Tempers flared Wednesday
night over a controversial construction project in south Toledo.
The city is re-building
Cherrylawn Drive, between Heatherdowns and Glendale, despite the protests of
They've wrapped yellow
ribbons around the large, old trees lining their street, protesting the city's
plan to cut them down to put in new sidewalks. City leaders, however, say the
trees wouldn't survive the construction process.
"It's not something we
want to do," said Dennis Garvin, the parks, recreation and forestry
commissioner. "However, it is the scope of the work that is why our arborists
are recommending that this goes through."
Homeowners against the
project also don't want new sidewalks put in.
"We're losing almost half
of our yard," said homeowner Rhonda Carr. "The yards aren't that big. It wasn't
built for sidewalks. It's just going to change the look of the whole
They also said the city
didn't keep them informed of the plans, but city leaders say there were
"This has been a long
process," Mayor Mike Bell said. "It has been going on for about two years, as
far as the planning portion of it, so it's not something that snuck up on
anybody, and we're just trying to do the right thing for the citizens."
But at least half of the
crowd at the meeting couldn't wait for the project to move forward. They are
excited for a new street, water and gas lines, and sidewalks.
"My child basically has to
play in the backyard or the house," said Ken Lewis. "The street is unsafe.
There's a lot of speeding, people park on both sides, and it makes it very hard
to see a child when you're coming down the street."
Mayor Bell said he'll take
the heat for the project, but it is moving forward. The work will begin later
this month, and the trees will come down during water line construction – one of
the first phases of the job.