Loss of trees upsets residents near Costco site

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A corner of Centerville that is getting a major facelift is looking less beautiful to residents nearby.

“A few weeks ago, this was a mature forest,” said David Buccalo who lives nearby in Greene County.

A large plot of land, formerly the Dille property, has had most of the trees removed from the property. Developers are preparing the site for Costco to move in to the lot.

But some are arguing the subtraction of trees does not add up to what they envisioned the property to look like.

“There’s a sign up there that says tree preservation area,” said Buccalo. “It’s a creative use of a sign is what I call it. When you look at the tree preservation area and you look behind it, you see nothing but destruction and waste.”

A year ago, that same property had a very different look. Tall trees and foliage covered much of the skyline.

After a couple months of development, the area is unrecognizable to people driving along the site.

“The small strip of trees that are left are being thinned out,” said Buccalo. “You can see daylight between those trees. There’s a whole section in the middle of it that are now completely gone.”

Despite the look of the property, Centerville officials said it was all part of the plan from the start.

Centerville City Manager Gregory Horn said the mass cutting of trees was approved by the planning commission last year when Costco started looking into the site.

Horn also said a tree inventory was completed by Siebenthaler’s before development began. The landscaping company checked which trees to save also marking which trees to preserve.

Some wish, however, the cost of business could have come with a better view.

“You know development is coming and that it’s going to go,” said Buccalo. “But this? This looks like a war zone.”

A call was made to the Oberer Realty Group, the developer in charge of the site along Wilmington Pike and Feedwire Road. The company has yet to give a response.

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