The city admitted it was a mistake when they cut down trees in the Manheim neighborhood last week after concerned residents contacted KCTV5. Monday, neighbors said crews were back out there cutting down the trees.
Neighbors point out the community is called Manheim Park for a reason and the trees add to the charm of the neighborhood. The fact that some of those trees are being taken away with little community input does not sit well with the homeowners.
Monday afternoon crews were busy sweeping up the branches and leaves left behind after another tree bit the dust. Several of them are cut down to make way for new sidewalks.
The cutting down process started last week, but the city temporarily stopped it after admitting the trees were not properly assessed first.
"It wasn't a moratorium. It wasn't a hold. It was a weekend vacation and now, come Monday morning, they're here cutting down trees again," neighborhood activist Bill Drummond said.
But the city said a forester reviewed the area late last week, this time marking an "x" on the spot of the roughly 70 trees slated for removal.
"This neighborhood has not been consulted about whether we want our trees, whether a tree is more important than a sidewalk or whether a sidewalk should accommodate the tree," Drummond said.
Kansas City, MO, spokesman Dennis Gagnon said the city has a legal right to remove the trees but, beyond that, there were safety concerns.
"In many instances, the trees that were there were encroaching upon areas where the sidewalk was. The sidewalks had buckled up," he said.
Gagnon went on to say that preserving the trees along with the sidewalk was not a cost-effective or feasible option because some trees butt up against retaining walls or other structures.
"We want to save as many trees as we can, but we have compromised that have to be made when you're trying to improve walkability and pedestrian mobility in any neighborhood," he said.
The city said they will plant a new tree for everyone that is cut down and those will be sustainable and compatible with the new construction.
Homeowners said they will appeal to try to prevent more trees from being cut down.
Click here to read KCTV5's previous coverage on this story.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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