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Paula Sullivan | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Alexandria Hospital Scenic Easement Issue tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Alexandria Hospital Scenic Easement Issue

On Aug. 28, 2012, a landscape contractor hired by Inova Alexandria Hospital, brought in two backhoes to clear a wide swath of a wooded area on the hospital's perimeter. This wooded area had provided a natural screening for the neighbors whose property abuts the hospital property on the west. The areas cleared were well within the boundaries of the Scenic Easement granted by the hospital to the City of Alexandria in 2005. Even after being told by neighbors that they were violating the Scenic Easement, the hospitalís engineer insisted on continuing the work until the City ordered them to cease. The City gave the hospital a stop order about mid-day on Aug. 29. By that time, all the clearing had been done and the contractor had begun laying down mulch to prepare for the planting of azaleas. The hospital had promised to preserve this land as a natural asset, which is reasonably interpreted to mean that it intended to retain the plants that already existed and had grown there naturally. Replacing naturally-growing plants with an artificial landscape scheme featuring low ornamental plants such as azaleas which provide no visual screen is not consistent with the purpose and understanding of the scenic easement. Additionally, the contractor did serious damage to the trunks and roots of many of the remaining larger trees in the area, as illustrated in the photos. Photos were all taken on Aug. 28 and Aug 29.
Backhoe at work
Backhoe at work
View of some of bulldozed area
View of some of bulldozed area
Landscape crew making azalea bed which is to replace plants which grew naturally there
Landscape crew making azalea bed which is to replace plants which grew naturally there
View of area where plants growing naturally were removed
View of area where plants growing naturally were removed
Landscape crew in consultation
Landscape crew in consultation
Large limbs removed from tree and gouge inflicted on upper trunk
Large limbs removed from tree and gouge inflicted on upper trunk
Damage to tree trunk by backhoe operator
Damage to tree trunk by backhoe operator
Damage to root area of large oak
Damage to root area of large oak
Pile of bulldozed plant debris and soil
Pile of bulldozed plant debris and soil
Devastating damage to tree trunk
Devastating damage to tree trunk
Big gouge on tree trunk
Big gouge on tree trunk
Another big gouge on tree trunk
Another big gouge on tree trunk
Backhoe damage to base of trunk and roots
Backhoe damage to base of trunk and roots
Two-inch sapling cut down
Two-inch sapling cut down
Small serviceberry tree chopped down; poison ivy on left, untouched
Small serviceberry tree chopped down; poison ivy on left, untouched
More tree  damage
More tree damage
Contributions to the landscape by Hospital's contractor
Contributions to the landscape by Hospital's contractor