Paradise residents lament loss of trees
By Chris Lewis|August 5, 2021
Some residents in Paradise are worried about what a new development means for their properties.
Councillor Patrick Martin aired some of the concerns he’s been hearing from residents along Karwood Drive at council’s July 20 meeting.
Martin said he discussed the new cul-de-sac with the residents just before the meeting and they raised worries about the lack of trees that had been left standing after the land behind their homes was cleared to make room for the new cul-de-sac.
Martin said the development is being done according to the Town’s development standards.
Mayor Dan Bobbett suggested the Town could reach out to residents with an outline of what a typical development process looked like to hopefully ease their concerns.
Although residents had been hoping for a tree buffer between the development and their homes, that was not what they ended up with.
Bobbett said such a buffer was not advisable mainly because the wind would likely blow it over at some point without the support of other trees around it.
“The root system is just not there,” he said. “In order to get the proper drainage for run off, then a grating plan has to be developed, and in order to do that, trees have to be removed.”
The mayor suggested it might be helpful to the residents to share that kind of information.
“When you buy a property, it might all look like green space, but someone owns that (other) property and they have a right to put in applications to develop that property,” he said.
Councillor Sterling Willis echoed those thoughts, stating that when he initially moved into his own property, the trees were so dense he could hardly walk through them. When he needed to do work to his land, he found himself having to remove some of the trees. Since then, he has gone on to plant more trees on his property.
“I’m not looking for someone else to keep their trees just because I want trees,” Willis said. “I planted my own trees … If people want to see trees on the back of their house, and they have enough land to plant trees, plant them all along your boundary line and produce a buffer for yourself.”
Willis said the Town won’t be forcing the developer to leave a tree buffer.
“We as a council do not have the right to force a developer to put in a buffer for a resident that is already there,” he added.
If you want trees on your land, Willis advised, “Plant them, and you will have trees as big as you want.”
Willis said while he sympathizes with those people who are missing the trees, the fact of the matter is that neither the trees nor the land they occupied belongs to those residents.