Oak tree removal

Large oak trees like this on the northwest corner of U.S. 19 and Miss Maggie Drive are planned to be cut down to make room for a McDonald's restaurant. 

The groundbreaking of a new McDonald’s in Sugarmill Woods has been put on hold, allowing two giant oak trees on the property to stand a bit longer.

Crews on Oct. 1 were set to start clearing the property at the northwest corner of U.S. 19 and U.S. 98 for another fast-food restaurant.

But Wanda Boyd, with Prado Enterprises — owner of the planned restaurant — said Wednesday the project has been delayed but had no other information. It was supposed to open by Christmas.

Louise Rogers of Sugarmill Woods has been fighting to save the trees and said she is happy the oaks have a reprieve but is not sure that is the reason for the recent delay. 

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m hoping that they don’t come down.”

McDonald’s in August paid the county $10,500 in mitigation costs to take down 63 oak trees — including the two big ones — and two pines on property. The chain already has its permits to start building.

It’s not just the trees that are the problem, Rogers said. She thinks the location won’t accommodate customers because the parcel is not that big.

McDonald’s, she said, will be inundated because there are few eateries near that busy intersection and it is on a direct tourist route. And with the Suncoast Parkway expansion only a few miles east, traffic there should increase, she said.

“I don’t believe the property is large enough to handle the traffic,” Rogers said. “It’s a very small piece of property.”

The corner of U.S. 98 and U.S. 19 may see more fast-food restaurants in the future.

The Chronicle reported in July that Wendy’s has expressed interest in building at the southwest corner of U.S. 19 and U.S. 98. The chain has not yet submitted paperwork to the county for permits.

And representatives with the Publix-anchored Shoppes of Sugarmill Woods have said they want a new fast-food restaurant on an outparcel just south of the Walgreens. 


Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.

(8) comments




Why did you delete my comment Mike? The comment section is supposed to be about peoples opinions and shouldn’t be censored even if it is in disagreement with the reporter or the paper. Newspapers of all places should be open to free speech of a personal view and has no bearing on the position of the newspaper., especially when the persons view is in the confines of the comment section.. it sure gives the impression that the newspaper runs scared of any view other than their own. You should really Consider not censoring peoples views. Thank you for your attention


Your comment slandered a company and commissioners by accusing them of illegal activity. That is slander. We don’t allow slander. You are free to post whatever you want on your own site and face those consequences.


Wow! The paper has no guts at all. You guys should read comment sections and editorials from bigger newspapers and learn how it’s done. They would never ever have censored a readers personal view. on a topic. Very poor and weak journalism on the papers part.


Sounds like the developer doesn't intend to build there because it is too small a parcel to accommodate the expected traffic.

CitrusCo Citizen

WOW. What's criminal is that this fast food joint chopped down 63 live oak treeks. That's absolutely disgusting and criminal. How can they get away with that? The shade provided by even one oak tree would have been a blessing during this extremely hot month. The Nature Coast is now officially no more. It should be called the Junk Food Coast.


Would like to know why a landowner has to pay an additional fee to remove trees from there own property. Is the propert historical or zoned commercial.


We are with you on this !! such a darned shame for 63 beautiful trees to be destroyed...not to mention the animal live that is now going to be displaced as well. All for what.. another fast food place ...that is obviously going to be put on a lot too small anyway...Shame on whoever gave the ok for this. And true...the Nature Coast is no more !!! Shame on everyone involved...

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