Tree lovers in Port Washington started the workweek upset more than a dozen oaks were chopped down in front of a shopping center.
Frantic residents called town and state officials, the developers and a neighborhood beautification group, Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, on Monday morning demanding to know why their beloved trees were removed.
"This is a community where when trees are taken down, it strikes a real nerve," the group's executive director Mindy Germain said Tuesday.
Germain's organization was instrumental in enacting a 2008 Town of North Hempstead ordinance that requires an arborist to weigh in before any trees are removed and for residents to receive due warning.
But because the shopping center on Port Washington Boulevard, near Campus Drive, is on a state road, the town's ordinance didn't apply. The state Department of Transportation issued a permit giving permission for the trees to be removed. Spokeswoman Eileen Peters said the project is to "renovate and rehabilitate the area" and that an arborist and landscape architect reviewed the request.
'The 50-year-old oak trees gave the area an "upstate feel," said resident Barbara Morrison, 53. "This is the worst time to cut down trees with birds nesting," she said. "It looks horrible. What does he want this place to look like? Flushing, Queens?" '
No! Anything but that!