Manhattan Beach has a strong tree preservation ordinance that protects trees with trunks greater than 12 inches in areas I and II (which is basically all areas except the sand section) from being cut down or neglected. This ordinance was passed after the city realized that many of the mature trees were being “scraped” by developers eager to build new construction; the “McMansionization” of Manhattan Beach was, in many people’s opinion, ruining the lovely small town neighborhood feel of Manhattan Beach. Preserving the older mature trees is a way to ensure that more thoughtful development takes place. Recent fines have been levied for as much as $35,000 for ignoring the ordinance and cutting down a mature tree. The whole ordinance may be read here.