If you’ve ever passed the “Flower Houses” on Alki Ave, you’d remember them – two of the few houses left among the condos (map). We’ve received multiple notes about a protest campaign brewing over the reported plans of the condos next door to trim the big tree you see in the photo. We first heard about it, and received the above photo, from tenant Alma Taylor-Smyth, who wrote:
My husband, nephew, and I live at 1396 Alki (the left-hand house in the attached photo taken by my nephew, William Harman), and our landlady, Randie Stone, lives at 1400. She is the one who turned the flower houses into the gorgeous landmarks that they are today. We moved in in February, and every day someone local comes up to us to tell us how long they’ve loved the houses and how much they enjoy seeing the beautiful plantings, and someone who isn’t local comes up to ask about the houses and tell us how beautiful they are.
Randie was informed last week by the home owners’ association at 1402 Alki (the condo on the right in the photo) that they would be hiring someone to “trim” the branches of the 2 Douglas fir trees on her property that are on their side of the property line, although they admit that this would be something like 80% of the total branches the trees have!
I cannot imagine anyone with a soul who would think this constitutes an improvement to a spot that brings so many people enjoyment every day. Mind you, the trees were there before the condo was ever built.
I’m not a lawyer, and it does seem like the condo owners have the right to trim branches on their side of the property line (although I don’t see how their right can possibly extend to an action that would almost certainly kill the trees). However, my guess is that if they do go on to trim those branches, a great many people will see what they’ve done and wonder how they could have done such a thing and whether it could have been prevented. What I would love is to find a way to let those people know ahead of time that the condo owners want to cut off all those branches, so that they can let the condo owners know how outrageous an act that would be.
Randie has given so much to this community in providing so much beauty year-round. Is there any way that the community can give back, in the form of helping to convince the condo owners not to denude these trees that contribute to the beauty and serenity of this oasis among the condos?
We also heard from Gayle, who wrote, “The residents at the 1402 Condominiums want to butcher this beautiful tree for the sake of improving their view! They say itâ€™s raising and cracking the sidewalk, but the owner says, ‘Not true! The sidewalk was cracked before the tree grew! Now those butchers intend to whack off half of my tree for their view!’ There are indiscriminate tree killers on the loose on Alki and they must be stopped! Please let Condomanagements.com @ 206 937-4856 know that you are pro-nature and anti-pettiness!”
We just passed the site and the tree hasn’t been trimmed yet; there’s now a big pink sign out front of the “Flower House” urging people who enjoy the tree to hang a ribbon to show their opposition to the reported trimming plan. We have a call out to the management company, where we were told the executive “who’s been dealing with this” is out of town, but we told them we’d be posting about this today, and they said they’ll have somebody else get back to us with a comment. We’ll update when we get that call back. Meantime, here’s a closer look at the tree (sent by Gayle):