Residents Fight to Keep Trees Off Chopping Block

Lakeview Dallas road expansion would cut down trees, take portion of residents' yards

Residents of a Lake Dallas neighborhood are objecting to a $2 million road expansion plan that would plow over their tree-lined streets.

Lake Dallas has unveiled plans to expand and repave Lakeview Drive. The project would address drainage problems and create sidewalks, both of which are desperately needed, Mayor Tony Marino said.

But the project would also take up to 5 feet of residents' yards.

"It will increase the noise at my house," said Robert Reiter, who has lived on Lakeview Drive since 1990. "It will pretty much ruin the reason I bought the house. I sit back off the road, and that's why I liked it."

There are 109 trees along the right-of-way of Lakeview Dr., Close to 70 percent of those trees would be cut down.

"Our trees are 75- to 80-year-old Texas oaks and pecans, and they want to take them all out," said E.J. Rodrigues, who lives on Texas Street.

Marino said plans to expand Lakeview Drive been in the works for years. The project is being paid for by county road bonds.

Residents said they worry their property values will plummet.

"As far as my house goes, I wish I could get rid of it," Reiter said. "I seriously doubt I can do anything with it in this economy, especially if they are going to take a big chunk out of my yard."

The city said it hopes to plant a new tree for every one lost, but residents said they would lose more than a scenic drive.

"We all know trees are carbon footprint reduction," Rodrigues said. "They are noise abatement. They create oxygen, and they provide shade. We are going to fight our darndest to save what we have."

The residents have contacted Green Peace and for help in their fight save the trees. They also plan to present a petition to the City Council and are pushing the city to fund an environmental impact study before making any decision.

The City Council will get more input from the public at a town hall meeting on Oct. 28.

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