Residents upset after developer removes trees from plot in The Woodlands

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A huge plot of land in The Woodlands was completely cleared away for a new retail center and that got the attention of some residents

Lesly McRae moved to Creekside Park in The Woodlands two and a half years ago.

We loved the trees, we loved the parks, and we loved the nature preserves," she told Eyewitness News.

She's one of more than 1,200 people who've signed an online petition asking The Woodlands Development Company to stop clear-cutting and be more deliberative about its planning.

"Our trees are being clear cut and when we look at the other villages," she said. "There's the buffers, the trees, there was more care in preserving that."

Erin Burton's husband Matthew started the petition. "I understand that development needs to take place," she explained. But said she wished it was more thoughtfully carried out. Matthew Burton echoed his wife's sentiments when we reached him by phone. "It's being developed with a very different, less environmentally friendly standard than the original design of The Woodlands," he said

The petition has gotten the attention of several ownship boardmembers including Peggy Hausman, a resident of The Woodlands since 1981.

"You can always come back and relandscape," she explained, "but what's wrong with the landscape we currently have."

Katja Bley de Ulloa is a resident and realtor who says some of her clients look specifically for mature trees when shopping for a home.

"My clients," she said, "even if they are looking new construction, they tend more to the older areas because there they have the big trees"

For its part the development company says the commercial clear cutting is part of an urbanesuqe pedestrian shopping area, and new landscaping is coming.

It appreciates the concern of residents who want want it calls the highest standards of planning and development and believes it has done that with Creekside Park Town Center.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Robert Heineman, the VP of Planning and Design for The Woodlands Development Company, wrote "a significant portion of the village center was cleared pastureland when purchased many years ago. At that time TWDC re-planted the pasture land with pine trees. Over the years the planted trees prospered and transplanted mature pine trees from this "newly created" forest have been used many times over the years to augment sparsely covered forest preserves throughout The Woodlands, including the Village of Creekside Park."
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