By Dustin Ensinger
The removal of hundreds of trees in the Village of Ostrander to make way for a housing development has led to a lawsuit against the bank that owns the land and the property developer.
The village has filed a lawsuit in Delaware County Common Pleas Court against the Delaware County Bank (DCB) and the Meadows of Millcreek LLC, alleging the trees were cut down in violation of the development plan approved by the village.
“You’re cutting down a phenomenal number of trees for what reason?” Mayor Larry Crile asked.
The lawsuit alleges that on March 27, more than 250 trees were cut down without village approval.
Crile said the development is not yet at a stage that would require such large-scale tree removal.
Vincent Margello, the statutory agent of the Meadows at MillCreek, referred questions to his attorney, Steve Martin, who declined to comment.
Landowner DCB said it plans to respond to formally the lawsuit soon.
“DCB has received a copy of the lawsuit and our legal counsel is currently reviewing the accusations,” the company said in a written statement. “We plan on filing a response in a timely fashion.”
The lawsuit asks for damages in excess of $25,000 and for the trees to be replaced.
Crile said Ostrander is a “farm community where everybody has a very profound respect for the land.”
“Ostrander is extremely proud of the fact that it was named a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation and we’re very sensitive to that,” he added.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.