Airport Wants Chester Co. Residents To Pay For Tree Removal - FOX 13 News

Airport Wants Chester Co. Residents To Pay For Tree Removal

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Chester County residents are angry over a proposed ordinance to require them to pay for tree removal for the airport.

"I'm happy with the ones that I have. I don't plan on cutting anymore," said Scott Williams. He's talking about the beautiful towering trees on his Valley Township property. There were 16 when he first bought the house but recently he had five aging ones too close to his house cut down.

"Tree removal is expensive," said Williams who paid $5,000 thousand dollars to get rid of five trees, and that's not including what it would've cost had he wanted the wood hauled away. So to now hear that the township may have to pass an ordinance requiring homeowners to pay to have other tall trees removed, "I don't like it," said Williams.

The reason for the ordinance is  the G.O. Carlson Airport owned by the Chester County Airport Authority. A manager there tells FOX 29 that the PennDot Bureau of Aviation told them its airport zoning map needed to be updated for about eight townships in the county. The purpose is to get rid of or trim obstructions like trees that could be in the way of planes.

"If the airport wants to do it, the airport should pay for it or they should pay half of it," Homeowner Kenny Melvin said.

But Valley Township Supervisors say the ordinance they are being told by PennDot BOA and the Bureau of Aviation that they have to enact, puts the cost on the residents. And puts them in a tough position.

Valley Township Supervisor Arlin Yoder said, "We're not opposed to airport safety. You don't want airplanes hitting trees. However the cost and putting the burden of the cost on the homeowner is an issue."

Williams says the cost is the biggest concern but losing trees takes away from the very reason he chose to call Valley Township home.

He said, "They do provide shade and this is the country. I don't live in Coatesville because I do like the country and the trees."

The issue is on the agenda next Tuesday April 16th at the Valley Township meeting.

Other townships possibly affected include West Bradford, East Bradford, West Brandywine, Newlin, Sadsbury, East Fallowfield and Modena Borough.

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