People gather at the Crowell Lot for a site visit with the designer for the proposed skatepark in Brattleboro in this Reformer file photo. (Zachary P.
People gather at the Crowell Lot for a site visit with the designer for the proposed skatepark in Brattleboro in this Reformer file photo. (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer)
Wednesday May 15, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Now that the town has finalized the design for the proposed skatepark at Crowell Lot the Brattleboro Tree Committee is beginning to assess the impact the skatepark will have on the trees in the area.

The Tree Committee toured the park recently and met Tuesday night to talk about how the concrete, machinery and drainage might affect the trees.

Committee member Robert Clements said it appears that two trees will likely have to come down before the skatepark is open to the public.

Under the town's tree ordinance, any nonhazardous tree that is taken down has to be replaced equal to the total caliper of inches of the removed tree. So if a tree has to be removed that is 24 inches in diameter, a dozen 2-inch trees have to be planted.

The new trees can be planted anywhere in town.

Martin Webster, a former Tree Committee member who was at the meeting Tuesday said one of the trees is probably at least 2 feet in diameter, and if that tree has to come down to make room for the skatepark, it will cost skatepark supporters at least $8,000 to plant the new trees, and he warned the cost be much higher.

The committee only has an advisory role in enforcing the town's tree ordinance. All decisions pertaining to the tree ordinance are made by the town Tree Warden, Dan Adams.

If Adams determines that the trees have to come down, and the skatepark supporters want to appeal that decision, they can do so in front of the tree committee.

A second appeal can be brought to the Selectboard.


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Clements also said that the plans are only on paper at this time and machinery or changes in the drainage could have a further impact on the trees.

"These two trees will be trashed. I don't see any other way around it," said Clements. "These are the plans as it stands, but it is a movable target."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or hwtisman@reformer.com. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.