Sherwood residents criticize plans to cut down trees, build homes
More development could be coming to fast-growing Sherwood — but before more homes are constructed, developers say they'll need to remove a swath of trees.
Some Sherwood residents are voicing concern about the plans for a subdivision off of Southwest Brookman Road, in the Middleton area on Sherwood's south side.
The issue involves a 42-lot subdivision of detached single-family homes known as Cedar Creek Gardens, and particularly a three-lot site not contiguous to the other homes, which contains a large number of trees.
The land the proposed homes will sit on has been annexed into the city, but the developers' application hasn't been deemed complete. Westwood Homes is the developer.
Pamplin Media Group reached out to Westwood Homes for comment on the application but has not received a response.
Julia Hajduk, Sherwood's community development director, said the city has received concerned emails and letters from residents — some of those arriving even before the land-use application was complete — all expressing concerns about the proposed removal of the trees.
Hajduk said developers had held a neighborhood meeting and that many residents were responding to concerns involving a flag lot that has frontage on Brookman Road, "south of Arbor Lane Subdivision, in the vicinity of where Red Fern dead-ends."
Hajduk said she thinks developers are likely trying to maximize the number of lots they can place in the area by developing a flag lot.
"And that's where I think people are saying, 'We don't want those trees removed,'" said Hajduk. "Just as a general rule, we require developers to only take out the trees that they need to take out for their development."
While Hajduk said there are concerns out there that all the trees in that area will be removed, she's not certain that will occur.
Erika Palmer, Sherwood's planning manager, said one concern planners have is how many lots can have access from a single driveway related to the lots in question — an issue that doesn't have anything to do with trees.
"Right now, they are proposing three lots in that little panhandle, and so one of our completeness items on the planning side is that we're going to be letting them know that if they're proposing three lots, it doesn't necessarily meet our code standards," said Palmer.
Planners are right in the middle of reviewing the subdivision application before letting them know if it's complete or incomplete based on what they've submitted, she said.
Neil Shannon, a Sherwood resident who lives fairly close to the proposed subdivision, said he and others have concerns regarding removal of those trees."While I am not generally opposed to the subdivision, there is a small area along the northern portion of the proposal (directly south of the Arbor Lane neighborhood bordering Shady Grove Drive) that would require the removal of a significant number of trees and remove an opportunity to create a unique pedestrian link between the current city boundary and Brookman Road," he said.
Shannon said neighbors' concerns involve lots 40 through 42 in an area that's heavily forested, adding that if one of the proposed plans is put into place it would "pretty much be stripped bare to make room for the construction."Â He said there are some very large trees in the area including western redcedar, Douglas fir and alder.
"It will be such a loss," Shannon said.
The issue will eventually be settled by a hearings officer. If appealed, it would go before the Sherwood planning commission.
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