|Posted by Anne Siren on December 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM|
Deerfield Beach – In the end, it comes down to what people who live on waterways prefer. Some like clear cut, debris-free canal banks. Others favor old growth trees and underbrush that gives them a noise buffer and blocks dismal views.
For the residents of Woodsetter Townhomes, the downside to clearing their canal bank outweighs the benefits. One resident said this week’s maintenance work left them with noise from the Seaboard Railroad trains and unobstructed views of a tent city where the personal waste of the homeless washes into the water.
All the trees on her canal bank were chopped to the roots said Dawn Munn of NW 6 Ave. “I have never seen so much destruction. It looks like Agent Orange has been applied. I planted a royal Poinciana 33 years ago. Now it is destroyed along with 16 other trees. Where will the birds go?”
It was Munn who questioned the runoff into the canal, known as Bass Lake. “Will it contaminate the ground water?” she asked.
City commissioners listening to her concerns Tuesday night had no answer, but John Crause, who heads the county’s Water Management Division said, “It could . . . take care of the homeless and you solve a lot of problems.”
Munn said the cutting left her exposed to the homeless and to the noise from passing trains.
The work done this week was performed by county contractor Prestige Property Management and involved clearing 20-feet of canal bank by taking out Australian pines, Brazilian pepper and ficus, none of which are native species. Crause said a 20-foot right of way must be maintained for access, but in some cases, like this one, the vehicles could barely get through.
As for the Poinciana, large limbs had split off and were in the water potentially blocking water flow and drains. A spokesperson at the county’s water resources office conceded the tree had a large footprint and after trimming, “looked awful.”
Crause said members of his agency met with the Pompano Lakes Homeowners Association about a year ago to discuss cleaning the canal banks. At the time, there were also complaints about a rodent infestation.
Woodsetter is a neighborhood south of SW 48 Street [Green Road] and west of I-95 and the Seaboard Railroad. Munn was the spokesperson for her complex but attending the commission meeting with her was the new president of Pompano Lakes HOA, Colleen Stott. Late Wednesday Stott said no one from either the county or the city had yet contacted her.
Munn said she wants “big trees” to be replanted along the canal bank. The county probably won’t do that, Crause said but the homeowners can as long as they leave the 20-foot swath for maintenance vehicles.
No one present at Tuesday’s commission meeting said they had knowledge of the canal bank maintenance. Mayor Peggy Noland said, “this is first we’ve heard. But I promise we will research it.”