Prospect Road Trees, Day 2: The Cutting Continues

Santa Claus makes many magical things happen.

One thing he can’t do, though, is prevent the cutting of trees on private property.

One view of Santa swinging from the branch of a tree overhanging Mark Donovan’s property …

Yesterday, “06880” reported that a near-1oo-year-old oak tree in the setback near Mark Donovan’s Prospect Road home was felled.

Developer Joe Feinleib of Coastal Construction bought the property that the trees sit on. He is cutting a number of the trees there, before building a new residence for his family.

As of this morning, Donovan says, 3 of the 5 oaks — whose branches overhang his property — have been cut down.

Awaiting the inevitable, he hung a swing on one of the major branches. Santa stopped by to lend support.

… and another.

Meanwhile, Donovan invites interested Westporters to visit him, enjoy coffee and cake, and watch the final trees come down.

He and his family will be at 22 Prospect Road, behind the barn.


7 responses to “Prospect Road Trees, Day 2: The Cutting Continues

  1. Sadly this is the second 06880 posting about Coastal builders cutting down old trees. The first was in our neighborhood Old Hill on Pequot trail. Coastal builders should learn the beauty of keeping old trees (when possible). Especially those along property lines. We all understand when new houses come up some tees in the central line must be cleared. Haphazardly clearing perimeter trees is a shame.

    • Ms. Guttman, I’ve lived in Westport for 25 years and lived in the area since 1977. I’ve seen many landscapes change. There are shopping centers and condos on the Post Road where once there was open space. In fact, I used to live in Old Hill and I remember the house that previously stood where you moved. Trees were cleared when the property you purchased was built. As much as it disappoints many of us, things do change and smaller or poorly maintained homes are replaced by larger constructions. Could the home you purchased have been built without clearing much of the property?

  2. Seems like Mr. Feinleib and his family won’t be able to join in any block parties after he finishes his new home. Nothing says “I’m happy to be part of the neighborhood,” like clear cutting the property and negatively impacting the neighbors for a few decades after construction. Gonna take a bit more than a few gift baskets to make this up to folks. I sure hope they consider replanting with some mature specimen trees to restore what this has wrought.

    • What a fantastic, true and slightly humorous comment 😀 to a sad, sad story. Loved Mark as Santa on the swing. Haven’t lived in Westport for decades, but my mind’s eye travels back to a few memories never to leave me, Compo Beach, Saugatuck River and the Cribari Bridge, the old library, and….the magnificent trees…everywhere. The rides home on the bus on a rainy day, the brilliant colors reflecting beauty from the wet roads to all of the young riders. The smell of spring air through the young green leaves as the sun shone theough that special color only new shoots of many trees can give us. So corny but Im sure others remember similar things growing up in Westport back in the day.

      Sure wish progress didn’t mean unthoughtful plowing down of nature and culture. We have it here in the Pacific Northwest as well. Beautiful woods, hills plowed under to put up gross looking homes and strip malls. Not sure why the developers can’t harmonize their greed some with soulful designing that works with the earth and stop raping the land. It’s really gross and greedy. Karma is a b…is all I can say.

  3. I literally just walked past the tree cutting on Prospect and it completely depressed me. I have been working from home since March 2020, and I walk down Prospect virtually every day, and I have had the pleasure of looking at its magnificent trees transform through all the seasons. So, today was a depressing day knowing the Prospect skyline will change, and presumably not for the better.

  4. Donald Bergmann

    I will use this latest of the “tree” posts to compliment the P&Z Commission and Chair Danielle Dobin for trying to address the issue of tree destruction. The topic has come up before and it is difficult to create a sound regulation that is allowed under CT law. In the past, our Tree Warden made sure that anyone removing a tree on Town land between a private site and a public road had to replace the tree and not with a modest imitation. The P&Z Commission has also talked about ways to cause developers to present plans for new homes that reflect the retention of trees.
    As to the issue of private property rights, that is usually best addressed by citizens/property owners doing the right thing. It is rarely addressed by developers who focus on the size of the house allowed, the easiest way to construct a house and how to generate the most profit from the effort. Few developers are as sensitive as most of us would like. Coastal is well on the wrong side of the sensitivity scale..

  5. Bill Strittmatter

    The problem, of course, is that people (like, apparently, the first commenter above) buy these houses on clear cut land. Developers, not surprisingly, build what people buy. And people seem to like grand expanses of grass buffered by trees on other people’s property.

    Presumably, better for kids to play or dogs to run with less tick risk that playing in the woods. Or, perhaps, fewer leaves so less need to hire people with gas blowers to clear. But if people stopped buying these properties, developers will stop clear cutting.

    As an alternative, perhaps the town could subsidize developers building a couple of smaller, affordable housing units or maybe a duplex/triplex nestled on some of these treed lots? I may be wrong but something tells me the neighbors would object to that even more than clear cutting the property.