The rows of ficus, which reach heights of 12 feet, were planted without proper permits in early spring for a televised celebrity golf tournament. Trump now hopes to get an amendment to his conditional-use permit to allow the ficus trees to become a permanent feature. Most of the speakers at the council meeting dwelled on what constitutes a “significant” impairment of views and their offense to Trump’s behavior of flouting city regulations. But Mayor Tom Long said the real issue is much simpler: Ficus trees are neither drought-resistant nor a native species. “I may be missing something, but it doesn’t strike me as very complicated. The condition is pretty clear that (Trump) is supposed to use native and drought-resistant plants whenever possible,” Long said. When Long asked whether Trump explored using native species instead of ficus, the course’s general manager responded that he didn’t think so. “I don’t know why we were spending all that time worrying about height restrictions and trimming schedules,” Long said. “I’m not persuaded there is any reason to amend the condition because, as it is, the ficus trees don’t satisfy the existing conditions.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “There were fewer people there than I expected,” said neighbor Lenee Bilski, who opposes the 500-foot-long hedge planted at Trump National Golf Club. “It was very civilized. Everybody had their facts and it wasn’t contentious at all.” The reason neighbors left their torches and pitchforks at home likely was because they learned in advance that the council would postpone any decision until Dec.4 because a lead adviser for Trump had a heart attack Friday and couldn’t make it to Tuesday’s meeting. Yet more than a dozen neighbors still showed up and pleaded with the council not to change Trump’s conditional-use permit to allow him more leniency when it comes to blocking ocean views. Neighbors said they were disappointed the issue wasn’t decided Tuesday. But council members said the extra time should help craft a resolution. “Before we make any decision, we want to be squeaky clean and fair in letting everyone have a reasonable chance to argue their case,” Councilman Doug Stern said. “Also, Mr. Trump likes to sue when he doesn’t get his way, and this might eliminate the argument that we didn’t allow him to make his case.” GOLF CLUB: Council won’t take any action regarding 12-feet-high ficus rows until Dec. 4. By Megan Bagdonas STAFF WRITER After flooding the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council with e-mails, letters and phone calls complaining about Donald Trump’s view-impairing ficus hedge, angry neighbors were somewhat subdued at this week’s City Council meeting.