Developers of the proposed 49-floor residential tower at 80 Rainey St. hope to preserve three historic trees and remove a fourth, said Dave Anderson, a representative for the developers, during the Jan. 19 meeting of the Austin Environmental Commission.

Arborists for the city ranked the 32-inch pecan tree’s health as fair. Anderson said the tree would not be viable long term even if it was left alone.

Chair Linda Guerrero said the photo of the tree in winter was irritating to her, and in the future she would like to see photos of historic trees when they are fully green in the spring or summer.

“Let’s get these trees when they’re fully alive and vibrant and at their peaks,” Guerrero said.

The environmental commissioners voted 7-0 to recommend approval of the variance to the Austin Planning Commission. As a term of the recommendation, developers agreed to spend more than $12,000 in care for the historic trees for the next five years, during construction and shortly after the opening of the building. Landscape architects TGB will also add new trees to the lot.

Keith Mars, community tree preservation division manager for the city, pointed out to the commissioners that the heritage tree ordinance lays out that to remove a tree 30 inches or greater, one needs to go through land commission. Exceptions exist if the tree is dead, an imminent hazard to life and property or diseased beyond a hope of improvement.

The proposed tower on being built by Lincoln Ventures LLC is set to run from 78 to 84 Rainey St., an area amounting to about two-thirds of an acre. The area is home to a food truck lot, Reina Cocktail Bar and an office space. The new tower will include 16,000 square feet of affordable housing, which is 7,000 more square feet than the city’s minimum for the particular plot, Anderson said.