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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 4 years ago

LETTER: Windermere needs stricter tree ordinances

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Dear Editor:

Our beloved trees that give Windermere its ambience are in danger of falling away — one tree at a time!

These trees also help to absorb storm water run-off for the Butler Chain of Lakes. Windermere Tree Board planted about 200 trees last year, but, unfortunately, 1,000 trees were bulldozed.

Why? It’s too easy and cheap for developers to cut rather than plan around historic trees in their path. Did you know that to replace a 48-inch circumference, majestic, 300-year-old live oak would cost more than $10,000, but a developer has to pay only $1,800 to the town for the code violation of cutting a historic tree? When you have a developer planning millions of dollars of development, what’s $1,800 to them? It’s the cost of doing business!

Our Town Council had an opportunity to write stricter codes for tree removal, but the Development Review Board gutted the Tree Board’s recommendations.  Hence a paltry $1,800 to make their bulldozers have an easier day. Talk to council members — let them know your feelings. Once a tree falls, it will be a long time until we can sit in the shade under that tree.

Janet Sgamma

member, Windermere Tree Board  

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