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NJ Town Mulls Removal Of Trees For Parking Spaces

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Town officials are mulling the removal of dozens of trees to increase parking at Short Hills Train Station, and residents' reactions are mixed.

Town officials are mulling the removal of dozens of trees to increase parking at Short Hills Train Station, and residents’ reactions are mixed.

SHORT HILLS, N.Y. (CBS 2) — There’s an effort underway in Millburn Township to try to create more parking for commuters, but some say officials are barking up the wrong tree.

“It’s terrible,” Short Hills resident Tom Grasso said.

That’s how many in Short Hills fell about an idea being floated to get rid of 125 trees, marked for removal with orange ribbon, to create more parking spaces at the Short Hills Train Station.

Jessica Zirkel-Rubin, with the group Save Trees Over Parking (STOP), said not only would all of the trees be removed, but so would the grassy area around them. They’d be torn up all the way down the road to create parking.

“I’m appalled, I think it’s terrible,” Zirkel-Rubin said. “I think they’re taking a beautiful spot in town and truly paving a paradise to put up a parking lot.”

Millburn Township Deputy Mayor Sandra Haimoff said removing the trees would create another 75 parking spots along Chattham Road.

“There has been a parking problem for years,” Haimoff said. “It has to be looked at so that we can, as a full committee, discuss it – discuss the pros and cons.”

At this point, it’s only an idea – and residents are mixed on the proposal.

“There’s not enough parking, yeah,” Jennifer Potella said.

“That’s an awful lot of trees to come down,” Tom Grasso said.

Zirkel-Rubin said she wants to keep her quaint slice of suburbia just the way it is.

The tree removal idea will be discussed publicly, for the first time, at a township meeting in January.

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