Northside residents upset over cost of city-ordered tree removal

Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 18:04:01-04

CINCINNATI -- "Nobody is happy about it," Marissa Oehlhof said, looking out at the stump in her front yard. "Nobody."

Oehlhof is one of several Northside property owners who now find themselves expected to take partial financial responsibility for broken sidewalks outside their homes and the trees whose roots caused them to buckle. The City of Cincinnati scheduled 18 Northside trees for the axe as part of its sidewalk safety program, notifying owners of the impending cut in March.

The damage itself is a bother, Oehlhof said -- if she were to sell her home as-is, there would be a lien against the property because of the broken sidewalk. Being expected to foot the $1,500 bill for repaving the sidewalk and planting a new tree is an insult.

"It doesn't make any sense to me," she said. "I didn't put the sidewalks down; I didn't plant the trees."

She added that she was concerned about the burden such a financial demand could place on neighbors who live on fixed incomes.

The Northside Community Council will meet April 17, and representatives from the Urban Forestry Department will attend to answer questions about the tree removal.