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The Seven-Foot Fight

Cooper-Young residents want to keep their greenery.

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A seven-foot buffer zone separating a new Cooper-Young development from the backyards of residents along Evelyn has caused concern in recent weeks, but problems are being ironed out, according to Mary Baker at the Office of Planning and Development (OPD).

Green space is supposed to separate the yards from a paved alleyway behind a high-density residential development under construction in the Barksdale area. But some residents complain that the developer, Bernard Cowles, is cutting down trees.

"There's a huge old oak tree down the street that's within the buffer zone," said Lannie Warren, "and he just cut it down."

Warren contacted OPD, and last week Baker and members of the Land Use Control Board performed a walk-through of the area. Baker said Cowles did cut down several trees in the zone, but he will plant new trees once the project is complete.

"What he had done is take out plants that weren't intentional plantings so he could smooth out the alleyway," Baker said. "But there were some residents who had placed value on those trees and we certainly understand their view. The city actually owns that alleyway and buffer zone, but residents will be allowed to plant greenery there once he's done."

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