LAKE TWP.  Anyone living or driving north or south on Cleveland Avenue between Cain and Dotwood Streets Northwest may have noticed the removal of trees on the empty acreage between the two streets. The empty property is 4.5 acres and is owned by DeHoff Development.

President Dan DeHoff said recently some of the trees were removed from the property by the NEXUS company, which recently installed a gas pipeline through the area.

“The NEXUS company came through and took down some of the trees in the pipeline area, when they did, they also damaged many of the surrounding trees,” DeHoff said. “I called NEXUS about the damaged trees they left, and they told me they couldn’t remove them because they can’t go outside of their easement. We own that land, so I went in and had the damaged trees removed.”

He said DeHoff Development doesn’t have any plans for the land but that it is for sale. He also said the company has received a number of calls about the trees being removed and all but one call has been positive.

“After NEXUS finished, the area looked pretty rough on the east side of the property. We took the trees down to make it look more harmonious with the area. We took the trees down on the that side to clean it up and took the trees down on the west side of the property because people were abusing the land. We got at least 20 calls after we cleared out the damaged trees complementing us for doing the cleanup,” DeHoff said.

He explained that the development and real estate sales company owns smaller and larger tracts of land around the county. Some of the larger lots are farmed while waiting to be sold or developed. Others sit empty. Many are wooded. People trespass on the empty lands to use it in ways that are illegal.

“If we leave an area wooded, we have a difficult time stopping people in the area from going on the properties. We can post no trespassing signs, but people ignore them, and it doesn’t stop people. People go into wooded areas of empty lands and do things like dump tires, start fires, ride four-wheelers or dirt bikes,” De Hoff said. “Properties that are better maintained discourage trespassing and helps neighboring homeowners because it keeps trespassers off the land and keeps them from doing things they shouldn’t.”