Letters to the Editor

Coconut Grove’s trees

I wish to know why, after so much outcry, we in the Grove do not have stronger mature-tree protections. In the past few months, along Shipping Avenue, there have been two lot clearings for new housing.

It seems architects are inept at designing around them, so the builder finds ways to get around the rules, like hiring a bogus arborist to designate the tree as diseased and untreatable, or they secretly poison the roots or just apply for the building permit without mentioning there are any trees on the lot, such as live oaks or gumbo limbo.

I suspect, and others have stated as much, that the project manager removed the public notice (posted by the NET office official) during the few days the neighbors would have an opportunity to appeal, then re-posted it on the last day for the NET person to return and take it down. These builders who have developed in this area for awhile seem to know how to work the system.

I don’t like how they are required to replant smaller trees as substitutes for 100-year-old trees. I have seen it many times in the central Grove, unlike other areas where the architecture is less boxy and more single family. The area is losing all its mature oaks and its character and beauty for the sake of ugly duplex condos.

The residents feel impotent in the face of loose rules, apathetic officials and low aesthetic standards. This has been the case for the center Grove, unlike the rest of the Grove, for as long as I can remember. We need to draft better rules to close the loopholes.

Mark Anthony,

Coconut Grove