‘No tree, shrub, or planting of any kind on any lot or parcel shall be allowed to overhang or otherwise to encroach upon any sidewalk, street, pedestrian way or other area from ground level to a height of wight (8-12) feet without the prior written approval of the Design Review Committee. (again, most HOAs do not have a Design Review Committee and I am sure someone reading this knows the problem with this declaration by default).
A sustainable declaration could state, ‘All shrubbery/groundcover will need to be no closer than one foot near any sidewalk, curb, or street to protect community members from harm by blocking views or impeding the walking areas. All trees will need to have a raised canopy no lower than 10 feet. Any roots impeding curbing, sidewalks and sewage will be the responsibility of the owner to the trees or shrubbery in conjunction with community assistance for costs in repair. ‘
However, amid all possible changes the most fundamental change must be for sustainability. We need to include a program delivering the daily, monthly, yearly tasks that will result in a ten-year program and a budget to reflect it.
If your trees and shrubs look like the unsustainable pictures provided, your community is not preserving your assets. How will you ever know or trust that any of your assets are being preserved without a guide that shows the act of preservation? And the only way anyone can gauge the success of a sustainable program is to have one.