ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – If a city project moves forward, some homeowners in Arlington could lose what they consider the best part of their community: The trees.
A stream restoration project backed by the city of Arlington could require the removal of more than 250 trees alongside the Kee Branch Tributary in southwest Arlington.
Tammie Carson moved into her home on Lansingford Trail more than 30 years ago. She said the backyard, lush with vegetation and trees, was the selling point.
“It’s my sanctuary,” Carson said. “It’s where I come to distress and revitalize.”
Hundreds of trees line the Kee Branch Tributary, which sits just below Carson’s home and 73 other properties in the neighborhood.
If passed by the Arlington City Council, a stream restoration project would impact every property adjacent to the creek.
“The extent the city is going to on this plan is extreme. It’s excessive to homeowners,” said Carson, who argued removing the trees would eliminate privacy between neighbors and disrupt wildlife.
In a status update released earlier this year, a city engineer explained the project is “designed to reduce the risk of future erosion in the creek starting in Deaver Park and extending to Andalusia Trail.”
City officials have also said the plan would address concerns over flooding and “enhance creek habitat.”
The engineer added that most “improvements” will take place inside an existing drainage easement.
Part of that easement is located in Carson’s backyard. The city would need to clear trees on multiple plots of private property. In another case, the city would need to remove a shed in a neighbor’s backyard.
“All these trees inside my yard would go away,” Carson said.
During an Arlington City Council meeting in June, city leaders announced a plan to replant approximately 900 trees.
A city spokeswoman also said a majority of the removed trees would be recycled to stabilize the creek bank.
Other stream improvements include building retaining walls, restoring the former pond in Deaver Park, and planting other shrubs and grasses to anchor the slopes.
But the city council needs to approve the plan before any construction begins.
Meanwhile, Public Works is still surveying homeowners about how they feel about the project.
“We want to make sure their voices are heard in this so we can work with them as we need to,” said Amy Cannon, the assistant director of the Public Works and Transportation Department at the city of Arlington.
Carson said she paid thousands of dollars to maintain her property by using fencing and retaining walls.
“The plan can be revised,” Carson said. “It can be done in another way.”
The City of Arlington is hosting a town hall meeting on the matter on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the West Police Station Community Room at 2060 W. Green Oaks Boulevard.