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Tree Huggers defeated in Baltimore UPDATE A reader writes about the Tree Huggers defeat, Dear AR1.com I work in Baltimore every day and I have been lobbying for a race in Baltimore for years!!! I am stoked! to see it will FINALLY happen!!

Just for informational purposes regarding the Baltimore GP tree cutting saga, I would like to note that there were already fresh balled trees awaiting planting all along Pratt Street in front of the Convention Center on Wednesday afternoon and I believe I saw a stump machine waiting to remove the stumps from the  areas where the trees were removed. I have been working since then, however I would assume all of the trees I saw Wednesday would have already been planted by now.  What the complainers fail to admit is for several years now, the city has been cutting down and re-planting trees throughout the city anywhere the trees are planted within the city sidewalks to prevent roots from popping the sidewalks.  As nice as they can be for shade and green, large mature trees do not belong planted within city sidewalks in the main tourist and business district of the city where they cause a hazard. Name withheld by request

08/12/11 Residents angered by the removal of trees downtown to make way for the Baltimore Grand Prix got a sympathetic but firm lesson in the law Monday, as a city Circuit Court judge summarily dismissed a lawsuit seeking to prevent any more trees from coming down.

By day's end, however, the protesters had won one of their goals — release of the agreement the city struck with the racing organization detailing the tree removal and plans for planting nearly 200 trees to make up for the disruption.

Judge Evelyn O. Cannon ruled that the complaint filed Friday by David C. Troy and seven other residents didn't get to first base, legally speaking, so she had no basis for granting a temporary restraining order halting any further tree removal.

Troy, a software developer from Bolton Hill, had rallied opposition to the tree removal last week with an online petition that drew more than 4,000 supporters. He went to court, he explained, out of frustration with the shifting accounts of how many trees were being cut down and the city's refusal to release the as-yet-unsigned tree agreement it had negotiated with the racing group.

Matthew Nayden, the city's lawyer, suggested Troy was acting out of political motivations, as a supporter of former planning director Otis Rolley, who is challenging Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The judge said all she had to go on was what was in Troy's complaint. But the residents had sued the wrong party, she said, since a contractor for Baltimore Racing Development had removed the trees, not the city. And she pointed out that the city code provision residents claim was violated — requiring the city to post five days' notice of any tree coming down — doesn't apply to private parties.

She also suggested Troy may lack legal standing to challenge the cutting, since he lives about a mile from the race course.

"You may be legitimately feeling outraged," she told Troy, who represented himself in the brief hearing. "But I can't decide based on that." Baltimore Sun
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