CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake City Council was thinking green Tuesday, mandating that a business add landscaping for beautification purposes and approving a plan that will add more than 500 trees to the city.
Council members approved a larger-than-usual tree-planting program for fall 2013 and spring 2014 to replace the many trees that were removed because of the emerald ash borer.
There will be 506 trees planted around the city – half in the fall and half in the spring. Species include emerald luster maple, red sunset maple, Norwegian sunset maple, green spire little leaf linden, honey locust, hackberry and white swamp oak.
Victor Ramirez, director of public works, said it was difficult to find a vendor that could serve as a one-stop shop and provide the variety of trees the city wanted, but the council settled on Goodmark Nurseries from Wonder Lake for $54,104.
“There were a lot of incomplete bids,” Ramirez said. “We thought the compliant bidder would be one that could provide all the trees ... or be able to offer a substitute.”
Trees also helped settle a dispute between Signature Auto Group located on 970 Pyott Road and nearby neighbors.
The conflict was settled after council members struck a compromise that would require the automobile dealer to construct a berm and plant vegetation to screen the view of the large vehicles neighbors currently see.
Neighbors said they were upset after they discovered that the dealer was selling large box trucks off the site instead of compact cars as they expected. Neighbors proposed a large berm with 6- to 8-foot tall trees be planted to screen the view, but council members decided to reduce the dimensions of the request to help the business owners. The original proposal could have cost $50,000 to create.
“I think there’s got to be a compromise,” said Councilman Jeff Thorsen, noting that city ordinance would not even require any berm for the commercial use. “I think with proper vegetation there, you could adequately take care of the neighbors’ concerns.”