DALLAS - Some neighbors in the Red Bird area of South Oak Cliff say they are fired up over the demolition of a larget set of trees on the 4300 block of Marvin D. Love Freeway and Loop 12.
"It looks like an earthquake,” said Carol Franklin as she looked at the mess left behind her home.
Families in the Club Oaks community say they are frustrated after more than nearly 100 trees were knocked down without any notice and without proper permits.
"I watched through the window where they had the bulldozer, and it touched the barks of the trees and the trees just fall like that," said Franklin.
Franklin’s home borders to what she called a tiny forest. She says bulldozers appeared in the area on Memorial Day and workers began destroying trees.
“All the way from here to all the way down there," said Franklin.
Franklin says the contractors were not up front with neighbors who questioned what they were doing.
"I asked the two guys. First, they made a remark, told my oldest daughter we are building a Walmart. Then he joked it off. I said, 'A Walmart?' Then he said 'No, we are building a trailway, we are going to build flowers,'” she explained.
According to District 3 Council member Casey Thomas, that excuse was bogus.
The City of Dallas says the property is owned by SNSA Group, LLC. The Councilman says the City’s arborist told him the owner took it upon himself to start removing trees in hopes the cleared land would attract commercial developers.
“First of all, we feel left out. Not significantly thought of,” another neighbor, Celastene Pruitt, said.
The City says the land where the trees were removed is zoned residential. Dallas has ordinances protecting trees. The City’s Chief arborist, Phil Erwin, says a notice of violation was issued to the property owner. SNSA Group, LLC must file a mitigation plan for replacing 70 protected trees by July 7.
Meantime, some Club Oaks neighbors say they have serious safety concerns. Now that the tree-lined buffer between their homes and the highway is destroyed, they feel it has opened up their neighborhood to new sets of eyes.
© 2018 WFAA-TV