By Bob Pepalis

Sandra Murray wants Brookhaven to change its laws so developers can’t clear- cut lots that include specimen-sized trees.

“I was disturbed by the noise of many trees being cut on 3188 Saybrook Drive,” she told the city council on June 10.

Only trees around the property line were kept, she said.

“I am appalled at the city allowing such an activity,” Murray said. “Nineteen trees were cut.”

One of them was 38 inches in diameter.

That tree could be cut down because the Zoning Board of Appeals allowed a variance changing the setback from 140 feet down to 85 feet.

Susan Canon, the city’s community development director, confirmed that the tree ordinance adopted from DeKalb County when Brookhaven was chartered lets developers cut down almost any tree as long as the required number of inches was kept.

Murray said the neighborhoods are known for being tree-lined with a great tree canopy.

“It is truly a special place living in these neighborhoods surrounding Silver Lake,” she said.

Murray asked Brookhaven City Council to set a tree cutting moratorium until its ordinance has been updated.