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Columbus donut shop fined thousands for unapproved tree removal

Columbus donut shop fined thousands for unapproved tree removal

Jack McLaughlin

The owner of a combination Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins that is still under construction in Clintonville was hit with hefty fines after removing a stand of city-owned trees.

The City of Columbus imposed a fine of $8,800 after four trees located on the building’s street-facing side were removed sometime between October of last year and this March.

The eatery is located at 3245 N. High St.


According to Kerry Francis, Chief of Communications for the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, it’s not known exactly when the trees were removed, but the City also doesn’t believe the donut and ice cream chain knowingly overstepped their bounds.

“After looking into it, we felt it was inadvertent by the business owner,” Francis said. 

She noted the owner has been in communication with the city, and is cooperating to ensure the trees are properly replaced.

According to Francis, all trees planted on public property, as the North High Street trees were, are owned by the City of Columbus and require municipal approval prior to removal.

The City is also currently updating its public tree code, which could lead to heftier fines for property owners in the future. 

Today, those who remove unapproved tree in Columbus can be fined $200 per square inch of each tree trunk’s diameter. According to Francis, once the City irons out it new tree code, these fines will increase to $260 per square inch of trunk diameter.

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