Lorain looks to ban new trees from tree lawns as city council debates the issue

Lorain looks to ban new trees from tree lawns as city council debates the issue
Posted at 3:42 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 15:42:51-04

There are thousands of trees on tree lawns in Lorain but now city council is debating whether to stop trees from being planted on tree lawns.

Existing trees would still stand tall because they would be grandfathered in.

But new trees would not be allowed to be planted if the ordinance passes.

Some council members say it’s a safety concern because tree lawn trees can block the view of traffic and people backing out of driveways. Roots can also get into the sewer system.

“I think adding something more to the code is ridicules at this point,” sad Lorain council member Mary Springkowski

Springkowski said city inspectors should spend their time doing code enforcement for homes and businesses, instead of spending time inspecting tree lawns.

“We’re not enforcing our codes down there, we need to have the building, housing, planning department, who are going to have to come out and say, 'your tree has to go,'” Springkowski said.

The ordinance currently states no shrubbery that grows over 24 inches can be planted on tree lawns.

The new ordinance would ban planting trees.

Council member Brian Gates supports the ordinance.

“We just wanted to clarify the ordinance, We just don’t want anything new going in just for practical future construction reasons as well as the traffic safety issues,” he said. 

Springkowski feels there’s another reason to allow new trees to be planted.

“Trees on the tree lawn adds to the aesthetics. If you go down any of the grand boulevards or avenues they have these big beautiful trees. It provides shade for the houses. Let’s have some more trees,” she said. 

Lorain City Council could vote on this ordinance Monday.