CBJ committee hears complaints

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Residents that live around Adair Kennedy Park objected to a tree and vegetation removal project.

    The CBJ staff said some of the older trees pose a hazard to nearby homes. They note baseball games were postponed in April due to ice on the field caused by too much shade.

    Residents said they like the shade and the trees serve as a buffer from noise and lights at the park during night time events,

    Heidi Gray presented a petition of names of residents who oppose the removal of trees.  "We like the buffer there because it gives us our privacy.  We don't want a lot of people wandering through.  Its a safety issue fo rus, and the wildlife and the trees.  That is why we love Dudley Street because its so green."

    Other concerns raised were more people trespassing, thefts and garbage. Property values were one of the larger concerns for the group. Residents asked the parks and recreation department to reopen the park master plan so they can have more input.

    Susan Downing says a lot of people walk into her yard.  She found one person sleeping in her shed.  She said she doesn't want to have to pay the costs of an exterior fence on her property, "I do not need more people walking through there.  I love looking at the green from my back garden.  The wildlife is great.  I don't want the expense of putting up a fence.  We have bird life, ducks, bears, and I don't want to have to lose the vegetation there.   A fence would not be cheap."

    Parks and Recreation Director George Schaff said having more public input on the master plan is probably a good idea.  He said they will not remove any trees unless absolutely necessary.

    Chairman of the Public Works and Facilities Committee Loren Jones said it is a tough issue as both sides have made their positions known.

    "Residents don't want the trees crashing their neighborhoods and cottonwoods doing damage to their property.  We don't want extra maintenance on Adair-Kennedy.  The community has let us know their concerns   I think staff is going to work closely with them and  have people physically there to observe what is going on.  If that doesn't happen the community will be back."

    Audio from resident Susan Downing


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