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Neighbors rally to save 'heritage tree'

by: KOIN 6 NEWS - Neighbors are upset about this 70-year-old western red cedar tree on Northeast 22nd Avenue possibly being cut down.Another lot-splitting controversy has neighbors in Northeast Portland angry over the loss of what they call a heritage tree.

“It changes the whole character of the neighborhood. It’s abominable!” said resident Cynthia Jackson.

Concordia neighbors said they are outraged over the plan to cut down the 70-year-old western red cedar tree on Northeast 22nd Avenue to make way for a custom home.

“I’m all for infill but just being smart about it. Not just bulldoze down any tree just so you can make as much profit as you can,” said neighbor Rena Jones.

Vic Remmers with Everett Homes Northwest said he understands the neighbors’ worries.

“We totally understand their concerns. We build a lot of homes in Portland, and so we really pride ourselves on building homes that do fit into the neighborhood,” said Remmers.

However, Remmers said it’s difficult to say what will happen to the tree.

Brian Emerick, chairman of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission, said the ongoing trend of lot splitting is concerning and the commission is expected to address the issue with city council on Thursday.

“I think our concern, both as a citizen of Portland and as the chair of the Landmarks Commission, is loss of historic fabric, loss of some of the qualities of livability in the neighborhoods,” said Emerick.

In the meantime, the developer said there are no plans to tear down the existing home on Northeast 22nd Avenue to build a new one.