News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In North Reston, Treepocalypse Now

After temporarily holding off on cutting down dozens of trees in a North Reston neighborhood, Columbia Gas went ahead and gave them the axe.

Last week, Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. cut down dozens of trees in her Reston subdivision to clear out a swath of land where its pipelines lie. Almost 60 trees were cut down in Carleen Basik's yard alone, transforming her woodsy back yard into a leaf-strewn field. Her neighbors' homes stand nakedly beyond it.

"Every window used to look like a picture postcard," said Basik, 55, who hired a lawyer and took time off work in an attempt to fend off the "tree massacre," as she calls it. "Now it looks like a war zone. I feel like I'm in a fishbowl. And I don't want to live here anymore."

At a meeting last month with Columbia Gas, residents lobbied the company to study whether the tree roots were actually posing a threat to the gas line before chopping them down. But the chain saws began buzzing less than a month afterward. The company's disregard for the neighborhood's wishes was "profoundly disrespectful," said Bob Seitz, 61, whose house is now starkly visible from the Basiks' back deck.
Of course, Columbia Gas says it "slightly scaled back plans" as a result of complaints from the neighborhood, which we guess means they didn't napalm the entire site from orbit just to be sure, the end.


  1. Don't expect any help from "King" Ken Plum on this one... According to public records, he has receieved thousands of dollars in contributions from Columbia Gas and other utilities.

  2. Hey the scrub will grow in! The natural gas pipeline will continue undisturbed as it should per the company's easement. The mulch business is booming for me here on old Reston Avenue. Thanks - Dave


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