Now that spring is here, it looks like our management company has made an attempt to "repair" some of the damage done by Princeton Landing's snow removal contractor. Here's what it looks like.
Neither the stop sign nor the monument are in their original position. The stop sign was sloppily cemented into the landscape bed. Not only is the stop sign in the wrong place, it is much too close to what remains of the damaged planting.
The monument in a different position, and it looks like there was an unfortunate try at cementing the damage.
This is what the Parcel 6 corner looks like now after damage by Longford Landscapes and repairs by Signature Property Group.
This is what the Parcel 6 corner looked like once upon a time in Princeton Landing.
You have to be saddened by what was done this winter to this berm, which fronts on the Loop Road in Parcel 7. Our snow removal contractor piled so much snow onto it that they killed the understory of viburnum, broke branches off the pine trees and scarred the trunks, and dug ragged holes in the berm itself, uprooting the grasses. Yes, we had a bad winter, but we've had bad storms before and our community never suffered so much unnecessary destruction.
Many of us with an interest in Princeton Landing's landscape remember that the previous owner of the home adjacent to this berm took care of it lovingly for years. She and her husband built the home and were founding residents of the community. She sought to maintain the high standards for which Princeton Landing's landscape was once known. It is sad to see the results of her work destroyed.
This beautiful mature tree was damaged by the snow removal equipment piling huge mounds of snow on a corner in the community. This is in addition to the broken branches of the flowering cherry tree we reported on last week.
In spite of the fact that this island in Parcel 6 was staked before the snowstorms to protect the curbs, our snow removal contractor, Longford Landscapes, drove their equipment up onto the island, knocking out the Belgian block.
This corner was also staked but the plow drove through the Belgian block—and the stake.
The plows piled the snow so high on the island that two bottom branches of this flowering cherry tree were buried. The heavy snow snapped the branches, perhaps destroying the whole tree. It's hard to believe so much damage was done in one small area.
Melting snow this weekend revealed another badly damaged address monument in Princeton Landing. This one is in Parcel 8. The community's snow removal contractor Longford Landscapes can add this marker to the one we previously reported in Parcel 6. We'll see what else is revealed as the rest of the snow melts.
The address monument in Parcel 6 that we wrote about here has once again been pulled out of the ground and damaged by the snow plows from Longford Landscapes, Princeton Landing's snow removal contractor.
Due to Longford's negligence, this monument, which was in good shape and repainted not too long ago, now has numerous cracks and breaks, exposing the wire mesh. One of the number plates has been broken off.
There's no doubt that digging out after snowstorms presents challenges. But there have been bigger snowstorms than the one we experienced yesterday and this level of destruction to property and landscaping is not something we experienced with our previous snow removal contractor, Shearer Penn/SavATree. The equipment being used by Longford is bigger, heavier and less agile than the fleet of smaller bobcats that Shearer Penn used, pictured here. The shrubs we discussed here were buried completely by Longford's snow plows. This occurred in spite of the stakes the contractor put in to mark their location, and in spite of homeowners informing management about snow being dumped here in previous storms. This is what the corner looked like this morning. The tips of one of the many shrubs are barely visible.
The rest of the shrubs on the corner are completely buried under huge piles of snow.
The opposite corner in Parcel 6 also had its problems. This submerged Verizon pedestal was knocked over by Longford's plows. Many homes had problems with their phone service for several days last week, until Verizon could come out to fix the damage.
Longford Landscapes is the snow removal contractor that our management company presented as a replacement for Shearer Penn/SavATree to our present Board of Directors. In what was described as an effort to save money, our Board chose this contractor. Now management's answer to these problems is to have Longford move snow from some areas to open space on the property. Well, the damage has already been done. And moving the snow will only do further damage. When will our Association learn that sometimes you get what you pay for?
This week's storm took down many large tree limbs in the community, as can be seen by looking around the property. Failure to prune and remove dead and dying trees in Princeton Landing has been a long-running discussion on this blog. For the community, this recent weather is another teachable moment. The Association should be more aggressive about budgeting funds for tree removal and pruning. There are many old trees on the property, including some that are weak and overgrown. Alert residents shouldn't have to plead with landscape committee members and management to remove dead and dying trees from around their homes. Well-maintained trees are less dangerous in weather like this.
Princeton Landing residents received an email this afternoon with the following comment from one of the property managers:
"During my inspection of the property I was very impressed with the wonderful job of Longford's crew which have [sic] been supported by many compliments received from residents. JOB WELL DONE TO LONGFORD'S."
Maybe the property manager should take another look.
After two seasons on the property, Princeton Landing's snow removal contractor, Longford Landscapes, still does not know enough to be careful at the corners on the Loop Road. While plowing after yesterday's storm, Longford knocked over a monument in Parcel 6.
It seems that with every snow Longford does damage in the community—whether it's ruining landscaping or making snow piles so high at intersections that drivers have difficulty exiting the parcels. In fact, here are photos of snow piled up today at intersections in Parcels 6 and 12.
There should be no excuses for all this—management has been told about these issues yet they continue. These problems didn't occur with the previous snow removal contractor, Shearer Penn/SavATree.
If you haven't already seen it, check out this interesting article by Dan Aubrey in the current issue of U.S.1. (And don't miss Paul Krugman's blog post about it in The New York Times.) The article, titled "Defending the Arts Amid a Culture of Fear," tells of Aubrey's time working as a contractor for the state Council on the Arts in 2011 and his run-in with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.
Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands invites you to join them on Monday, January 20, 2014, for a cleanup at the Mapleton Preserve on the National Day of Service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From noon to 3 pm volunteers will be clearing small trees, brush, vines and trash in the historic Mapleton Preserve. You are asked to bring any tools you may have, such as saws, clippers, loppers and rakes. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather—work gloves, sturdy shoes, warm clothing and hats are recommended. For more information, visit the FPNL website or call 609-683-0483. Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park is located at 145 Mapleton Road in Kingston. (If using a GPS, use 145 Mapleton Road, Princeton 08540 as the address.)
Shrubs on this corner are buried under a big snow pile. The shrubs were staked and should have been observed by plow operators. Longford was well aware of the problem—they made the same mistake in the same place last winter. Ironically, the car in the background of this photo looks like it's Longford's manager driving right by the buried shrubs.
Here Longford's snow removal equipment drove off the sidewalk and over a lawn.
We began Princeton Landing News while my husband Paul was President of the Board of Princeton Landing, a 600-home community sitting on 94 acres above Lake Carnegie. Though Paul is no longer on the Board, we've continued this blog, publishing a mix of information about our community, the Princeton area and beyond. Contributing writer Jon Latimer and I come from the world of publishing, where we wrote and edited—among other things—nature guides. So you'll also find a lot of information about the natural world. We hope you'll see something you like. Feel free to comment—no matter where you live.