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Rīga neighborhood residents shocked about sudden felling of trees

In Zasulauks, Gregora Street 2, 18 trees have been felled, freeing up space for the construction of two seven-story houses, despite protest from the inhabitants, Latvian Television reported March 25.

Residents of the surrounding houses are furious about what is happening. In the past, they rejected the construction plan and the sawing of trees. It turns out now that everything is happening legally.

“The kind of feeling that is being done secretly, because the posters on the idea showed up after [the trees were sawed],” said Anna Ķirse, resident of the neighborhood.

The LTV archive shows that 14 years ago, environmental activists joined the local population against the planned construction. It was supposed to build a nine-story building there at the time.

“We collected signatures, it was stopped. Everybody was against. There was a green area, one of the rare ones, but now the process has resumed,” said Anna Ķirse.

“People don't want to think about the future, they just think about selling and money,” commented resident Leonards Angāns.

“No one asked about anything now! No one was asked,” said Staņislavs, resident of the neighborhood.

Although the residents had once said a strict “no” to any building and cutting of trees, both the owners of the land and the status have changed over the years.

The Riga Construction Board explained that in 2015, when this project was submitted, the board had not had a reason to reject the construction plan and the felling of trees.

“Owners tend to change over time, it is a practice, and there are changes as a result of the previous crisis. The Riga City Council has issued a permit to cut trees, and there is no need for public consultations in a private estate. Consequently, we have also acted in accordance with the law,” said Elina Ozola, head of marketing and sales for the company Hepsor.

Authorization for felling of 27 trees has been granted. But five trees have already been toppled by storm or age. Now 18 trees have been felled.

“We've felled the smaller part and saved 45 trees. We are only cutting what is needed to build a new building. Our construction plan is to build a multi-apartment building project, so two seven-story buildings, with a total of 116 apartments,” Ozola said.

 

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