, in addition to producing "excessive" needle and cone litter, and attracting rats, crows, spiders and opossums.