Neighbors worry trees will turn neighborhood into an eyesore

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Hundreds of trees are set to be planted in the Emmens Preserve Community in Myrtle Beach. It's part of a Planned Unit Development Project.

"The city is not planting these trees. The developer is planting these trees. It's part of an agreement that's been in place for years. It's what the developer wanted to do," City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said.

Kruea said the plans to build the trees have been in the project details from the beginning. Since the trees were set to be planted on the land between the sidewalk and the street, the land does not belong to the homeowner.

So, Kruea said the plans to plant the trees weren't necessarily seen by each homeowner. Kruea said the plans are public record.

"I always thought that was my land. Maybe I made that assumption wrongly but it seems like we take care of this land and we're paying probably taxes on that too," Emmens Preserve Homeowner Len Chabot said.

Chabot said if the trees are planted as the plans show, the roots will ruin his irrigation system.

Chabot said the trees could also pose safety hazards.

"There's gonna be one planted just a few feet in front of the stop sign at the end of the street so even with it being a small zaplinger it'll probably be high enough where it'll cover the stop sign and of course eventually when it does grow it will cover the stop sign," Chabot said.

The plans show hundreds of Oak trees and "Allee" Elm trees are set to be planted throughout the Emmens Preserve neighborhood, typically about one tree per lot.

Kruea said it's up to the developer, the Lennar Corporation to decide if they want to change the original plans, and not plant as many trees as currently depicted.

"We've looked at it in fairly good detail today and if the developer no longer wants to do the plan that they brought to the city some years ago and was part of the approved planned unit development, then I believe the language is general enough that they could come to the city and say gee we'd like to do this plan instead of that plan," Kruea said.

Kruea said since the city approved Lennar's plans several years ago, the company is doing its duty by moving forward with the plans to plant the trees.

If Lennar decides to make changes to the current plan, Kruea said it would ultimately be up to the city's zoning administrator to approve the amended plans.

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