The two lots at 4500 Fairfax Avenue in Rolling Meadows were heavily wooded with beautiful old oak trees, willow trees and walnut trees. The property has changed hands several times in recent years but the city says that no plan has been submitted regarding building plans.
Beginning last Friday clear-cutting commenced there with large mature trees being destroyed. On Saturday, people from across the neighborhood met at the property to try to find out plans for the development of the parcel and to stop the tree cutting.
We were told that even though no plans have been submitted, "the cutting of mature trees was probably not the wisest thing for a developer to do before submitting plans, but there is nothing to prohibit a property owner from removing trees on one's private property."
Citizens pleaded with the boss of the tree removal people to stop cutting down these beautiful healthy mature trees, especially three oak trees hundreds of years old.
Our pleas and requests were ignored. By evening all but one of these magnificent trees were cut down and the one remaining old oak was cut back so severely it likely will not survive. The beautiful wooded property now looks like a war zone.
Why can a potential developer clear-cut mature trees before the city approves a development? After a plan is approved the developer would know which trees would interfere with building footprints.
The city should instruct potential developers not to touch a property until a specific building plan has been approved. Then, if the builder ignores the city and commences work on the property before approval, the city should refuse to issue the builder a permit to build on the property.
The current philosophy seems to contradict the signs posted around the City of Rolling Meadows proudly proclaiming us as "Tree City USA."
Stanley J. Reynolds