Mitigation for 157 Windsor oak trees cut down for apartment complex

Crews this week began cutting down more than 150 oak trees on a Windsor site, a tangible sign that a large apartment complex is soon to take their place.
The oaks, including some old-growth specimens and many trees said to be in declining health, are being cleared to make way for a 387-unit apartment complex that Windsor officials say will provide badly needed rental housing.
After an uproar two years ago over the removal of the oaks — a species considered an integral part of Windsor’s identity and also the town’s logo — the developers redesigned the project and agreed to cut down almost 50 fewer trees than they originally planned.
“We have saved many more trees than originally approved (for removal),” said Peter Stanley, project manager for the apartment development, which is expected to break ground by the end of March. “We met the need of the community and environmental concerns by saving as many oaks as we could.”
Windsor Planning Director Ken MacNab said there are currently 274 oaks on the property and 157 are scheduled to be removed.
Over half of the trees being taken out are in poor health or have hazardous structural issues, he said.
The developers will plant 267 new oaks, resulting in almost 400 oaks on the site once the project is completed. In addition, they are required to pay a mitigation fee of $420,000 for future oak planting throughout the town.
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