City of Houston still investigating options after HISD kills trees without permission

Thursday, July 9, 2015
HISD admits to pruning without permission on city property
Four big trees were brought down on city right of way in front of old Dodson Elementary in southeast Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A day after HISD admitted to cutting down decades-old live oak trees in front of Dodson Elementary School, the Houston mayor's office told ABC-13 city lawyers are still looking at options.

The trees are on city right of way and require a city permit to cut down. HISD admits they didn't get one.

On Thursday, the city confirmed the trees cannot be saved. The stumps, some 20 feet tall, are still standing in front of the school.

When we took neighbors to see the damage up close, they were angry and couldn't believe what was done.

Elizabeth Lopez, who's lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years, gasped when she saw the stumps.

"That's wrong what they (HISD) did," she told us, HISD "should cut them down and plant new ones."

It's one option. The city has taken this kind of damage seriously in the past. In some instances, hefty fines and costly new plantings have been ordered.

Cynthia Hicks, who went to school at Dodson in the 1960s and now lives just blocks away, was angry. She doesn't believe the safety and parking arguments the district offers.

"These trees are huge and they are old and they should stay here," Hicks said.

The Mayor's office assures us they've told HISD to stop cutting city trees until the investigation is complete. There is no timeline when that be.

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