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Residents angry with Race Trac over tree removal

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 19:13:14-05

Residents in Martin County raising concerns over their new neighbor.

They say a gas station just steps away from their home is not what they bargained for.

Now, they're hoping to reach some sort of compromise with leaders so they don't lose what they was once a beautiful view.

Enrico Vittori has called his home the American Dream for 16 years.

"I worked my butt off to pay for it and do something right for my family," he says.

However, that vision of success is changing.

"I come out of my house and I'm right in the gas station," Vittori says.

Residents say Race Trac owners are clearing out the area near Kanner Highway that once made the view peaceful - putting gas pumps front and center.

Neighbors arguing it impacts not only the view - but  property values and their safety also takes a hit.

"People can walk through this utility area and the way it's set up, they can do the crime over on Gaines avenue, and flee and go on 95," says resident Ron Taylor.

We took those concerns to the county, which admits Race Trac indeed went to far with the tree removal.

"We have investigated the complainants, and some of the clearing was not consistent with the county's rules and regulations," says Nicki Van Vonno with Martin County.

The company was issued citations, and has to find a way to restore the trees and vegetation that were lost.

Race Trac tells us the tree removal was a misunderstanding, and they are working with the county to make sure they are on the same page.

For Enrico and his piece of the American Dream, now direct neighbors with a piece of American enterprise, he hopes the two can co-exist.