Construction halted June 23 at the new Cajun Kitchen located off Fairview after workers chopped down a ficus tree next to the property, violating Goleta regulations that prohibit the trimming or chopping of trees without a permit. Juan Jimenez, co-owner of Cajun Kitchen, said that the trees were interfering with building plans and falling leaves were clogging new equipment placed on the roof.
With the original landscape plan calling for the three ficus trees to be preserved, Jimenez says there was miscommunication between the tree trimmer and the city regarding the scope of the work and the permits that he had secured.
Once the city was alerted, an inspector hurried to the site and posted “Stop Work” signs on the two remaining ficus trees, halting construction until the restaurant owners submit a new landscape plan.
BeAnne Dato, a local in Old Town Goleta who had admired the three large ficus trees, drives by them every day on her way to work. She notified the city this weekend after noticing that one of them was missing.
Jimenez says that the landscape plan is currently in process and that the fate of the remaining two trees is unclear.