President Of Roosevelt Island Tree Board Urges Rivercross Shareholders To Attend Tonight's Coop Board Meeting And Tell Directors To Stop The Arborcide Of Healthy Courtyard Trees For The God Of Real Estate
An update of the September 22 post regarding Rivercross Coop Board Of Directors decision to cut down 4 healthy courtyard trees.
Image Of Rivercross Courtyard Trees Planned To Be Cut Down
As previously reported:
The Roosevelt Island Rivercross Coop Board Of Directors informed shareholder residents of the building that 4 very tall courtyard trees (almost 9 stories high) planted before the building was constructed over 38 years ago will soon be removed. According to a September 19 memo from the Board of Directors the trees are a safety danger and block the views of some apartments negatively impacting their value. The memo also states that the trees will be replaced by 5 cherry trees and accompanying shrubbery....and:
... I am told that some residents are extremely upset by the Rivercross Board Of Directors decision to remove these trees describing it as "arborcide".Roosevelt Island Tree Board President and Rivercross resident Ali Schwaryi sent this September 23 letter to Rivercross shareholders urging them to attend Rivercross Board of Directors meeting tonight and tell the Rivercross Directors to stop the arborcide of the 4 courtyard trees. Here is the transcript of the letter pictured below:
My name is Ali Schwaryi and I am writing in opposition to the Rivercross Board's decision to cut down four great trees in the inner courtyard (memo dated Sept. 19. Replacement of Trees")"
I have been a Rivercross resident since 1977 and as president of the Parks Committee, and currently the Tree Board. I and other members have worked tirelessly to plant about 150 trees and to save some great, mature trees from destruction by developers.
The Board's reasons for cutting down those four trees (two London Plane and two Norway Maple) are not convincing, even BOGUS in my opinion.
Reason 1: " The trees are big and a potential danger. In case of another hurricane such as Sandy to the Blue Wing and the Child School".
Fact: The Trees are healthy and have already survived hurricane Sandy with no damage to the trees, the Blue Wing or the Child School. They are surrounded on three sides by the building and are protected from the effects of high wind.
Reason 2: "The trees obscure the views of some apartments and negatively impact the value of those apartments."
Fact: The trees PARTIALLY affect the views of some apartments for only about 5 months per year but for the remaining 7 months when the trees are leafless, the views are unobstructed. Some residents I have discussed this with love having both views (trees and river/cityscape) at different times.
There are about 18 big trees on the south, west and north sides of Rivercross, which are closer to the building and have the same effect on views. ARE WE TO EXPECT THE BOARD TO ORDER THE DESTRUCTION OF THOSE TREES IN THE FUTURE? Are we setting a bad precedent?
Reason3: "The trees are impacting the value of the apartments affected".
Fact: Everyone knows that trees enhance property values by providing natural beauty and shade, and by minimizing the effects of hot weather.
Reason 4: "We are not just removing trees, we are replacing them with Kwanzan Cherry trees and flowering shrubs".
Fact: The Board wants you to accept cutting down four big trees, some as old as 75 years, and replacing them with five Cherry trees and some shrubs that will not do well in that location because of limited sunlight. The Norway Maples predated the construction of our building by many years i.e. they were here first and deserve to live even if they partially obstruct the views of some for part of the year.
The trees in question can be intelligently pruned (not topped) to improve the views of those affected. The real reason for cutting them down, in my opinion, is disregard by some for our natural surroundings, ignorance about the value of trees and placing the "God of Real Estate" above all.
As president of the Tree Board, I and other members will do everything in our power to inform the residents of Rivercross about this important issue.
However, IT IS UP TO YOU, OUR NEIGHBORS, TO WRITE, EMAIL AND COMPLAIN TO THE RIVERCROSS BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO STOP THIS ACT OF ARBORCIDE.
Come to the next Rivercross Board meeting on October 7, 531 Community Room 8 PM and speak against their decision and let your voices be heard.
Sincerely Dr. Ali.N. Schwaryi, President of Tree Board with support form Dr. Kathie Grimm and Ms. Fay Christian Tree Board members.
Dear Fellow Share Holders, This is a condensed letter I sent to the board members and management on Sunday. The issue of cuttting the trees down has previously been presented to the board and voted down. A former board member suggested a petition to see how the building feels in general about the trees. Another former board member suggested that all those who face the court yard be questioned for their opinions. This is a very controversial issue and unhappy share holders need to let their opions known to the board.Real estate web site Brick Underground reported on the Roosevelt Island Rivercross tree controversy:
September 20, 2014,
Dear Rivercross Board Members,
Over the years I have always appreciated and supported the good work that the Rivercross Board does. However, yesterday while I was still busy at work, I received two distressed calls about the recent decision to cut down four trees....
..As you know many people on Roosevelt Island are passionate about trees and for good reason. The trees are a big reason for making this such a special place. Indeed one of the reasons I moved to apartment ... was because of the trees when I lived in ..., I loved the trees outside my window.
I have been on the Tree Board with Dr. Schwaryi, Faye Christian and Nurity Marcus for years. Dr. Schwaryi is extremely knowledgeable about trees and has served as a consultant to RIOC and Cornell-Technion as well as Hudson Related. It is his opinion that these mature trees do not represent a danger to our building and indeed as I walked around the building today, there are many other trees just as close if not closer the building than these four.
It would sadden me greatly to have those trees removed and planting new trees does not insure success. I think that the trees actually contribute to the value of my apartment rather than detract from it.
... In 2000, the New York Times addressed this very issue, noting that “unless the proprietary lease or bylaws of a co-op contain unusual provisions, the board of directors generally has the right to make all decisions regarding the operation and maintenance of the co-op's property. … It is unlikely that a court would grant an injunction barring the removal of the trees.”...I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato:
... Since RIOC is the lessor of the Rivercross ground lease is Rioc's consent required to cut the trees down?...Ms. Indelicato replied:
No consent is required by RIOCWill update with more after the meeting.