More than 50 protected trees removed from Amelia Buff development site in Fernandina Beach, city say

More than 50 protected trees removed from Amelia Buff development site in Fernandina Beach, city say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is learning the developers of the Amelia Bluff subdivision are in hot water with the city of Fernandina Beach after dozens of protected trees were removed.

Margaret Kirkland, with the Amelia Island tree conservancy, found news of the trees coming down disturbing.

She tells us the trees bordering Egans creek, many of which are oaks, help reduce flooding, keep the area cooler, and more. That's why she says they're protected under a city ordinance.

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"It's also important because it's a violation of the law," said Kirkland. "They are supposed to adhere to the tree protection ordinance."

The city tasked McCall Tree Consulting with finding out how many trees had been removed from the site.

In a November letter from McCall, consultants say about 54 trees, out of about 150 protected trees, were removed inside the development. That's about 36% of the protected trees.

Now, the city is demanding developers replace the trees or pay $275,000 in fines.

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Action News Jax called the project manager with Amelia Bluff LLC, to hear their side of the story.

Action News Jax Reporter Ryan Nelson called him and left a voicemail. We are waiting for a response.

Nelson also called regional the sales manager with D.S. Ware Homes.

He told us he was unavailable to provide information today due to a medical condition, but says he'll contact Action News Jax tomorrow with more information.