AP NEWS

Town denies request to cut down more trees at Hamilton Avenue School

April 16, 2019

GREENWICH — Several trees at Hamilton Avenue School have been literally saved from the chopping block after a decision by the town that was released on Tuesday afternoon.

Local developers Pecora Brothers had requested removal of the trees as part of its work building housing next to the school. But that request was denied by town Deputy Tree Warden Steve Gospodinoff and as a result the six trees will stay.

The five black pine and one Colorado blue spruce (trees) are in relatively good shape,” Gospodinoff wrote in his decision. “I do not see a reason at this time that these six trees need to be removed. At this time these trees do not pose a risk to the traveling public. It is my decision not to remove these trees at this time.”

The tree warden’s decision is the final word on the matter.

Town residents, tree advocates and even Interim Superintendent of Schools Ralph Mayo had strongly objected to the trees being removed. Before any trees on town property can be taken down, members of the community have the chance to file an appeal, forcing a hearing. In this case the appeal was filed and a hearing was held last week, resulting in Tuesday’s decision.

Pecora Brothers had presented a plan where the six trees being cut down would be replaced with 10 Armstrong maple trees would be planted along with other unspecified trees. They are building a 10-unit housing complex that will include units specifically held for affordable housing.

There has been a lot of controversy around the trees in the area of the school after the town cut down a row of them last year. Objections to the removal of those trees were not registered in town as they have to be in within 10 days of the notice being posted on the trees in order for a hearing to be held.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com