A protest to object Hillsborough County’s decision to remove trees along a seven-mile stretch of U.S. 41 that cuts through Lutz has been called off for Monday morning, organizers say.
According to Lutz Civic Association board member Jay Muffly, news that the county isn’t proceeding with the project Monday morning prompted the cancellation. Both Muffly and former civic association president Jan Smith say residents plan to work with the county to see what can be done to save the trees.
“Due to the response from the county, tomorrow’s demonstration has been called off,” Muffly wrote in an email to Patch.
For more information about the county’s response, see Lutz Patch’s earlier coverage.
The protest had been planned to take place Monday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 a.m. at the apex of Florida and Nebraska avenues. It was scheduled as a response to county plans to remove trees in the U.S. 41 medians from the apex to the Pasco County line.
It has since come to light that the county doesn’t intend to proceed with the project on Monday morning and that not all of the trees in the medians were scheduled for removal.
The county is in the process of turning maintenance of the U.S. 41 medians back over to the Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT, county officials say, want some of the trees removed prior to the county relinquishing its control over maintenance.
The crepe myrtles and other trees in the U.S. 41 medians were initially planted by FDOT. The county took over maintenance several years ago after FDOT faced budget crunches. Since the county can no longer afford the costs, FDOT has agreed to take its medians back over.
Stay with Lutz Patch for updates on this story as they become available.
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