SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — In an area designated for development near the Tijuana coastline, neighbors are complaining developers have cut down dozens of trees without the necessary approval or permits from the city.

Enrique Anaya Mata, a Tijuana council member, is siding with residents saying the developer did not have “authorization from the city” to take down the trees and could face a fine.

He stated the land is private property, but permission to destroy green space is still required.

Anaya Mata said his office has received several calls from concerned residents who worry the natural aesthetics in their neighborhood are slowly being eroded by developers.

A two-tower complex is slated to be built on the land.

The people behind the project have submitted plans and permit applications, but those have not been approved, Anaya Mata said.

He also stated many developers are trying to change zoning designations to gain more land to build more housing units.

Available open space across the city, especially along the coast, has become a valuable commodity in recent years as developers rush to build upscale condo towers with ocean views.

According to Anaya Mata, a petition has been signed by 1,500 residents asking the city to create a moratorium on building permits as a way to slow down construction and preserve the environment.

Residents also complain that a strip mall next to the proposed development site was built on a designated green space without the necessary permits.

Anaya Mata said he was not aware of it but vowed to look into it.