Finally A Tree Victory - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Finally A Tree Victory

In the win-loss column of tree battles on the coast these days, chalk this one up to the protected trees and the residents on Oakwood Drive for not giving up on them. One of those residents is Todd Miranne and he says, "It makes me feel very good; it also makes the residents very safe and comfortable knowing that our fight was worth it, and that we did make a worth while investment here in this."

When the group Coast Real Estate Developers bought the property at the end of Oakwood to build an apartment complex, their plan called for removing 16-protected oak trees. Residents who live on the street saw this as a disruption of what they have grown to love there.

Michelle Hebert also lives on Oakwood Drive and says, "I think it's great, I think it's beneficial to Biloxi in general, I think we need to win more tree battles the problem is we've got to save our green space."

Russell Kleinfelter moved here from Hershey, Pennsylvania and says, "One of the biggest reasons that I was drawn to this area was the beautiful oak trees around here and the quiet and this thing would have destroyed that."

Todd Miranne says, "The street was named Oakwood Drive for its beautiful oaks and the residents have fought long and hard here to save these trees on their property which they're so use to seeing."

Had this battle not gone the way of the residents, they were prepared to abandon Oakwood Drive for what they say would be a changing landscape for the worse. Miranne says, "I don't think that tripling the population of the residents living here not to mention guests and family members that may be visiting would be conducive to this type of street or this type of environment."

Michelle Hebert says, "We would have moved most that we talked to, that was the plan we were going to leave."

Russell Kleinfelter says, "I really wouldn't want to live here like that, I had already planned to sell my house if it was gone through because it's just like any place else then."

Developers declined to talk about their plans for the future of this project. Residents say their next move is to get the property rezoned residential.

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