Cherrylawn construction moving forward, resident reactions mixed - CBS 5 - KPHO

Cherrylawn construction moving forward, resident reactions mixed

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

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 many residents.

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 neighborhood."

They also said the city didn't keep them informed of the plans, but city leaders say there were numerous meetings.

"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.

Read more about the protest

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