Tree Planted By City Has Made Sidewalk Dangerous, Bronx Man Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An aged gentleman within the Bronx stated he’s the sufferer of excellent intentions.

As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported Monday, a tree planted outdoors his residence has develop into a continuing concern.

Celeste Russo – the daughter of John DeStefano, ninety – by no means thought a tree planted by the town would ever value a lot nervousness or cash.

“If somebody fell right here and received harm, we might undoubtedly be liable, and we might be sued,” she stated. “And every part that my dad labored for his entire life might go up in a lawsuit.”

“It’s the town’s tree,” DeStefano himself defined, “till I’m liable for it.”

DeStefano shared a photograph of the damaged sidewalk alongside the tree at its worst. A few yr in the past, he requested a road paving crew to place some asphalt over the crack.

However its roots proceed to carry the sidewalk outdoors his Pelham Bay house, and DeStefano stated the roots additionally prompted flooding in his basement. He received caught with a invoice from Roto-Rooter for greater than $300 in plumbing repairs.

The DeStefanos have been making an attempt to persuade the town to repair their Wilkinson Road sidewalk since 2009, even having state Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-The Bronx/Westchester County) write a letter.

However a Division of Parks and Recreation consultant stated once they addressed the tree and the sidewalk, it acquired a rating of 70 out of one hundred. It must get an eighty for instant assist.

Repairs are prioritized in response to severity of injury, the share of the sidewalk impacted, tree situation, and whether or not the sidewalk is in a heavy-traffic space.

DeStefano needs the tree gone utterly, however doesn’t assume he ought to need to pay for it.

“What are you going to pay, $three,(000), $four,000 to eliminate the tree?” he stated “I’d be lifeless earlier than that.”

A home-owner just isn’t even allowed to take down a wholesome tree, in accordance with the Parks Division. The consultant additionally stated an proprietor can get reimbursed for sidewalk repairs, however the metropolis Comptroller’s Workplace determines how a lot might be reimbursed.

Russo stated nobody from the town ever advised her that.

And the DeStefanos’ neighbors stated they don’t seem to be alone. Overgrown roots have been an issue for years.

A neighboring home-owner stated the sidewalk continuously cracks due to his tree, and he pays out of pocket each seven years.

The DeStefanos stated they want to see the town’s Timber &Sidewalks Program doing what it touts – changing and repairing damaged concrete brought on by metropolis-owned timber that hold…

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