Businesses claim they have already suffered after one week of Ybor City tree stumps

YBOR CITY - Last week, more than 100 Ybor City trees were chopped down in just hours. Thursday, city council members will get answers about how it all happened.
Though several of the stumps have already been replaced by new trees, Ybor business owners say they've already lost business because of all the traffic cones marking holes where trees once stood.

"It hurts," said Row Boat Manager Jordan Said. "Now they're gone. You can't do anything about it."

Said points to lost valuable shade over his now empty chairs.

His next-door neighbor points to unsightly sidewalks.

"This is a walk-about town," explained Laughing Cat Owner Gerald Kistler. "If it's raining or you have construction, it's done. People stay away."

Friday, city council will take up the issue of how the trees disappeared with such little notice, which Kistler calls a chronic problem in Ybor.

"Nothing was specified, nothing was said. We didn't even know. Nobody knew," Kistler said.

In the 12 years since Kistler has owned his restaurant, he claims he's watched the city alter Ybor with little notice, all the time, but requires business owners to go through a painstaking ordeal to change anything within the historic neighborhood.

"If you're going to enforce the law and the rules of this historic area, you better force it on everybody," Said explained.

More then new trees, both Kistler and Said really want a new process.

"Let me know," Kistler said. "Put out a flier. Something. E-mail. Anything."

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