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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Destruction of trees in the name of progress

From one end of Coconut Grove to the next, trees, old oak trees, are being destroyed so that development can take place; some small development, some large.

The EWF Stirrup House at 3242 Charles Avenue, probably the oldest house in the Grove other than the Barnacle, is in the hands of the Aries Group, owners of the Calamari restaurant group, right next door (Calamari, Taurus and La Botegga). They have/had plans to put in a bed and breakfast in the old house but in the meantime the old house is being neglected. I'll talk more about the Stirrup house tomorrow, for those that are not familiar with it.


A large tree (shown here) and some others were destroyed to make way for either parking or seating, or both. The one large tree out front, shown here, was probably just as old as the house itself (117 years). There are some who don't wish for any movement on the old Stirrup property, but I don't see any problem with adding a parking lot or seating for the restaurants and I don't see any problem with the owners adding a restaurant or a bed and breakfast to the house itself.

According to reports, no permit was granted for the large tree destruction and that is easy to believe, as I don't believe a permit would have been given for the removal of the tree.

While I am always in favor of businesses making it in the Grove, I don't think the destruction of the Stirrup House or the destruction of the trees should be basically ignored with a fine of a mere $4000, which is what the city did. Restaurants are taxed more for that parking fee scam and they are closed down if parking fees are not paid. But destruction of history (and trees) gets a slap on the hand. Why?

Some people feel that the historic house should be left alone, but anyone coming in to help restore it is a good thing. For those that complain almost on a daily basis, you had the chance to take over the property when it available. You didn't.


The house has stood intact since 1897. Now it needs a lot of work as time goes on. In 2011, neighbors on Charles Avenue
were not in favor of zoning changes, which would turn the area commercial. I can see what they were fearing back then; an attack on Grove/Miami history. But something should be done to save the trees and the house.

As for further tree destruction, these logs come from large oak trees at the Coconut Grove Bank property. I do hope that my friends at the Terre Group will stop hurting the trees and start preserving them. That's where the new condos are to go in, they have already started doing work in the parking lot. The main objective is to build a new bank building first, so that the bank can vacate the current building and it can be demolished to make way for a few towers in its place. But save the trees. Below you can see where a tree was killed in the parking lot. No more massacres, please.



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6 Comments:

Anonymous justjack1@aol.com said...

My next door neighbor took down 2 large trees on her property a couple of months ago. of course she did it on 5:30 on a Saturday when no code enforcement was available. I called the non emergency police number. They came out and thought I was crazy for bothering them. They did nothing to stop it.

February 25, 2014 4:36 PM  
Blogger arabica said...

A bunch of big trees were cut down in the lot at the corner of Overbrook and SW 26th Ave. Maybe the name of this place should be changed to Coconut Stumps.

February 25, 2014 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In South Grove developers are tearing down old houses and majestic trees then replacing them with zero lot houses and skinny pools. Greed greed greed.

February 25, 2014 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see how all the bushes were torn out of the traffic circle at Shipping and Mary today? Those plants were in perfectly fine shape. What a waste.

February 25, 2014 9:12 PM  
Anonymous am said...

Just curious JustJack1, did you go over and talk to your neighbor first? Did you ask if your neighbor had a gotten a permit? Did you ask why they were cutting the trees down? Do you nkow if they plan on planting new trees elswhere on their property? maybe the trees were diseased? maybe the trees were harmful to their home? growing roots in their pipes? maybe they were close to the home and causing some structural damage to her foundation? maybe your neighbor was afraid of hurricane damage? maybe 5:30 on Saturday was the only time the home owner could be there to supervise the cutting. Maybe it was the only time the tree cutter could do it. Maybe....

Why do people in the Grove get such pleasure out of assuming that every tree cut is done with malice and should pay!

I love the canopy that convers our homes, but neighbors should approach each other and talk before anonymously calling the authorities.



February 26, 2014 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:12: I agree 100%, but I have always talked with my neighbors regarding what-ever the issue(s) and mostly got harsh/mind your business responses & I've lived in the same home since 1965. And I would [close to probably never call authority] I've learned not to tip my hand and take personal action(s) to achieve the correct goal.

February 26, 2014 10:09 PM  

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