Heights residents livid over wrongfully bulldozed trees at Woodland Park

June 12, 2013 4:21:36 PM PDT
Residents in a Woodland Heights neighborhood are livid over the clearing of trees from public park land by a new town house development. This is happening at Woodland Park near White Oak Bayou.

The city park's department says the clear-cut portion of the park is about three-fourths of an acre and the city's legal department is looking into it. Neighbors are pretty angry and now one of the owners of the town homes under construction is apologizing.

When Jim Mozur took his dogs for a run in Woodland Park, he got a big surprise.

"We came across the opening and the only thing I could see were these buildings with all these big windows," Mozur said.

It once was a thickly forested part of one of Houston's oldest parks.

"They just bulldozed all this property. And it's not even their property to bulldoze," Mozur said.

It's public property that neighbors like Mozur and Pam Lowe had worked hard to clean up.

"I think there's a huge betrayal here," Lowe said.

On Friday, a contractor with a bulldozer went through the forest right behind town homes under construction, razed the trees and piled up debris and dirt in a flood way.

We tracked down one of the town home owners and developers, Bill Workman.

"My sincere apologies," he said.

Workman says the contractor was only supposed to grade the land inside the fence. Now he's working with the city and the friends of Woodland Park to fix it.

"We are committed 100 percent to doing what we can to make that the best that we can," Workman said.

City Councilman Ed Gonzalez represents this Heights neighborhood.

"To see this kind of destruction, knowing how hard the community's been working, is very troubling," Gonzalez said.

But neighbors can't get what they really want.

"I want them to return it to exactly the way it was," Lowe said.

Both the parks department and Workman say that fixing it requires flood control work, cleanup and reforestation.

Meanwhile, Workman says he plans on moving into one of these town homes when construction is over.

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