666 South East Street Amherst
20.5" White Oak (yellow caution tape around it)
The controversial but statuesque 20.5" White Oak at the crest of a dangerous hill on South East Street that has been somewhat on death row for three years has been given a stay of execution. Permanently.
Homeowners at 666 South East Street first came into conflict with the Tree Warden and Shade Tree Committee when they wished to remove 7 trees in front of their house for a new driveway relocation.
Mickey Rathbun, Chris Benfey, 666 S.E. Street homeowners
But Tree Warden Alan Snow deemed the trees healthy, and required tree replacement costs of $6,000 which then made the driveway project cost prohibitive.
Back in early April this nearby oak was the subject of a death penalty hearing at Planning Board Scenic Roads Public Hearing as the original hearing for the driveway brought up overall safety concerns.
The DPW decided to remove the white oak as a hazard (blocking sight lines) to the homeowners current driveway from cars speeding along South East Street.
The Planning Board agreed to removal in a 5-4 vote, but Tree Warden Alan Snow and the Public Shade Tree Committee strongly disagreeing with removal.
And since one member of the general public requested in writing the saving of the tree, the case was then automatically sent to the Select Board for final adjudication.
On Monday night (very late into the meeting) Temporary Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner told the Select Board that the owners of 666 South East Street had withdrawn their removal request.
Somewhere in the distance, a Lorax rejoiced.