Monday, July 6, 2015

Talaris Pressured to Finally Cut Dry Grass After Fire Hazard Concerns From Neighbors And Fire Department

Weeks of unmowed grass at Talaris

The Laurelhurst Blog and the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) have received numerous  complaints about the very tall overgrown grass at Talaris.on NE 41st Street.

In May, Talaris suddenly stopped cutting the grassy meadow, where for decades kids used to play and sports teams used to practice until Talaris one day fenced the area and put up cameras.

Patients at the nearby dental office on the backside of their property also have been regularly complaining as they look their view their big picture windows is "onto a mess."

Nathan Rimmer,  one of the representatives for Talaris owner, Bruce Mc Caw under the name 4000 Property LLC, said  in May that "Talaris cut back on some site and building maintenance last fall to help relieve the annual operating loss.  Landscaping was part of that."

Another Talaris representative told a neighbor recently:
After a serious review of the economics, the annual cost to mothball the property is almost identical to the annual operating loss – we could shut down the operation and still lose the same amount of money.  Our focus on landscaping, then, is simply to put our resources where it benefits the business.  None of the conference center guests or conferences use the upper field, and therefore we spend fewer resources there. We have to focus on the customers who pay our bills. 
However, last week several neighbors became increasingly worried about the tall dry grass combined with the hot weather and the firecrackers that could be set off in that area.

At last week's Landmarks Board Meeting, an LCC Board member showed six  8 X 10 inch photos of "the tall grass and deteriorated conditions of the landscape at Talaris."  On November 7, 2013, Talaris was designated as a historic landmark subject to protection by City Ordinance, as stated on the City's Landmark and Designation website.   

The Board member said:
The pictures were 'for the record' on the project, as that Board has no jurisdiction to make them improve the site, and stated that at the meeting. One Board member suggested also that the Seattle Fire Department be contacted, and they did seem concerned about the conditions. 
LCC will continue to bring attention to this issue which could spark a chain reaction to adjacent neighbors if a fire begins at the site.  Thanks for taking the time to advocate for the issue and fire hazard!
A nearby neighbor said that she went to the fire station last week to voice concerns about Talaris not cutting the grass and the possibility of a fire.

Another neighbor wrote last week:
It would be great if neighbors could call the fire department and voice concerns. Maybe we can ask the Laurelhurst security patrol to visit the perimeter of the site. And, maybe we close neighbors can stay up and patrol. Anyway, we are all
very concerned about the possibility of fire.

At the end of last week, the Laurelhurst Blog received these emails:
Tractor and mower arriving at Talaris Tuesday afternoon.  Cutting to start Wednesday and probably take all day, possibly into Thursday as the operator gets pulled off to work on other jobs.  Should have the field cut before Friday
Another neighbor wrote:

Happy to report that when the concerns were expressed to the owner’s representative on Friday, he responded immediately and said that he would forward it to the property manager who manager and mowing is underway today.  All concerned are grateful for the efforts.

No comments: