According to a report from Scripps television station ABC 5 WEWS, the billboard being blocked was on West 25th, and its sudden conversion to a stump came as a surprise to at least one local business operator and to city councilman.
The councilman, Brian Cummins, said there does not seem to be a paper trail regarding the tree at the Cleveland Urban Forestry Division, but he did confirm that the company did in fact have a permit.
However, it is in dispute as to whether or not the permit should ever have been issued. Some are claiming that only a tree that is sick or a safety hazard may be chopped down, and neither case applied to this particular tree.
Local Clear Channel execs said that the tree was interfering with positive commercial activity in the Cleveland market, noting that advertisers use the billboard to improve their business, and the inability to put the billboard in question to that use diminished the economy of Cleveland as a whole.
Clear Channel as also promised to plant five new trees in five different and acceptable locations. Interestingly, the tree that was chopped down was a 15-footer. The five new ones will each be three-feet tall, making it an equal exchange in terms of altitude.
Some had suggested that Clear Channel could have simply trimmed the tree, but it says that was not an option. There will be no attempt to put one of the new trees in the same location.
Here’s is a local report on the issue: