Feb. 26, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city has accused a developer of killing a tree in Williamsburg, and has fined the developer $176,000 for the infraction.
The Department of Parks and Recreation claims Noam Amos of the Home Zone/SNY Group is responsible for the death of the Pin Oak tree in front of 299 South 4th St., according to the New York Post.
The Parks department told the Greenpoint Post that a city inspector found at least 17 holes drilled into the base of the tree back in October. Drilling holes, the agency said, is usually a tell-tale sign of an attempt to intentionally poison and kill a tree.
“This tree was deliberately poisoned, which is against our rules,” a spokesperson for NYC Parks said.
The tree, 32 inches in diameter, is estimated to be between 75 to 100 years old, which the agency calls “a major achievement in an urban setting that poses so many risks of injury and destruction.”
Court papers say the crown of the tree was 90 percent dead at the time of the inspection, according to the Post.
The city sent a letter to Amos at his 299 South 4 LLC address in December claiming he or someone acting on his behalf destroyed the tree. Amos refutes these claims.
The developer is now asking the Brooklyn Supreme Court to drop the fines, claiming that the city did not give him an opportunity to defend himself, and did not provide evidence of his alleged arborcide.
The Parks department said it is standard procedure to send the demand letter to the property owner “in cases of intentional vandalism”. The agency added that Amos is required to either pay the $176,400 restitution, or plant 98 trees.
NYC Parks says the developer requested until March 12 to submit a rebuttal, which it has yet to receive.
Amos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.