At tonight’s Decatur City Commission meeting, our commissioners will have to make a determination in a “He Said, She Said” type of case, concerning two live oak trees taken down by Artisan Homes during construction of a new home at 324 Mead Road.
You can read all the details – including a timeline generated by the city’s Development Director Amanda Thompson – of this decision in the meeting material for the meeting HERE (PDF), but in summation (deep breath)…
The City Commission needs to determine whether the city arborist made an error in determining the health of two oak trees on the property and/or do the unique site conditions at 324 Mead Road create an “undue hardship in implementing the required revised tree plan.”
Ms. Thompson’s timeline details the events surrounding this item. To start, the city arborist determined these two oaks were in good health back in March 2011. But then in November, they discovered that the tree protection fencing at the property was out of compliance and it was recommended that Artisan Homes hire an arborist to determine if any damage had occurred do to the inadequate fencing.
Artisan hired an Arborguard arborist, who subsequently determined that the trees were in poor health prior to construction activities. As a result, Artisan Homes submitted a revised tree plan requesting the removal of these trees based on these findings.
The city’s arborist approved the revision, but required that Artisan compensate the city for the loss of the two trees in the amount of $6,325. Artisan then filed an appeal to the Development Director to seek relief from paying the tree recompense based on the disputed claims of the two arborists. Ms. Thompson sided with the city arborist and now it’s up to the City Commission to have the last word.
Should be an interesting conversation.