(WSVN) - For years, she has nurtured the vines that surround her Coconut Grove home. Then, she was stunned to find out the association might remove the ivy from her walls, so she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Lush trees, thick green shrubs and long healthy vines: it’s what attracts a lot of people to Coconut Grove.

Lori Mohr, wants vines to stay: “It’s just an enchanted charming neighborhood. It really is a beautiful place to live.”

Lori bought her home back in the ’90s in part because of the ivy growing on the walls.

Lori Mohr: “The ivy was about one or two feet off the ground, and after 26 years, voila, it goes all the way around. It’s very healthy. It’s very dense, and I love it.”

The ivy doesn’t grow by accident. It takes a lot of work.

Lori Mohr: “You trim any of the ivy that’s coming outward. You prune it to grow directionally up the wall.”

When Lori moved in, all 18 homes in her French Village association had ivy on the walls. Today, just five do, and she fears that number is about to come to zero.

Lori Mohr: “The board wants to rip off the ivy to look at the stucco to see what’s wrong with it and then determine if they are going to paint.”

Over the past few months, Lori says the board has discussed a special assessment to pay to remove the ivy, power wash the walls, patch units that have water intrusion, then paint the buildings.

Lori Mohr: “It’s just original stucco. It doesn’t need to be painted. It doesn’t. That’s the beauty of it.”

Lori hired a lawyer to legally notify the board she didn’t want her ivy to be touched. No one responded, leaving her to think the worst.

Lori Mohr: “When they first said of their intention to kill the ivy, I felt like they were trying to kill my dog. This is a living thing that I’ve cultivated — 26 years!”

Lori is so worried her ivy will be ripped down, she hired an artist just in case.

Lori Mohr: “To capture the memory of my house, and she really is capturing the essence in a Coconut Grove watercolor way.”

The painting should be beautiful hanging inside her home, but Lori hopes to also keep the ivy clinging outside her home.

Lori Mohr: “I want them to leave my ivy alone. I want them to leave me and my ivy alone.”

Well, can Lori keep the vines on the side of her home?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “I believe so because this a material alteration, and state law would require 75% of the unit owners to approve removing the ivy unless they have a clause in their documents to just needing a simple majority.”

I spoke to the property manager. She said seven units have a water intrusion problem that needs to be repaired.

Lori counters that her vine covered walls do not have any water problems.

The property manager then said they were turning it over to their attorney to see if they can draw up an agreement that if Lori has any problems with her walls in the future, she would be financially responsible and not the association.

In that case, Lori could keep her vines.

Howard Finkelstein: “That’s a brilliant solution. It removes the association’s financial liability in case of water intrusion, and if Lori wants to keep her vines, she can.”

Lori’s answer?

Lori Mohr: “Absolutely, I am willing to sit down and discuss it, but I do want to keep my ivy.”

And now it appears the ivy can keep living.

Lori Mohr: “If it hadn’t been for Patrick Fraser and Help Me Howard, I don’t know what I would have done. I am so infinitely grateful and thank you, thank you, thank you.

We will keep an eye on this story to see if Lori and the association can agree on the compromise because we see so many associations and residents battling each other.

This shows you can find a way to make both sides happy. Be nice to see more of that in 2021.

Got a problem growing on you? Wanna trim it back? House it with us ’cause we will be happy to climb the wall to help you out.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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