City Gets $300,000 for Illegally Removed Oak Trees on Kirby

Remember those massive oak trees that were illegally removed in front of the Wendy's off Kirby a few weeks ago? You know, the ones that triggered a massive uproar after they were chopped down in the middle of the night illegally.

Well, the City of Houston is about to get those dolla, dolla bills, y'all. The issue has already been settled, and to the tune of a $300,000 settlement, no less.

The four trees, which ranged in size from ten to 20 inches in diameter, were situated at the corner of Kirby and North Boulevard in a public right-of-way, and had been planted more than a decade ago by Trees for Houston volunteers.

The trees were illegally chopped down in the middle of the night without a permit as part of a construction project to renovate a Wendy's drive-through, and the city, which has been cracking down on improperly removed trees, was pissed.

The city agreed to the settlement amount last Friday, just three weeks after the illegal removal, in which it will receive $300,000, the worth of the trees based on estimated values.

"Our trees are valuable resources and their preservation is important to the city," Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement. "We have a fair process for developers, but when they violate our policies we will not hesitate to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

The City of Houston says it has recovered more than $1 million for improperly removed trees this year.

So should you have any massive trees in a right-of-way that you're thinking about chopping down under the cover of night, perhaps you should think twice, or be prepared to bust out a few hundred thousand for a settlement. 'Cause the city ain't playin'.

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