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      Johns Island residents upset after trees cut down

      This is one of the trees that was cut down along River Road Wednesday (Source: Scott Garrand/WCIV)

      By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com

      JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- Some Johns Island residents are upset after two trees were cut down on River Road.

      The road is known for its canopy of trees but when two of those trees were suddenly cut down on Wednesday, it had residents asking why.

      "It's really upsetting to us here on Johns Island that the city is doing this kind of thing or allowing developers to do this kind of thing without consulting with the public," said Thomas Legare, who lives on Johns Island. "We understand they are going to build houses back in there but it's not necessary to cut down 300-year-old live oaks to make a road going into a development."

      This future subdivision has been in the works for seven years. There will be a total of six trees cut down, which include the two along River Road.

      "For 16 years, those trees have grown and been beautiful, been part of the scenery and nothing has happened to them, so why cut them down," said Abbi Beckford, who lives nearby.

      But a city official said there was a legitimate reason for cutting down the live oak.

      "When the project was approved we had the arborist look at all the trees and determine that this 49-inch oak was dead and diseased and that it needed to come out anyway," said Tim Keane, Director of Planning with the City of Charleston.

      But Keane wants to emphasize that 98 percent of the trees in the area are being preserved.

      "There is a total of 245 grand trees on this site. A total of six will be removed, so great effort went into designing this neighborhood so the absolute minimum number of trees would be removed," said Keane.

      People that live nearby are hoping for a compromise in order to preserve more trees in the future.

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