July 6, 2011 – 2pm: We are pulling this story for 24 hours.
Waiting on a response from the city.
In 2004, the City passed a regulation in its Zoning Ordinance (Sec. 425.1, “Removal of Significant Trees”) that protects trees that are 32 inches in diameter or greater (measured 4.5 feet above the ground), regardless of location. No “Significant Tree” shall be removed without prior permission of the City Forester. Any person wishing to remove a Significant Tree shall file a request to do so with the City Forester. The request must meet certain criteria in order to receive approval, most notably that the tree poses a danger to human safety, health, and welfare. Call the City Forester at 785-9450 for more information
The Mayor himself ordered the removal of the tree. Really? The first sentence colors it fishy….or at least exaggerated. Remember last summer’s tree scare when fast growing pear trees (if I’m remembering right) were removed from parking lot of Boston Sports Club, generating 35 comments worth of outrage?
Ruggerio’s staff apparently can only use the postal service to respond to inquiries….
“Thank you for contacting my office via email. I believe it is very important to hear from concerned citizens about the issues that are facing the State of Rhode Island.
During the legislative session, I receive a tremendous volume of email each day. While that quantity does not lessen the quality of your concerns, I want to make you aware that it might take a while before I am able to respond to your message. All responses require an address of the U.S. Postal Service. If you did not include your full name and a postal address with your original message and wish to receive a response, please resend your message with a name and postal address.
If this is an invitation to attend an event, please contact my assistant, Charlotte Desautels at 401-222-3310.
Thank you for your patience and please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with your questions or concerns.
Dominick J. Ruggerio
Senate Majority Leader”
Andrew, I’m not sure what your point is. Those trees were removed, they still haven’t replanted, they were removed to support the line of sight on a giant marquee on a set-back suburban style strip mall. Nothing that we complained about was actually untrue. Sure, they were “just” pears and there are better species out there, but it’s not like the took them out and then put in something else more suited.
Let’s hope that the rumor in this case is just a rumor and that it isn’t as true as what happened at BSC. Because, in the grand scheme, the tree is a lot less important than the shoddy political process in which ordinances can be overruled in favor of cronyism.
Brick, I could be wrong, but I thought I saw they had been re-planted a few months ago…but I don’t get over there very much.
Trees should be persevered as much as possible, but I always think people should pick their battles. If the tree mentioned in this post is set to be removed, there should be hell to pay. But in the case of the BSC trees, there was a great misunderstanding last time (people thought mature trees were being removed), and there seemed to be much hoopla over not much.
I think the old-growth versus new-growth issue there was not about how worth it the trees were. It was the fact that the old-growth trees in question (along Pitman) would have been property of the city and subject to the same ordinances we are talking about here. The trees they actually cut are inside the plaza and of course the city doesn’t have a lot of rights about those, other than enforcing the zoning. I think most of us agree that it still sucks that they did it.
Riverview Plaza Post