IRMA: St. Pete homeowner accused of cutting trees without permits

St. Petersburg code enforcement has an open investigation into a home-owner who minimize down timber on his waterfront property this week with out the right permits, in accordance with the Mayor’s Chief of Employees Kevin King.

  • Residents filed complaints with code enforcement
  • Neighbors stated property just lately bought
  • Ordinance defending metropolis’s timber imposes stiff penalties

“We don’t need anybody profiting from Hurricane Irma to chop down timber and not using a allow,” King stated. “There’s no grace interval. It’s undoubtedly irritating.”

St. Pete Sustainability Council member Beth Connor, fifty three, filed a grievance with code enforcement when she noticed heavy gear at 7171 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S. on Wednesday, chopping and clearing massive timber on the massive property.

“I feel this entire property website is a criminal offense scene,” she stated. “I’m flat out livid as a result of I really like my neighborhood.”

Connor stated no less than six protected timber have been knocked over by a bulldozer.

“What we’re seeing here’s a protected pine that has been utterly destroyed,” she stated. “Inside, it’s wholesome and there’s completely no cause why that ought to’ve been taken down. They’re shifting this as quick as they will as a result of that is simply such an abomination.”

Neighbor Julius Keblinskas stated he additionally filed a grievance with code enforcement when he first noticed timber being minimize down on the property over the weekend.

“He took benefit of the storm… I feel it’s horrible. We used to benefit from the wooded space and it protected us from plenty of the winds that got here throughout off the water,” he stated. “Now I’m actually involved that the subsequent storm that comes by means of, all these timber are going to go on prime of my home.”

Keblinskas shot cellular phone video of his neighbor’s tree line shortly after the storm handed that exhibits very minimal injury.

“There was no injury right here,” he stated.

An unidentified employee on the property admitted that not all the timber they minimize down have been broken. He additionally stated the proprietor can be residence in quarter-hour to speak to us.

We waited for an hour however the home-owner by no means confirmed up. Neighbors stated the property was lately bought and the brand new proprietor needed to clear the lot.

“In case your tree has been broken by the storm, you’ve gotten a proper to have that eliminated. If it’s in peril of life, limb and your house,” Connor stated. “This isn’t a free-for-all to only say, ‘hey, I’m going to take down that tree — that’s been annoying me.’”

King stated code enforcement can also be making an attempt to make contact with the home-owner. Mayor Rick Kriseman plans to make use of BP cash to plant extra timber, and revised coverage in September of 2015 to provide timber higher safety, in line with King.

“We have been so glad that Mayor Kriseman allowed residents to work together with his division to strengthen our tree ordinance,” Connor stated. “We’ve received some robust legal guidelines on the books and we need to see them enforced.”

The tree ordinance requires a $500 fantastic per violation and $1,000 high-quality for…

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