This is one of the trees that the city alleges was “wantonly” and “maliciously” chopped down over the weekend by developer Signature City Homes. (This and another 100-year-old live oak that used to stand across town on Bomar in Hyde Park.) In response, the city is seeking $500,000 in damages. The tree stood in front of 1702 Blodgett — which, you’ll remember, was demolished a few weeks ago to make room for 4 townhouses. That demolition was precipitated by an approved variance request by Signature City to reduce the setback on this lot at the corner of Blodgett and Jackson in Museum Park, just down the street from that strip center that caught fire in August.
Attorney David Feldman, representing the city, has this to say about the suit:
“The timing of the destruction of trees on a weekend raises the suggestion that the developer cut the trees down in an attempt to escape detection and avoid certain community protest and legal action. It is also particularly disturbing coming on the heels of the well-publicized destruction of vegetation at Woodland Park and the price that a developer had to pay for its acts in that instance. These defendants placed their own commercial interests ahead of our citizens’ right to enjoy these trees. We have to make it clear to everyone that the public will simply not tolerate this type of conduct.”
That “well-publicized destruction of vegetation” Feldman is talking about involved an acre of parkland that was cleared from behind under-construction townhomes in Woodland Heights. For that, the city fined first-time developer Bill Workman — who asserted that the clearing had been the result of a miscommunication with a subcontractor — $300,000.
- City Sues Developer, Contractors For Axing Protected Trees [Houstonia Magazine]
- Previously on Swamplot: Museum Park Strip Center Catches Fire, Crushing an Old One for 4 New Ones on a Museum Park Corner, Oops! Mistakenly Cleared Parkland Costs Woodland Heights Townhouse Developer $300K, The Woodland Park Thinning Story Thickens, Parkland Cleared By Mistake, Says Woodland Heights Townhomes Developer, Woodland Heights Neighbors Accuse Townhomes Developer of Clear-Cutting Parkland
Photo: Allyn West