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Residents Express Subdivision Concerns

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EUGENE, Ore — A number of Eugene residents are upset over a developer’s plan to cut down some large evergreens to make way for a subdivision.

The subdivision is still in the early stages and residents are trying to wade through all of the information about the project.

Dan Russell lives in the Cherry Tree Estates subdivision. He says nature drew him to the area.

“I’ve grown up in Oregon,” said Russell. “I was so happy to come back to the trees of Oregon.”

Now his evergreen surroundings may be shrinking to make room for a subdivision.

“There are not just some of the trees they are talking about taking down. They’re considering all of the trees. They have done this as a first step approach and it’s totally contrary to the code that the city has set up for subdivisions,” said Russell.

The subdivision is planned for the area near Hyacinth and Irvington Drive.

Russel and many of his neighbors called a meeting Wednesday night to share concerns with the subdivisions developer, Bruce Wiechert of Wiechert Custom Homes.

“We would like to see the trees stay,” said Cherry Tree Estates resident Jim Anderson. “We are concerned anything they do will drastically change the neighborhood.”

Wiechert told KEZI 9 News he was there to listen to the neighbors, but he didn’t want to be interviewed on camera.

He did, however, respond to questions from the public and responded to their concerns.

“We have tried to take into account what we like to build as quality homes on large lots. We also feel that’s conforming with your neighborhood as well,” said Wiechert.  “Like I said, we built several of the homes in your community, so we certainly aren’t here to decrease the value of those homes either.”

The city says the developer has submitted an application and the application is in the review stage. The developer’s required to hold a neighborhood meeting, not counting Wednesday’s meeting, and then the Eugene Planning Department will take written comment on the issue for two weeks following that meeting.

“The question is are there things that they could do to not impact the trees in that matter. We’ll probably get an arborist report from the neighbors and we will have our arborist look at it,” said Eugene City Planner Steve Ochs.

For residents like Russell he just hopes both sides can find a way to work together.

“We know that this Weichert Custom Homes builds great quality homes. We hope that they can build great quality neighborhoods,” said Russell.

That public meeting is set for the beginning of November.

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