One of the key takeaways from Hurricane Irma was a reminder about the importance of keeping trees properly trimmed in order to avoid damage to power lines from downed foliage. However, a recent report by Channel 7 News (Fox) in South Florida about a Hallandale Beach HOA’s troubles with the city over its allegedly exorbitant tree trimming serves as a cautionary tale for all Florida community associations.
According to the report, the insurance company for the Hallandale Village Homeowners Association asked association president Richard Masone to trim the trees around the property at the start of this year’s hurricane season. Masone complied and asked the association’s regular landscape maintenance company to trim the trees.
The job pleased the community’s insurer, but Hallandale Beach Code Enforcement officers were not happy with the tree trimming. City Manager Roger Carlton called the trimming unacceptable, noting that it “enormously exceeded any reasonable amount.”
The association was told by the city that the trees were “hatracked,” or over-trimmed, and they ordered the community to dig up and replace the trees, which entails hiring an arborist and pulling permits for each of the 10-15 trees that would need to be replaced.