NonConformaTree


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Once upon a yard, there was a tree. It was beautiful, even when it would no longer leave. Its graceful triple-trunk and fine branches reminded me of a midwestern tree in the winter. Though still strongly rooted, it was not as supple as it once was; it might have fallen in a storm, perhaps in a neighbor's yard, so I planned to transform it. Though the tall branches had to go, I was determined to preserve the sensually curved trunks as the foundation for added artistic decoration. Some pleasant paint colors were applied, and what was once a work of nature became human sculpture, changed, though the beauty of nature remained
Iron butterflies were added, painted in brght butterfly colors,and symbols of peace. More adornments, including crystal prisms and other objects of beauty, are planned. But, as hard as it may be to believe, my art project is under THREAT by the city of Glendale, Arizona, where I have owned my home for over 20 years. An overzealous code inspector is using the fact that technically it is still a "dead tree" despite its transformation, and despite the fact that it is not a danger to anyone or anything. All wooden objects, including homes, are made of dead trees!

I am appealing to the better nature of all concerned officials, and to all who value freedom of expression and creativity over banal conformity. Whether you happen to like my creation or not, it is not intended to offend anyone. It stands only for my wish for peace and harmony throughout the world. Please, let it stand.

So far, my attempts to communicate with Glendale officials have resulted in no intelligent response.
I wrote to the inspector, Michelle Ramirez
Dear Ms. Ramirez:
I would like to appeal to your better nature, and to the values of freedom of expression and creativity that I believe we all share as Americans.
I set out to transform what was once a dead tree into something beautiful. I believe I am well underway with that project. Though it is made of wood, as many things are, it is clearly no longer a tree.
I was determined to preserve the sensually curved trunks as the foundation for added artistic decoration. Some pleasant paint colors were applied, and what was once a work of nature became human sculpture, changed, though the beauty of nature remained.
Iron butterflies were added, painted in brght butterfly colors,and symbols of peace. More adornments, including crystal prisms and other objects of beauty, are planned.
Whether you happen to like my creation or not, it is not intended to offend anyone. It stands only for my wish for peace and harmony throughout the world. Please, let it stand.


HER REPLY:
I have been in discussion with my supervisor, Jim Trammel, regarding your case and request to keep the painted dead tree as art. My supervisor has reviewed photos of the property, including the ones you attached.
The conclusion is that even though the tree is painted, it is still a dead tree, and is in violation of the city code CC 25-20(d) which states “all property shall be free of visual blight conditions such as dirt yards and dead, damaged, or overgrown vegetation”. Therefore the tree must be removed.
As I stated in our previous phone conversation, you are welcome to contact my supervisor to discuss your case. His name is Jim Trammel


Obviously, Ms. Ramirez is lacking in both imagination and basic intelligence.

Next, I wrote directly to Jim Trammel:
Mr. Trammel:
There is a misunderstanding between your agency and myself about the status of my project of artistic transformation of what was once a tree in my front yard, a misapprehension which seems to me entirely unnecessary and somehow contrived.
Ms. Ramirez seems to be insisting that because the object in question was once a tree, regardless of any changes I make to its appearance and function, it can never be anything more than the tree it once was.
Nearly every human activity, whether art, craft, or industry has as its purpose changing one thing into another that is more interesting or useful. An ordinary stone may be carved into a sculpture or a monument. Mud and straw are turned to sturdy bricks, which are turned into buildings. Trees are cut into lumber which is used to build homes, or make furniture.
We know the material of which all these things are made, but we don't continue to think of them as mere stone, mud, or trees. They become what the minds and hands of people want them to be.
The object in my yard is not a hazard, nor should it offend or affect anyone. One need not like the way I have transformed it. We all have the right to opinions of one another's art, design, or workmanship. But, it is entirely illogical to assert that I have not transformed the object.
If you have reasons to believe that the decorative object I am creating in my yard is somehow harmful or objectionable, please let me know what they are. However, to destroy what I have created based on what it once was, rather than what it is now, is unfair.
Please give thoughtful consideration to this issue.

HIS REPLY:
Inspector Ramirez has discussed this case with me and shown me photos of the violation. She has issued you a final notice to remove the dead tree. If you do not remove it by the date she gave you for compliance, a citation will be issued. At that point, you can request a hearing before a judge in City Court to present a defense as to why you should be allowed to have a dead tree in your front yard.
Respectfully,
Jim Trammel
City of Glendale Code Compliance Administrator

Mr. Trammel has an appropriate name, it seems, and also seems to have his head up his own ass.


This story is not over!



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