Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eatery, Residents at Odds on Trees

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eatery, Residents at Odds on Trees

Article excerpt

The chairman of an Arlington civic group's transportation

committee says he will do everything in his power to prevent a

restaurant chain from cutting down some trees near Merrill Road.

Site clearing was approved for a Golden Corral restaurant in

April. The 9,544-square-foot restaurant will be located at 8990

Merrill Road, on about 3 acres just east of Florida 9A. The

restaurant is scheduled to open in October.

Lad Hawkins, chairman of the transportation committee for the

Greater Arlington Civic Council, says he doesn't have a problem

with the business opening. But Hawkins and members of the

Greater Arlington/Beaches Citizens Planning Advisory Committee

say no trees should be cut.

"That's a big hunk of land and we're going to keep it as trees

if I have anything to do with it," Hawkins said.

Golden Corral Development Corp. of North Carolina applied for a

permit from the Florida Department of Transportation that would

allow the company to clear any trees within the department's

right of way.

The trees are located on both department and city property, in

front of where the Golden Corral is being built.

Gloria Barker, a spokeswoman for Golden Corral, said any trees

cut during construction would either be replaced or paid for

under city mitigation rules. The rules allow for other trees to

be planted in another location.

Some Arlington residents say Golden Corral wants to trim and

cut trees to give the restaurant's signs more visibility. Barker

could not confirm whether that was true.

According to Mike Goldman, a spokesman for the state Department

of Transportation, the permit was approved last month. However,

the city's building and zoning chief, Claude Bagwell, said

Golden Corral's request to take down any trees in the city's

right of way was denied.

Bagwell said Wednesday that any tree cutting beyond the

construction site and parking area has been stopped until city

building and zoning officials can look over the site. …

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