One More Tree or One Less Garden?
May 20, 2014 6:03 PM Subscribe
I woke up this morning to find a sign indicating that in the next couple of days the city will be planting a tree in front of my house. While trees are great, the tree will likely shade one or more of my raised beds that I use to grow food. What can I do to stop the installation of this tree? More details inside...
posted by delicious-luncheon to Law & Government (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I looked at the city website and it appears the DPW is responsible for city trees. The website also says that normally only a property owner can request a tree be placed in front of their house. So I called up the DPW to see what was up. They gave me a schpiel about how it was a such and so green project. I told them it was likely to make it impossible for me to grow vegetables in my existing garden. They then explained to me that the tree will be small. However, I've seen the small trees they've planted elsewhere lately and they still grow to be about 2 stories tall and will likely throw significant shade.
After some back and forth, they said that this was part of some city-wide initiative and that there was nothing they could do unless the mayor's office told them otherwise. I said the sign said it would start tomorrow, but they said it would likely just be dig-safe marking and it wouldn't start for a couple of days.
So I called the mayor's office but they basically gave me the same schpiel about how it was such and so green project. They also said that while people requested not having trees installed that they usually did not grant such a request. After explaining that this would prevent me from gardening and I'd be OK if the tree were moved somewhere else on the block, I was told that they would talk to somebody in the DPW about possibly moving the tree. They took my name and number and said that they would call me back.
Well, they haven't called back, and the dig-safe folks have already marked the street. So as far as I can tell, there is nothing stopping the DPW from coming in tomorrow to put in a tree. I feel like I've been given the run-around and at no point was I ever given any input into this happening until it was basically too late to do anything about it.
It appears that a tree will be put in and then there will be "facts on the ground" and I'll have to fight to get a tree removed instead of preventing it from getting installed.
I'm thinking of going to the mayor's office in person tomorrow morning to see if anything can be done as I really do not want to lose my ability to grow a vegetable garden in my front yard.
Is there anything else I can do besides trying to persuade the mayor or whatever lackey will see me tomorrow? I suspect I'm just going to get the same brush off. Is there some kind of legal and/or media escalation to stop or reverse this? Or am I basically SOL?