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Neighborhood Notebook

First the tree went, now the house is gone

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 7, 2003

PALMA CEIA -- A Barcelona Street house at the center of a controversy over the city tree ordinance was torn down Monday.

Devonshire Properties, which wants to build four townhouses at 3410 Barcelona St., secured a demolition permit from the city Jan. 31.

The property has sparked a heated debate because the former property owners, Lisa and Henry Clark, persuaded the city in November to allow them to cut down a grand laurel oak in the middle of the lot. Their argument: It was damaging the house.

But within weeks, the Clarks sold the property to Devonshire, which might not have been able to build as many townhouses with a grand tree in the way.

City Council members Linda Saul-Sena and Rose Ferlita told the Times last week that the incident made it likely that the city tree ordinance would be reviewed.

Residents are exploring zoning options that would make new townhouses less welcome in the neighborhood.

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