Reader submitted photo
Yesterday we were getting reader reports that mature trees where being torn down at Riverview Plaza on Pitman Street (where Eastside Marketplace is located). After a bit of confusion and reports from people in the area, we received photographs from a reader showing that the trees in question were removed from the driveway nearest the Boston Sports Club building in the complex.
Screen capture from Google StreetView showing the trees before they were removed.
The trees removed were six ornamental pears, approximately 15 years old. The trees were removed by Riverview’s propery manager, KGI Properties.
According to our reader report, a spokesperson for KGI stated the trees were removed for “obstructing traffic.” I’m looking at the StreetView image and I’m just not seeing an obstruction, anyone see it? The spokesperson also stated, “the trees were interfering with lighting” and “the trees were too large.”
Too large? Really?
Meanwhile, the contractors on scene removing the actual trees said that one of the tenants complained that their sign could not be seen from Pitman Street and that was why the trees were being removed.
Reader submitted photos
Comment from the Planning Department on this issue:
The preservation of the trees was part of the approved landscaping plan for the BSC project. Their removal is contrary to the approval and would have required an amendment to the plan by the City Plan Commission, which did not happen. Depending on what their canopy coverage figure is for the site, it might have required a zoning variance as well. These are not street trees, so the city tree ordinance does not apply regarding tree caliper replacement. However, it’s clear that they’ve violated at least the commission’s regulations, and perhaps the zoning ordinance. Some mitigation is going to be required. I expect that we’ll be seeking replacement of the tree canopy lost, with a factor that considers the maturity of the trees. I have traded phone messages with Karen Bodell, and will speak with her on Monday about how to proceed. I’m personally disappointed that these mature trees were taken down, and will do my best to ensure that this condition is corrected.
Tweet from the Planning Department:
We’ve notified KGI Properties of the improper removal of trees at Riverview Place. Meeting this week to reach a resolution.