The city plans to upgrade the size of sewer pipes that run through Buckhead’s Shady Valley Park and will remove possibly 13 trees in the park and on an adjacent property in the process.
The announcement of the plan at the Aug. 5 meeting of Neighborhood Planning Unit B produced some negative reaction from Nancy Bliwise, who lives near the park and is the NPU-B representative for the Pine Hills Civic Club. The park is off Buford Highway near Lenox Road.
“This is my neighborhood, and neighbors will not be happy about removing trees,” she said. “These trees are the only buffer for the housing developments surrounding the park.”
The city plans to increase the capacity of the sewer pipes from 8 to 10 inches to accommodate development in the area.
To do the sewer work, the city says it needs to remove 10 trees along a corridor that runs from Judith Way to Lenox Road. Three more trees would be removed from the nearby private property.
Deanne Titus, a public information manager for the city’s Department of Watershed Management, labeled the tree removal plan as “preliminary” during the NPU meeting.
“We have identified all stakeholders in the proposed tree removal and just announced this proposal two weeks ago,” she said. “The parks department and property owners are still evaluating our ideas.”
The timetable for the sewer work and tree removal has not been determined, Titus said.
Tree removal is routine for sewer work if trees and plantings are within the project area and affected.
“We do everything we can to avoid taking down trees,” said Casey Schulz, a contract manager for the city’s Clean Water Atlanta program. “But when they are on top of the sewer line, we have to remove the trees. If we take down trees, we always replace the same number and footage of trees.”
But the trees might not be replaced in Shady Valley Park “because the park is already full of trees,” Schulz said.
The city’s tree replacement plan calls for new trees to be planted in the right of way where the trees were removed if possible. If not, the replacement trees must be planted in other locations or parks in the same NPU area.
— John Schaffner