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Board Rejects Proposed Removal of Large Tree

It was exactly one year ago that the impressive 19th century mansion at 509-511 West Sixth Street in Covington last made news. At that time, some of the historic windows that had been stolen during a renovation project had been found on eBay.

Now the home, owned by Victoria Graef who lives in Florida, returns to the headlines because of another historic feature: the large ginkgo tree that towers over the street in front of the stately manor. Graef wants to remove the tree, citing concerns about its smell and the damage that it is doing to a retaining wall on the eastern side of the property. 

Because the tree is classified by the City of Covington as a heritage tree and because the property is in the Mainstrasse Village historic preservation overlay district, the desire to remove the tree had to be considered by the Urban Design Review Board (UDRB) which unanimously rejected the request on Monday.

Emily Ahouse, Historic Preservation & Planning Specialist for the City of Covington, told the board that she consulted with city arborists Jason Roberts and Crystal Courtney who told her that the tree was viable, and that root-pruning would alleviate the problems associated with the retaining wall. The owners of the adjacent property also wrote a letter opposing the tree's removal.

Graef did not attend the meeting.

Other notes from UDRB:

The Madison Photo Works at 709 Scott Boulevard will get a new storefront while woodworker Steve Sander will be placing a new storefront entrance where a garage door currently is at 318-320 Pike Street. Braxton Brewing Company will be installing a new silo and CO2 tank in the rear of its building at 27 West 7th Street. 

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: 509-511 West 6th Street (RCN file)