August 11, 1996 in Nation/World

It’s Just Too Bloomin’ Much Of A Good Thing

Associated Press

City authorities say a new breed of crime is growing - literally.

It’s flowers, flowers that are simply too tall for safety and health’s sake, at least according to District of Columbia public works officials.

Last week, many residents of the Bloomingdale neighborhood - where drug deals and burglaries usually rank as the most worrisome crimes - were told to chop their flowers or face a $25 fine.

“Why are they beating us in the head about flowers?” asked 92-year-old Mamie Robinson.

The problem lies in tree boxes that line the neighborhood’s sidewalks as part of a beautification program by residents. According to an 8-year-old ordinance, flowers cannot exceed 18 inches in height, and the timbers residents sometimes add to decorate the boxes are no-no’s.

Leslie Hotaling, administrator of Public Works Department’s solid waste division, said people walking along the sidewalks could trip on the timbers or motorists could bang their car doors into them.

As for the flowers, tall ones steal nutrients from trees, she explained.

So far, the Bloomingdale residents have only received warnings.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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