Lakeside neighborhood fighting to save its trees - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Lakeside neighborhood fighting to save its trees

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Residents in a Lakeside subdivision are asking questions after noticing several trees in their neighborhood have been cut down. They say the HOA is responsible, but that HOA members aren't being clear about what's going on.

Amanda Sivils and her boyfriend Scott Rajknecht both agree that what they love most about their Lakeside neighborhood is the shade and greenery surrounding it.

"It's a huge thing for me. I wouldn't want to live in some barren concrete and steel jungle, that's not appealing at all," Rajknecht said.

But that's exactly what they fear their subdivision -- which happens to be called Wintergarden Greens -- is turning into, now that several trees have been chopped down without their consent.

"So I walked around the neighborhood and I counted 11 trees cut down so far, and I heard 56 trees all together, which I think is outrageous," Sivils said.

According to the couple, the work started last week on the 31st, but flyers from the HOA explaining what was going on didn't arrive until Wednesday the 9th. The reasons listed: to protect the foundation, prevent falling limbs and get rid of dead trees.

"They look pretty healthy to us," Sivils said.

These weren't small trees. People who live there say they've been around since the 70s.

"They're majestic, really," Sivils said.

Tree parts now line the sidewalks, leaving other residents -- especially those who pay around $200 a month in HOA fees -- just as upset and confused.

"I'm tearing up," one resident said.

"I don't like it. I think it's ridiculous. They're cutting down the trees. No shade, no privacy -- I don't know why they're doing it," resident Diane Lucas said.

We drove around the area ourselves, and did see sidewalk damage in areas where trees were removed, but not in every location. We also counted fewer stumps than residents claim there are.

As of Friday afternoon, we were still waiting for an explanation from the HOA.

"It feels like there should be better communication about what's happening,"

One resident who has been in contact with the HOA says they are planning to replace the old trees with new, smaller ones.

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