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Dozens of trees illegally cut down near Gov. Lamont’s home in Greenwich

By Rob Polansky and Susan Raff

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    GREENWICH, Connecticut (WFSB) — Connecticut’s governor found himself in hot water over the illegal cutting of trees near his home in Greenwich.

Dozens of trees were cut down near the home of Gov. Ned Lamont. This could lead to thousands of dollars in fines for both him and his neighbors.

The Town of Greenwich said more than 180 trees were taken down in a protected wetlands area near his property without any permits.

Town documents showed that a property manager claimed it was an effort to “open up views down to a lake.”

Lamont was cited for it back in November. He said that one of his neighbors and the Ashton Drive Association hired a contractor.

“The association with me took a lot of the storm damage with trees and thought we should do some clean up and talked to all the neighbors including the one that’s not so happy right now,” said Lamont.

The work crew allegedly crossed a property line and chopped down trees on neighboring lands. It was not clear who hired the company to do it.

“My goal is to find out if we can come together. We may be far apart but I respect both sides. We don’t want things to drag on,” said Greenwich Attorney John Tesei.

Monday afternoon, Greenwich’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency decided a public hearing was the best way to go forward.

“Our objective is to get the wetlands restored as quickly as possible. Get professionals to come up with a robust restoration plan,” said Beth Evans of the IWWA.

Lamont says most of the trees were damaged from storms.

“If he has to replant trees and that was the determination, then I am sure he would comply. But I think it’s a local issue down in Greenwich,” said House Speaker Matt Ritter.

Democratic leaders seem confident this will be taken care of. Republicans feel Lamont should have been more upfront.

“People want to understand why this was done. Probably a little more details, you’re a public official, you are held accountable, There’s no privacy in your life,” said Minority Leader Vinnie Candelora.

Lamont and his neighbors are working to replant trees in the area. That public hearing will be held on the week of May 20th.

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