Noblesville homeowners battle city over tree removal

Posted at 10:33 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 22:33:31-04

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – Location may be important when purchasing a home, but some homeowners in Noblesville find landscape just as important.

Several people in the city are upset about the potential removal of trees in the Oakmont neighborhood – claiming they add property value and a sense of safety to their community.

Complaints to the city halted their plans to remove more than 200 trees and take a second look at their value.

“We looked at 55 homes and the reason we bought our home was because of the mature trees,” said Vikki Doss.

Other homeowners said the issue is about more than landscape.

“The HOA paid for the pruning for cars to drive underneath them, people can jog or walk so they won't hit their heads,” said Kimberly Martinez. “We spent a lot money investing in our neighborhood."

City officials said the reason for the removal was linked to complaints received in November. Noblesville Street Commissioner Patty Johnson said tree roots were being blamed for uneven sidewalks, causing potential hazards for walkers and bikers.

She also said some trees have experienced “frost crack,” which potentially makes them weaker and more likely to fall on a stormy day.

“Unfortunately, the city went about this probably not in the best way,” said Johnson. “We should have reached out to the HOA initially and let them know what we were looking at and now we are going to hire someone else to come in and review our findings and determine which trees need to come down."

Homeowner Anna Stingley said she wants more evidence of the trees' harm to the area.

“I need hard concrete stats. I need to know trees have come down in a storm. How many have come down on their own. We've had some wicked weather recently and I haven't seen a tree come down because of wicked weather,” said Stingley.

City officials plan to meet with residents next week about tree removal.