by: Carl Willis Updated:DECATUR, Ga. —
Developers can continue tearing down old homes in the city of Decatur, but they can't remove large trees -- for now.
The Decatur City Commission voted unanimously for a 90-day moratorium on large tree removal.
A separate moratorium on the demolition of single family homes was voted down 3-2.
The commission held a meeting Monday night with dozens of passionate residents taking the floor during public comments.
Many of the speakers claimed the character of their neighborhoods was being destroyed by the influx of so-called "McMansions."
Barbara Creta said her street in Decatur Heights recently had five bungalows torn down to make way for the towering two- and three-story homes.
"There's definitely a frenzy going on and it's spreading," said Creta. "It's like a cancer."
"All of this is just moving too fast," said Catherine Carter.
Creta also said the new construction and large homes taking the place of bungalows is pushing young couples and elderly out of the community.
"I'm also concerned that they have destroyed a lot of the older black neighborhoods putting in these new McMansions, and I think that's a shame," she said.
However, the thought of a moratorium didn't sit well with several other Decatur residents, including Paul Garcia.
"That's an emergency measure that should be reserved for emergencies," said Garcia. "This is really the wrong time to slow down a lot of the growth that's happened in Decatur.”