Part-Time Payson North Resident Appalled By Greenbelt 'Cleanup'

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted a letter on the (Roundup's) forum about my concern regarding the "cleaning" of the greenbelts in Payson North IV. At the time, I had not seen the result of this effort, being that I live out of state.

Well, I am home for the fourth as I am every year, and I am sick.

I never considered myself to be a rabid tree hugger, more of a pragmatist, but if this is the result of not laying myself across the trees to prevent devastation, sign me up for Green Peace!

I have driven all over the neighborhood looking for an area as clear cut as the one behind my house. The rape of the landscape is incredible.

Prior to the "clean up," there was a four-inch ground cover of centuries of pine needles and pileaves. Now there is a six-inch thick cover including nice, dry, manzanita wood chips. It looks like a giant hamster cage.

The radiant heat of the granite gravel, which the manzanita absorbed, glows long after the sun goes down. The shade is diminished by 50 percent, making it uncomfortable to sit outside.

It is bad enough that the property lots are just slightly larger than maximum-security prison cells, but now with no visual barriers, I now must share the lives of five families I didn't even know existed before.

All the flotsam and jetsam of life that we put behind our houses are now the view from my living room. My house was designed with windows only on the greenbelt to detract from the fact that the neighbor's house was so close.

There is no sound buffer now. A family gathering turns into a riotous cacophony reverberating off the houses.

I can now see the street two houses away.

There were no birds in the trees yesterday. How about the oxygen these bushes produce? We used to be proud of our air quality. What happened to that?

The trees that were cut are a tragic sight; open sores where branches once were that are bleeding sap like wounded gladiators after battle. Three- to six-inch stumps are exposed at the base of some trees. Yes, I said six inches.

Every other greenbelt in the area is still fallow. Did I anger someone along the way who felt he needed to take it out on my poor defenseless trees?

Or is it just another example of the insensitive, self-serving, shortsighted planning for the "improvements" of Payson.

Will you not be happy until this town is a large concrete and granite slab with a few potted trees, an unpredictable water supply and completely noxious air? Gee, call me crazy, but that sure sounds like California.

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