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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Condominiums and trees

So you finally set up your new business in a location that provides adequate internal floor space. The location also has as an exterior court yard with a beautiful shade tree near your door with seating for those friends and family waiting for your customers. After all, this is Florida and shade is important. You recognized that most of your customers travel through the area with friends and/or family, some not likely to purchase your products or service. For example, if you have a women’s shop these could be boy friends, husbands, children, etc. But you know you want that woman in your shop. Your shop could be one that a man would frequent, it could be the girl friend, wife, children, etc. that wait outside.

So your shop does well over a number of years and you are pleased with progress. A few years ago you accepted the offer to purchase the Condominium property you have rented.  One Monday morning, you show up and find that the beautiful shade tree has been cut off at its base, with the stump left at ground level. No notice, no discussion, just GONE. You recall that over the years there were Condo board discussions and meeting minutes that have addressed potential tree removal in other parts of the property, but not one word about your shade tree.

You recognize that your business will be negatively impacted as a result of the missing shade tree. Upon asking the Condo board about it they tell you it was a dying tree, a message you find hard to believe as you saw it every day. You ask around, including the landscaping crew that took it down. You determine the tree had one dying branch that could have been pruned to save the tree. You also find that the plans do not include removing the stump and replacing the tree. Instead the plan is to plant a small tree eight feet away, and that much further away from your shop.  You also determine that this new tree will not shade your shop. The Condo rules prevent you from shading you shop front yourself.

What do you do?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


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