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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Letter of the Day

Where is the protection for Hillsborough’s trees?

Published:

Here’s how I felt after reading the article “Neighbors fight to save old grand oaks” (March 16) by Tribune staff writer Yvette C. Hammett. A great, in-depth article, by the way.

What’s up with these developers? Heaven forbid they try to work around trees when it’s easier to take all or most of them down to build more houses. It’s all about the bottom line. Arbor Oaks was probably chosen as the name for the new subdivision because of the beautiful oak trees on site, including 13 grand oaks. Oh, wait — seven grand oaks were recently bulldozed because they were in the way, so that leaves six grand oaks.

What I don’t understand is why should a developer’s engineer who says a tree can’t be saved because of the project’s design take priority over Hillsborough County’s grand oak ordinance. Why have a grand oak protection ordinance in the first place if it’s only used to occasionally spare a tree from a developer’s death sentence? Who’s running the show? It’s interesting that the county doesn’t track how many of these trees fall to a developer’s bulldozer. Its excuse? Small workforce/large workload. Cue the violins.

In the case of the largest of the grand oaks, it “had” to come down to “reserve right of way” along Woodberry for future expansion. The county could have required the developer to redesign the project to accommodate the massive oak because there was enough land to do so, but they didn’t. Surprise, surprise.

I don’t think the developers are concerned about this ordinance one iota. In fact, I hear the bulldozers starting up again.

Jackie Hall

Lithia

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