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CHAINSAW HEAVEN

I witnessed my new neighbors high five each other after cutting down a tree in their yard. It was a view shed tree that kept some privacy between us, but obviously privacy and view shed are not important in a community like Peninsula. Many new residents buy chain saws the minute they take title, and then like kids with matches, start chopping trees that have survived wars, disease, development, stupidity and even the planning and building of their home. Many trees have been manicured for years by previous residents, only to fall victim to the saw of an amateur arborist who hasn’t even seen the yard in full bloom for an entire year. Many new residents, unaware of the Village personality, have stripped our Village of rare foliage and view shed trees that cannot be replaced. Why would someone move to a unique community in the middle of the park and remove the trees? Did they move here to enjoy the Village or convert it into a Chardon or Hudson motif? If that’s the case, what attracted them to Peninsula? Privacy is slowly disappearing through the inconsiderate design of predator builders and lack of due diligence on the part of incoming residents. Not one builder, architect or future neighbor has ever stood on my property, or adjoining neighbors’ properties, to design a home as part of a community. Instead, blinded buyers were euphorically sold catalog McMansions that squeeze every square inch out of our zoning code, view sheds and horizons. One new resident purchased additional property to maintain a view shed from their “display” house on the hill, yet there seems to be no respect for adjoining neighbors as they clear out trees and eliminate the privacy we once enjoyed. Others have even crossed the park borders and cut trees on federal property. Existing neighbors have already lost breathtaking views and privacy that have been, and could have been, shared for many generations. The intrinsic value of our community is diminishing to the selfishness of nearsighted show-piece home builders. I recommend that we assemble a landscape architectural review panel that maximizes the landscape and view shed for the community - not just new residents. The committee can determine a level of considerate zoning that synergizes neighborly co-existence with planned privacy and valuable view sheds. Look out your windows. What do you see? Breathtaking landscape or your neighbor’s compost? Ask your councilperson what can be done to protect your property value and privacy.

Bob Hrovat