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Orchard Estates residents unhappy with tree-cutting, drainage

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SHIRLEY — Several Apple Orchard Estates residents are concerned about tree-cutting that took place between two properties in the development as well as ongoing drainage issues.

Joseph Cataldo, representing the engineering firm GFI, informed the Planning Board at its July 19 meeting that there’s a tree-cut through a cluster of buffer trees to make way for drainage, but the trees will be re-planted.

The original engineers for the site based their designs on aerial photos, not ground measurements, board Chairman Charles Colburn told concerned residents, and GPR had to fix those designs. In the original designs, he said there were discrepancies of up to eight feet near the tree-cutting site.

Referring to the lack of notice given to residents about the tree-cutting, Colburn said, “Should there be some communication? Common courtesy says yes.”

Board member John Rounds said it sounds like the board has thoughtful and observant residents, but that they’re working with bad information. He recommended the board get residents up-to-date plans for their lots, reflecting the drainage revisions made by GPR.

Speaking about this incident, Rounds said that when there’s cutting, they can’t leave a few trees standing by themselves because when their support structure has been removed, they become a safety hazard.

That was the concern for some of the trees cut in this instance, said Colburn.

The residents are also concerned about muddy water that’s filling up their driveways.

Residents need to mow and fertilize their lawns because doing so will facilitate water infiltration, said Cataldo.

Board member William Carroll volunteered to look at the site for the board on July 20 during the anticipated rain storm.

The resolution is to get the residents new plans, reiterated board member Timothy Bresnahan.

They should get copies of the engineer’s plans that show the elevations, said Rounds.

“The only statement that should be coming out of our mouths is, ‘Is this acceptable, and if not, what can be done to make it right?'” said Colburn.