Upset residents could face jail time over city tree removal - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

CONTROVERSY: Residents could face jail time over city tree removal

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) -

Chopped off branches on several trees is the beginning of why some North Ridgeville residents are barking back at city hall. It all started with some letters that arrived just before the fourth of July. 

"This letter told me that I have exactly 15 days to get the two dead trees off of their property or I go to jail," says Barbara Huddleston. 

The interesting thing is, residents say that the trees that the city says are dead and that the residents must remove from in front of their homes are technically on city property.

"These two trees are two thousand dollars and it's not my property.  I'm not allowed to plant a strawberry bush.  It's not my land, but you are responsible to remove it," added Barbara.

Many of the homeowners are on fixed incomes and say they can't afford to pay for the removal of the trees.  One resident says he is trying to do it himself branch by branch.

"The government is going to tell me I have to do it and it's not even mine?" asks Maryann Lavella, a concerned homeowner. 

We left messages with the zoning and building inspector as well as the mayor.

The city's letter says the residents could face fines or even jail time if they don't get rid of the trees in the next 15 days. They say they'll go to jail if they have to.

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