Tree cutting in Glenwood Springs mobile home park causes outrage |

Tree cutting in Glenwood Springs mobile home park causes outrage

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Robins once nested in the trees outside of Deborah Hord’s mobile home just above the banks of the Roaring Fork River. But now they are gone and have been left looking for their nests after the manager of Glenwood’s River Meadows Mobile Home Park – where Hord lives – decided to cut down dozens of trees that lined the banks of the river, Hord said. “I have robins that are bouncing back and forth looking for their nest,” she said. “(The workers) are tearing up the habitat.”The chopping of dozens of trees along the edges of the Roaring Fork River in the mobile home park over the weekend and on Monday has provoked a strong reaction from both Hord and some of her neighbors, and the River Meadows property manager.Hord argues that the cutting of the trees was unnecessary and came with little notice or regard for the residents’ landscaping and decking, or for the birds that nest in the trees.But Karen Price, resident manager of the mobile home park, said the trees were diseased and that their culling from along the banks was necessary for the safety of the residents.

As the Roaring Fork River flowed past Hord, she said that Price gave her and other residents no warning that the trees were going to be felled. Hord said many homeowners have put their own money into landscaping the area around their mobile homes but that workers sent to chop the trees down have run their vehicles across residents’ lawns and mangled their landscaping work. Workers moved Hord’s deck without her permission and broke parts of it, she said.”They are coming across the lawns and the sod, tearing down the landscaping with no regard to us or speaking to us about giving us reimbursement for anything or putting it back the way it was,” said Hord, 53, who has lived in the mobile home park for seven years. “I believe they are stepping on our civil rights.”By the time Hord spoke Monday morning, she said that at least 20 trees had been cut down. By the time the work is over she estimated that another 30 more trees will be chopped. Hord wonders about the impact that could have on the bird species who nest in the area.”There is a bald eagle that hangs around here,” she said. Hord said she has spoken with Glenwood Springs Mayor Bruce Christensen, a local environmental advocacy organization and attorneys to alert them to the situation.Christensen said on Monday that he has received several phone calls from River Meadows residents who were concerned about the chopping of the trees. He said that there is no Glenwood Springs ordinance that requires a private property owner to obtain a city permit to cut down trees.”This seems like an extreme case of overkill,” Christensen said of the mobile home park’s tree cutting. “I think it is just a tragedy that (property managers) have chosen to destroy all of these mature, healthy trees.”Christensen voiced concerns that the trees’ removal could cause potential problems to the integrity of the river bank. He added that those felled trees were habitats for many birds, including Lewis’s woodpecker.

Price said the decision to cut the trees down was out of concern that the trees and their limbs could fall into the river or onto residents’ homes. She said the trees that were cut were diseased, and she characterized Hord’s reaction to their removal as an “overreaction.””Our goal is to cut them so they won’t fall into the river and damage (Veltus Park) and tear up the riverbank, because they can do that,” said Price, adding she was concerned about broken tree limbs falling into the river and floating down to the Eighth Avenue bridge. Price said she is in talks with some city officials and others about possible plans to build a temporary berm in the area to protect the area’s homes against the expected high runoff from this year’s snowfall.”We have got to be able to put in some protection to protect those homes from the current,” Price said.John Nevonen, who owns ABC Tree and Lawn Care and is heading the trees’ felling at the mobile home park, also called the trees diseased. He said if those dying trees are uprooted by strong waters, they can devastate the integrity of the riverbank.”We are trying to save the healthy trees,” he said. “We are not taking (the trees) out because we want to.”As to the residents’ allegations that they received no notice of the work on the trees, Price said she gave them the “quickest notice” she could.”We didn’t have to give notices before to cut down trees that needed work on,” Price said.

Christensen said he will be talking with other City Council members about a potential need for a permitting process to remove trees in the wake of River Meadows’ move. Hord said she wants to assist in that effort.”In Glenwood, people are very sensitive to our environment,” Christensen said. “I don’t think any of us ever expected this kind of massive removal.”Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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