Trees cut " with permission |

Trees cut " with permission

Stumps are all that remain of evergreen trees at the corner of Galena and Main streets after they were cut down " with permission from the city. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

Main Street passers-by may have noticed the disappearance of three evergreens from a small lawn at Galena and Main streets on Thursday.

Unlike the recent case of illegally topped-off cottonwoods along a city right of way on Hopkins Avenue, however, the proper permits for the cutting at Galena and Main were in place, according to city forester Aaron Reed.

The property owner paid $75 for a permit and a total of $13,621 in mitigation costs for the removal of the trees, he said.

The city parks department had contemplated attempting to transplant the trees, but after calculating the size of the “rootball” that would be required to move the trees, it determined the area was too constricted to make a transplant effort successful, Reed said.

A row of mature lilacs was also cut down; because lilacs are not a native shrub, no mitigation fee was required, he said.

The brick building at the site, which appears as a one-story structure from Main Street, has received approval for an addition of two more floors containing a mix of free-market and worker housing, with commercial uses on the ground floor.

City voters nixed a similar project that was to contain a new visitor center and Aspen Chamber Resort Association offices within the redeveloped building. The property owner then received approval for a building minus those elements.

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