Article Courtesy of ABC 7 News --
By Rick Adams
Published February 22, 2017
VENICE - Beautiful oak trees line the streets of this 10-year old development.
Some of them are big and older, some are smaller and newer.
Willow Chase's Homeowners Association says they all have to go.
|"Oak trees have very heavy roots, the
roots go in every direction and we've had a lot of issues,"
said John Singer, President of the Willow Chase Homeowners
"In many places the sidewalk has been lifted up, we had a
resident fall and at that point we said we really need to do
something." The association suggests removing the trees.
Doug Ostrom and a group of other neighbors want the trees to
stay, especially the one in front of his home. He tells us
the trees aren't causing any problems and he says people who
live here were not given a chance to give any input on the
frustrating, you go to bed at night and you wake up in the morning, it's the
first thing on your mind," said Ostrom. "Then you look at the tree that you got
in front of your house and they're going to cut it down, are you kidding me?"
In a recent email, an environmental expert from Sarasota County says these tree
are not in good health and pose safety concerns as well as maintenance issues in
regards to utilities. Singer says the plan is to remove all the oak trees along
the street over two years and replace them with three different kinds of new
"The board voted to remove all the trees, it's on property that belongs to the
Homeowners Association, it is common land," said Singer.
"We do have a plan drawn up for a compromise," said Ostrom. "If the board would
only listen to it or read it, up to this point they haven't wanted to do that."
Some residents are still hopeful these oak trees can be saved. The trees are
scheduled to start coming down in the middle of March.