An Open Letter to the Watertown Planning and Zoning Boards:
There’s a war on trees on Olcott Street. On a one block street where the only major street tree is dying, it was a terrible shock to me and my neighbors when we returned home from our work and chores to find that a developer who bought 45-47 Olcott St., had, in one day, chopped down at least five trees on this private lot … five mature trees that were homes and roosts for wildlife; provided shade on those extremely hot days that have become so prevalent; provided privacy, a commodity hard to come by in this dense neighborhood; and served as a sound buffer for traffic and neighborhood noises.
The trees that remained were “pruned” to within inches of their lives. Trees which, in short, made Olcott Street a much more pleasant and livable place were felled without any thought for how this would Impact this neighborhood.
Five trees in a densely packed one block area … what’s the environmental impact of that on a small neighborhood? Frequently we talk about a “green Watertown,” but are we really serious about it? Who wins when profits get in the way? Hardly ever the “green.”
Am I angry at the developers? Not really. Their job is to maximize profit on their projects, not to watch out for t he welfare of Watertown neighborhoods and their citizens. No, that’s not their job … that’s yours!
My neighbors and I will be watching as plans develop on this land, and I hope that the town will be as well and encouraging this developer to be a more responsible corporate citizen and more responsive than he’s been thus far to this neighborhood’s needs. If by some chance you think that I am exaggerating the situation, I invite you to drive by the property. It’ll be easy to spot.
It’s the property that looks like it’s been bombed.
As a final note, after the shock of this assault on my neighborhood wore off, I became interested in what kind of business could find this practice acceptable. So I drove to the address of note for the developer’s business.
I found it surprising that this one property looks to have as many trees on it as all of Olcott Street properties combined! It would seem that the developer does value trees, just not for Watertown.
Olcott Street resident