Future of trees worries resident in face of construction

By Deborah Wrigley
Friday, June 13, 2014

Houston's inner-loop real estate boom is a constant headline.

A street near Highland Village sees it every day, and the reviews for people who live on it are mixed.

One block of West Main Street at Weslayan has three projects underway: a multi-story storage warehouse, a 400 unit apartment complex, and what will be a 12 unit luxury townhome development.

It's that which proved to be the tipping point for one HOA member.

Thursday, Jo Hawthorne put herself in the shadow of a pair of towering water oaks, as tree crews buzz-sawed their way through its lower limbs. The trees are clearly on the property that was purchased by the developer. Rather than drop the limbs on anyone below, the work ceased.

Hawthorne voiced complaints about the horizon being blocked by the projects that dwarf the one story ranch style homes across the street. And while she realizes the trees are on private property, she pleaded for their survival.

"There are owls that nest in them, you have the chance to do the right thing," she told the developer's office.

Later, when our camera left, the developer says he visited the site. Pelican Builders is in the midst of preparing the site for the townhomes, which start at $800,000 and go up from there. The company is working with a city of Houston arborist to determine if the oaks can survive the construction, or need to be removed. If that happens, city policy has developers put money into a tree fund, which makes up for the loss of one tree by planting another, though not necessarily in the same area.

For now, the trees remain, minus a few branches, awaiting the city arborist's decision.

The rest of the construction continues, serving as the background noise for the street.

See more at http://abc13.com/realestate/future-of-trees-worries-resident/112442/