Traditionally, the first principle of creating a Japanese garden is: work with what you have.
Seems to me that the removal of existing trees in Steveston Town Square Park to make way for the installment of a Japanese style garden is a decision made by people who have little or no knowledge of the complex of aesthetics and principles that are inherent to authentic Japanese garden design.
Every detail and element of a Japanese garden is intended to symbolize some aspect of the life cycle and it’s unfortunate that the planners of this garden apparently intend to begin the representation of that cycle with an act of death and destruction — an act that will imbue the garden with the wrong kind of spirit and symbolism.
Work with what you have! How hard is it to grasp that principle?