Monday, June 18, 2018
Text Size

Fate of homeowners’ trees safe—for now

Kranaus trim firs to suit council members.

A complaint about trees obstructing an alley brought homeowners to two Gothenburg City Council meetings to save them.

At the second meeting, on July 5, Jerry and Janet Kranau—who live at 2101 Ave. F—were told that the fir trees had been pruned enough and could remain for now.

The Kranaus have described the trees as providing a windbreak and aesthetics for their property.

That is the reason they want to keep the 35+-plus year-old trees.

Jerry trimmed the tree branches back 1 1/2 feet which he said suited trash collectors who use the alley and neighbors.

“I hope we can keep them because if we cut them back too much, it can kill them,” he said. “But if anyone complains in the future, I will cut them back more.”

Two neighbors—Don and Sheri Miller and Terry Biers—supported the Kranaus’ attempt to keep the trees.

“We have no problem with the trees,” Biers said. “We hope he can keep the trees.”

In a letter Don and Sheri Miller presented to the council, the neighbors said they have no problem getting through the alley.

The couple said the alley, where the trees are located, is 14 feet wide and has more room than a street.

“For the most part, it’s already wide enough to pass another vehicle. I worry if it’s too wide open, the speed of the traffic down the alley will increase,” Jerry said, noting that small children in the area would then be at risk.

Council president Jeff Kennedy said the trimmed trees looked good now but he was worried about future growth.

Jerry said he’d do his best not to let that happen.

“I’ll do what you want to keep the trees,” he said.

Jeff Whiting, council member, said he was okay with the trees if the neighbors were.

Mayor Joyce Hudson agreed that the trees could stay if they were kept trimmed.

Another council member, Gary Fritch, pointed to the city ordinance about alleys.

“We need to keep in mind that we all need to keep our alleys clean,” Fritch said.