Storm victims claim city wouldn't allow trees' removal

- Some people living in St. Petersburg spent Monday cleaning up damage caused by falling trees during Sunday's storms. 

The tree that fell on Verlett Smith and his neighbor's house has been a source of aggravation for years. 

“I had a feeling it was going to come down and I was just trying to head it off," Smith said. 

During powerful storms Sunday, high winds blew the tree over, taking out his boat. parts of his house along with his neighbor's house and caused an electrical fire.

Because this tree was a protected species. Smith says he went down to City Hall to try and get a special permit to have the tree removed, but he says they denied his application.

“I really don’t think it’s right,” Smith said. 

Shane Largent, the city's urban forester says there's no record of Smith trying to get the tree removed.

"Each individual circumstance is different. We try to work with homeowners and businesses," Largent said. 

Largent says the city can take applications online and there’s usually a two-week waiting period. 

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