Local News

Wake Homeowner Stumped By Actions Of DOT Crew

Posted November 14, 2002

— How would you react if some cut trees or shrubs on your property without your permission? Stumps of mangled shrubs and new sprouts are all that is left of one Wake County man's plant bed.

"There were 6-foot-tall azaleas in here and I had a beautiful 8-foot camellia," said Dave Bowling.

The shrubs were mowed down when a crew, contracted by the state Department of Transportation, cleared the sides of Angier Road in Fuquay-Varina.

Bowling lives along the road and cannot believe how much was cleared. He said other plants within the right-of-way were not cut.

"It's one of those things where there's a right and a wrong. It's wrong for them to do this, I think," Bowling said.

Bowling called the DOT and was told the crew had the right to cut what they did,

"This area was cut on purpose, because it is toward the inlet end of the pipe," said Brandon Jones, DOT district engineer.

Jones said the shrubs and trees were cut because they were growing into a drainage creek as well as the pipes that go through it.

"I think it shows up pretty well what we were trying to do in clearing this area out and how close some of these trees and shrubs actually were to the creek and the ditch," he said.

Jones said the shrubs were also within 30 feet from the center of the road, which the

DOT has the right to cut

.

Bowling said he just wishes the agency would have warned him so he could move the bushes before the cutting started.

"I wouldn't have had a problem with that, but cutting them to the ground seems awfully harsh to me," he said.

Jones said it would not be practical to notify each individual landowner of problems before crews cut. To avoid these types of problems, he recommends homeowners check with the DOT if they have any concerns about particular shrubs.

Jones said there are different guidelines for different locations. A complete list is

available online

.

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