Tree travesty in Oakland has residents wanting answers

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

OAKLAND, TN (WMC-TV) - People an Oakland neighborhood do not know who to turn to after a convenience store owner cut down dozens of trees from behind their subdivision.

Even though the trees were on his property, residents say he is violating city code.  In fact, residents in Hickory Withe Estates say the trees behind their subdivision should have never been cut down.

"You can hear trucks in my living room," Shannon Bartlett said. "I had to put blinds up in my house to get away from the light."

"If you stand in my foyer, I get the same green glow at night Shannon does," resident Ed Melton added.

It was five months ago, Bartlett said, when the owner of the service station began cutting all the trees down.

"He told one of the neighbors that because I wanted to create an issue for him, he would create an issue for us," she said.

The store owner, Jim Ring, said he wanted to make his facility more truck friendly, planning to add sod and landscaping where he cut the trees.

Ring claims he tried to work with homeowners in the area, but they're not making it very easy.

"I'm concerned about turning this into a full blown truck stop on Highway 64," Melton said.

Pictures from Bartlett's recent birthday party show how think the trees were before they were chopped down.  It was a much different scene from what is there now.

"We're looking into some ordinances dealing with light trespass, for example, or loud noise from trucks, and so forth," Oakland Mayor Scott Ferguson said.

But according to Ferguson, there's no city ordinance governing this kind of thing. He hopes both sides will come to some kind of understanding.

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