SOUTH TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Carol Ann Bennett is fighting to save a Grand Oak Tree in her neighborhood.

“Well, it’s a grand tree, it’s a massive tree, 40 inches in diameter. “It’s a beautiful tree and there is no reason to kill it,” said Bennett.

The Tree is near Santiago Street and Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa, adjacent to the Ritz Carlton residential development currently under construction.

Bob Whitmore, who is the Executive Director of “City Tree,” said the Grand Oak could be hundreds of years old.

“That [tree] has stood in this city 200 years before Teddy Roosevelt came to town,” said Whitmore.

He says the developer has done nothing to preserve trees that once stood on the property they are building on.

“The Ritz Carlton land grab represents one of the greatest ecological heists ever pulled off in this city and stands as a shameful example of the ability of developers to convince city leadership to put a company’s profits ahead of the good of the people,” said Whitmore

The developer disagrees. They say they’ve worked with professional arborists to preserve trees and worked within their permit from the city to do what they’ve been required to do on the job site.

City Council member Charlie Miranda asked the developers to reconsider their sidewalk plan to help preserve this Grand Oak.

“The simplest thing is not to have a sidewalk, but you are insisting on the sidewalk regardless of the tree,” said Miranda.

Council member Guido Maniscalco told the developers the neighbors don’t want the sidewalk.

“You heard passionate communication from the folks in the area,” Maniscalco said. “People hate the government because it’s complicated, but they don’t want it. Just don’t build the sidewalk.”

After listening to residents and council members, Kurt Drstvensek, with the Related Group, told council members they plan to move forward with building the sidewalk.

“We have a sidewalk now that just ends. It’s probably an unsafe condition,” said Drstvensek.

People who live in the neighborhood are concerned this plan will kill the tree.