Carlos Perez recently found himself in debt to the city to the tune of $8,000 for trimming his crape myrtles at the Lullwater Condominiums too far.
Perez, a local apartment and condominium operator and manager, says he has been cutting the trees back that way for years in an effort to get them to come back strong in the spring. But this time, he said, a police officer stopped by and told him he was supposed to let them grow out as trees.
[...]After Perez met with city officials, his fine was reduced to $3,200, he said. Then Rivenbark told him he wouldn't be cited. He's still awaiting a letter from the city to that effect.
[...]Nina Johnston, the city's superintendent of parks and landscape, said if a tree is meant to be a shade tree then it should be left that way.
She added crape myrtles have a unique, beautiful bark.
"When you cut them back, you lose all of that," she said.
But the city does trim some of its crape myrtles and has taken flak for it.