Hello, Haile Plantation West residents,
Several homeowners have reached out to Management regarding the proposed landscaping improvements being considered in Haile Plantation West at the large island in front of the Prestonwood neighborhood. The questions have been wide-ranging, and we were notified that there have been several discussion points raised on various media. As with any concern, the best course of action is to bring these types of issues to the Board and to Management, where they can be addressed directly.
In the interest of transparency, Management would like to provide some details. Additionally, we’re happy to meet in person to discuss this project further.
The large island in front of the Prestonwood neighborhood, sadly, was greatly affected by a number of storms back in 2004 and 2005. Dozens of trees fell or became so damaged as to later die, or to live but become very weak, and a potential danger. The last 3-4 years, in particular, have not been very kind to this island, with many of the weakened trees dying or falling over. If you drive or walk by this area today, you’ll observe what many HPW owners have described as a “tree graveyard”.
In addition to the tree problem, as with many of our homes and common areas, the multi-tiered streetscape surrounding both ends of this island has aged and has needed attention for some time. Due to the significant cost associated with replacing the hundreds – potentially thousands -- of bushes and plants in this streetscape, combined with the cost of the removal of the dead and dying trees, the residents in this area have had to live with what many have described as an eyesore for years.
Management has presented variations of this project, amongst others that had been given priority, to the Board for several years. This year the project has finally reached the top of the list, and we’re very excited to bring improvements to this long-suffering area!
Last year, the HPW Board of Directors tasked Management with coming up with a solution to this island that met multiple criteria:
· Make the island safe for the residents and their children who already use this area as a recreational space
· Ensure the space has multi-use appeal – not just a wooded lot, or a field, or a garden, but something to allow the residents that currently use the space to continue to use it
· Provide the opportunity for a healthy canopy, replacing dead trees strategically in keeping within the Haile aesthetic
· Provide an alternative to replacing the hundreds or thousands of plants that are in the current configuration
· Reduce the potential maintenance cost that would have been incurred by adding all of these bushes
· Reduce the cost currently allocated to mulch the extremely large beds
· Ensure the residents on SW 31st Place have a significant buffer from the relatively high traffic flow on 30th Ave
In response to these criteria, Management has submitted a plan that has been developed from input from multiple sources, including from the residents that face the island along SW 31st Place:
· Remove the damaged, unhealthy trees, and dead trees remaining in the island
· Open up the center of the island to a larger expanse of grass area, while installing a “meditation labyrinth” at the west end of the island and a large 100 gallon (6”-8” caliper) live oak at the east end of the island with ground cover, with various understory trees and low shrubs throughout
· The live oaks that have survived and are healthy remain in the island, as do several healthy laurel oaks, cedar trees, and the magnificent dogwoods currently largely hidden by the overgrowth of unhealthy trees and saplings
· Reduce the size of the extremely large multi-tiered rings of plants by opening up the grassy area in the center of the island. This allows for much fewer plants and still maintains the signature “Haile-scape” look, and keeps the island in concert with homes throughout Prestonwood.
· This reduction in plants prevents maintenance costs from increasing, to maintain what would otherwise be quite expensive
· Smaller beds result in a significant reduction in mulch required
· A row of viburnum running east-west along the sidewalk will be allowed to grow 6’-8’ tall to provide a screen for residents along SW 31st Place
In addition to all of this, as this island has already been converted to reclaimed water for irrigation, the watering costs for the increase in turf will not be detrimental to the plan.
As always, we welcome input from residents, and the proper channel for communication continues to be through the Management Office. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Following the next meeting where the Board will consider additional information, Membership will be kept informed of project plans through the use of the HPW Newsletter.