The FOX 8 I-Team found a group of west side residents asked a judge to block crews from cutting down trees in a section of a park for construction of a new Cleveland school.
Court papers show the group trying to save the trees includes former mayor Dennis Kucinich.
A motion filed in Cuyahoga County court asked the “court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunction” stopping the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the city of Cleveland “from removing of the mature shade trees at the northeast corner of Cudell Commons.”
The legal action filed was filed on behalf of 12 west side residents, including the former mayor.
The legal battle surrounds plans for the construction of a new school to replace Marion C. Seltzer School in the area of Cudell Commons.
Residents have protested at a school board meeting and they recently even gathered at the site prepared to chain themselves to trees to stop any construction.
The judge’s temporary restraining order handed down Wednesday blocks any construction until Oct. 30.
The activists and neighbors must now pay a $25,000 bond by the end of the day on Thursday, which acts as a kind of insurance policy in case the delay is later proven to have harmed the district’s plans.
The school district has said plans have been in the works for years, and the community had a chance to speak up long before now.
But, the court motion argues, the school district “cut a deal” with the city to use the Cudell Commons property to build the new school while giving the city two other school properties.
The lawyers for the residents argue the school district and the city have “doubled-down on their intention to remove the trees … and eliminate greenspace.”
We have reached out to the school district for comment on the legal developments.