CORAL GABLES, Fla. – People living along Sunset Drive near 52nd Avenue in Coral Gables are upset after a row of oak trees was cut down.
"The trees really make this neighborhood and it really keeps this from being every other suburb in Miami-Dade County," said Daniella Baldacci.
Baldacci, like many other residents of Coral Gables, loved their old trees, whose canopies shaded their summer days. That's why her aunt Patricia Dwyer was so upset when she saw the oak-filled lot being, in her words, butchered.
"I was devastated," said Dwyer. "I couldn't believe it."
Miami-Dade County owns the lot. Residents knew the development called San Ignacio Oaks was coming. They said they thought more oaks would be left intact.
"It's not our intention to raid the property," said Gus Deribeaux with Palmcorp Development. "We are sensitive to keeping as many [oak trees] as possible. We relocated some trees. Our landscaping includes a lot of trees. We feel that having trees is good for the homeowner. Some had to go because they were unhealthy."
"They way they cut them, you can't save the wood for anything," said Baldacci. "It's just going to be trashed."
The developer told Local 10 the company consulted with an arborist before removing and relocating the trees.