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O'Connor unit block residents angry over pot plant stoush

Residents of a northside unit block are dismayed by an order from their body corporate to remove pot plants they placed on their balcony walls to add "a bit of natural beauty". 

Gerard Jenkins bought his ground-floor unit in the City Edge apartment complex in O'Connor three years ago and had since placed numerous pot plants atop a wall of his balcony that sits next to one of the block's entryways.

Mr Jenkins objects to a new rule banning the pot plants that was brought in by the unit block's executive committee about a year ago and would mean he and neighbour Terez McGivern​ would have to remove their arrangements.

"I think flowers at the entranceway are welcoming for residents and visitors, they aesthetically soften the structure of the building and add a little bit of natural beauty," Mr Jenkins said.

"I consistently receive positive feedback about them from residents and visitors."

A letter sent to residents from the building's strata managers, Civium, on behalf of the executive committee on December 21 last year noted that while the pot plants had been there for some time, pot plants weren't allowed on common walls.


The notice warned residents to remove the pot plants before the end of the year or they would be taken away by the body corporate. 

"They've picked a beef with it and they haven't given us a clear reason," Mr Jenkins said.

"They've seemed to suggest that it negatively effects property values and it might deter people from buying or renting here.

"When I first looked at this place three years ago I saw [Terez's] lovely garden and that was one of the first things I liked about the place and I thought that this was somewhere I wanted to live.

"So I don't buy that argument that's going to put people off living here."

Mr Jenkins also believed the timing of the letter was unreasonable because it didn't give him enough time to protest the decision before the holiday shutdown period.

But a Civium spokesman said the company purely acted on the wishes of the executive committee in sending the notices and both groups were open to feedback and discussion if a resident or owner felt a request was unfair or unreasonable. 

Another letter sent to residents this months explained the pot plants needed to be removed to allow the walls to be painted and there were concerns they could damage or stain the walls if they were put back. 

It also stated the pot plants could injure people if they were knocked off the edge and removing them would protect the building's integrity and boost the quality and value of properties in the unit block. 


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