(WSVN) - Government officials tell us to prepare our homes for hurricane season, but storm preps got residents of one South Florida in big trouble with city hall. 7’s Brian Entin has more on the “Tree Trouble.”
Richard Masone makes a point to stroll around his neighborhood to keep an eye on things. He is the president of the Hallandale Village Homeowners Association.
Richard Masone, Hallandale Village HOA: “Pretty much managing, yes. I want to see where all our money is going towards, want to keep the place up, so our property value stays up.”
The association’s insurance company told him to get the trees trimmed to protect the property from hurricanes, so he hired the same licensed company the community has used for years.
Richard Masone: “They came, they trimmed the trees beautifully. Our insurance company is happy.”
But Hallandale Beach Code Enforcement officers weren’t so happy with the tree trimming.
Roger Carlton, City of Hallandale Beach: “We are on this. It’s unacceptable behavior. They enormously exceeded any reasonable amount of trimming.”
The association was told by the city the trees were “hatracked,” or over-trimmed, and they ordered them to dig up and replace the trees.
Richard Masone: “Now they want us to hire an arborist and replace 10 of the 15 trees, and pull permits for each tree.”
If they don’t comply, the city is threatening to take further action.
Roger Carlton: “Fines start to accrue if there is non-compliance. I hope this doesn’t have to go that far.”
Richard says he’s frustrated because he hired a company licensed by Broward County, and the tree trimmers indicated they knew the proper way to do the job.
Richard Masone: “He’s like, ‘We can only cut 25 percent of the trees.’ I said ‘great.'”
Richard reached out to the tree trimming company. The company did not return his calls, but they will likely have to return the calls of Broward County officials who say they intend to open an investigation.
Richard Masone: “This is a learning experience. I would like for the next time that I’ll be a little more careful with who to hire.”
Richard wants the tree trimming company to replace the trees. His attorney sent a letter asking for cooperation in resolving the tree trouble.
Broward County officials say they are waiting for an affidavit from Hallandale Beach so they can begin their investigation of the tree trimming company.
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