Lovers' Lane Homeowners Defend Controversial Tree

"It was mysterious, it was charming. The feeling you got driving down to this part," Diane Lemon-Cuicchi says.

Lovers' Lane always enchanted Cuicchi as a child. But now the Ocean Springs native fears that special ambiance will be lost, because the city is considering chopping down a well-known tree for safety.

"This has never been a problem before."

Cuicchi and her neighbors say virtually any type of vehicle can make it around the tree as long as the driver takes his time to make the curve.

"They slow down, they have to maybe sometimes look to see if they are not going to hit the tree," Cuicchi says.

So what's the problem? Cindy Ramseur says it all started after the storm.

"The Corps of Engineers contractors refused to slow down. They didn't want to do that every time they made a pass through and they didn't want to keep their loads down on the truck," Ramseur says.

So she says the truck drivers started driving through a yard. But now the homeowner wants to rebuild his fence and cut off the new shortcut.

The city is also raising concerns that the tree is too low and a new fire truck won't make the tight squeeze.

"We're just waiting to see if the new truck can pass by once the fence is finished. Until that happens, we really won't have enough information to make a decision," Mayor Moran says.

Lovers' Lane residents say the city has other fire trucks, so to them, the decision is easy - keep the tree and bring a smaller fire truck.

"I live down here with my children, and I feel safe. I do not feel unsafe because of this tree. It's not a killer tree," Ramseur says.

"My fear is they are going to start saying, 'Oh this other tree down here, the next big truck can't get down the road,'"Cuicchi says.

Neighbors fear if they lose this fight, quiet Lovers' Lane could lose its history and charm.

Mayor Moran says she wants to preserve the ambiance of Lovers' Lane, but safety comes first.

The city fire truck should be here by the end of the week. That's when the city will do the fire truck test.