Hey gang -- a question. I have a neighbor who is clearing out a bunch of
trees. Depending on which trees he decides to pull out, this could have a
substantial affect on my property both in terms of drainage/erosion as well
as wind breaks.
I know there are typically laws/ordinances about doing these types of things
so I wanted to see if anyone had any tips on what to look and where to look.
Naturally, I'm going to talk to him about it before I go the legal route but
I need to have my p's and q's together with this guy -- he's a tough
neighbor to deal with on just about anything.
Before talking to him, go to your city, county, or other local governing body
and ask to see tree cutting & land clearing regulations/ordinances. You need
ammunition in the gun before pulling the trigger, so to speak.
Your neighbor may have every right to do what he is doing, or may not. If he
has already taken out trees that violates local regulations/ordinances, he may
have to replace what was removed.
I think Tom offers good advice, as you should know specifically what your
"legal" rights might be in the matter. But by & large, there are not apt
to be ordinances that permit you to stop someone from taking trees off
their own property. The best thing would be if you could talk to the guy
in a totally friendly way & ask if he would permit you to have some input
into what is removed & what remains, for reasons of erosion, windbreak, &
beauty in the neighborhood. If he's a good egg he'll let you help in the
decision making. If he seems reluctant you could get SLIGHTLY tougher
about it, perhaps suggesting that it would awful if a year or two years
down the line predictable erosion damage forced a legal suit that could
end up driving a wedge between otherwise friendly neighbors. If he's dead
set against you sticking your nose into decisiosn about his property, then
write a polite letter (so that everything is in writing) noting what trees
you hope he decides to leave, because they are protecting your property
from erosion & to remove them would have a predictable adverse affect on
both properties. That way, if it does end up in court with you trying to
get damages after the erosion, or stop a clear-cut before it happens,
there'll be no way he can argue that it was unpredictable or that he
didn't know there could be an adverse effect. Obviously it's going to work
out much better for everyone if without threats or illwill you can agree
what is best for both properties before anything's taken down. Healthy
beautiful trees on a property with landscaping beauty increases property
value; he harms even himself if he takes away something that is impossible
or expensive to replace.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
Yup. It's a delicate matter and I'll be talking to him first -- it's just a
matter of having everything ready for whatever direction he goes. It might
be a simple and quick conversation -- it could be a protracted battle with
ample property damage as a result of his actions. If we were in a rural
setting with property measured in acres then I'd be less concerned -- the
way these properties are lined up here though, a major change on one can
bring about drastic changes on adjoining plots.
The city is doing quite a bit of development in this area right now and
they've caused substantial environmental damage through their changes.
We're experiencing flooding in areas that previously did not puddle up, deer
are being pushed out of their regular habitats, and much more. We'll be
planting more trees in the back next spring in an effort to do a little more
to help out the local wildlife. Hopefully he'll be done with his clearing
project by then so we can plan accordingly.
It sounds as if your concerns are valid. I *hope* you can come to some
accomodation with the neighbor. It also sounds as if your city may not
offer a great deal of help. I would start at the 'switchboard' and
find the office responsible for building/development permits and
inspections, and try to locate someone knowledgable in land-use
questions to at least give you expert information. There may be others
interested in similar problems, 'though not in your neighborhood, who
might provide success/failure experiences. Unfortunately,
municipalities often assess development and taxes before considering
environmental concerns. One always thinks (this one thinks) that
"experts" are in charge. Until a secretary points out to the planning
commission that they've allowed a shopping center to be built in an
Air Force runway's crash zone. Good luck.
That really depends on your area. Several places that I've lived n have
very strict ordinances about not cutting down trees. The original poster
doesn't mention if he's in a rural or urban setting - but it might be
worth contacting the local forestry department, to see if there are any
"A cat spends her life conflicted between a deep, passionate and profound
I live on 20 mostly wooded acres. The property next to me (26 acres) was sold
last year to a man that owns an excavating company. The 26 acres that sold has
a small river that winds through most of the property with many areas of
wetlands. There is not much clear, dry land in the entire property that is
suitable for building. The man proceeded to put a driveway (road) in from the
main road to the very back of the property which totals a little more than a
quarter mile. We have an open field to the west of our property which enabled
us to watch his progress. He had to remove many trees and used a huge machine
to tear them out of the ground and a dozer to haul them to the giant burning
pile which was burning all day & night for days. He hauled in large piles of
stone and broken concrete for fill.
We figured he knew what he was doing because this was the business he was in
and that he had contacted the right agency and obtained the proper permits.
When he progressed farther towards the back of his property we noticed that he
was driving on our property to get to the rear of his. We spoke with him at
this time, showed him where the property line was and asked if he'd had his
property surveyed. He had not. In order for him to get to the back of his
property without driving on ours, he had to fill in a large area of wetlands.
He decided to have his property serveyed. We called the agency (DEQ) in our
area to see if he had obtained the permission to re-route some smaller creeks
and fill in wetlands and he had not. They came out and saw all the damage he
had done and posted a "Stop Work" order on his property. He has not done any
further work on his driveway for almost a year now. He made the comment to us
that he was barely keeping his hind end out of jail.
He has destroyed what was once a beautiful piece of property.
Sue in Mi. (zone 5)
On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 13:44:04 -0500, "Hermione Contrara"
Well, it sounds like a righteous opinion, anyway, and it sort of goes
without saying that the writer's opinion is the writer's opinion. are
you really a Hermione or are you just having it on with me?
hermine isabel bauml-stover
What I wouldn't give for a 20 acre plot. <Sigh> In our case, it's an urban
lot that is 50' x 200' in size. The neighbor's property is right about the
same (I think his is a tad wider and a tad shorter). All of the homes here
are basically cut back into hills and the hills continue behind our
properties. To say the least, drainage is a MAJOR problem -- I'll wager our
houses sit several hundred feet lower than the topmost point of the hill
behind and it stretches back around a mile or two with houses built all over
on it. Being at the bottom of the hill means lots and lots of run off.
Thankfully, much of the hill is wooded so there's SOME relief -- if they did
any more building back there we'd be in serious trouble! The street we live
on has started flooding as a result of the changes to the lay of the land in
recent years -- I've lived here for nearly 30 years and never seen such a
thing until this spring and it's happened several times.
Our neighbor has a stated goal of clearing out a couple dozen trees in favor
of usable lawn space. While it's a shame to see the trees go, that also
means that the area will be opened up so it might not be quite a swamp (a
bone of contention we've had with him for several years now due to
mosquitoes -- the house has been largely abandoned for years). I think he's
in for a rude awakening though when he gets that all cleared out -- he's
going to create a whole new flood zone. We'll be adding a dry creek along
that side of the property to hopefully catch any extra run off but with all
the current drainage issues and increased rainfall...well, let's just say
I'll keep a boat handy in the living room. :)
Another Nazi state supporter heard from. What I do with my property as
long as I own it or am making the paymewnts on it should concern no
one but me and my financer...........Its easy in ALabama to reroute
streams if you show the agency you intend to do it correctly. Its a
mere formality, but even then if you don't your not likely to wind up
in jail unless that stream is actually navigable. Nothing like living
necxt to sneaky unfriendly neighbors spying on them, just waiting to
report someone for an infringement. Too much time yon your hands and a
prepensity to mind others business. Sure not someone I would like to
On 12 Nov 2003 18:07:39 GMT, email@example.com (SAS567) wrote:
Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com
Opinions expressed are those of my wifes,
I had no input whatsoever.
Remove "nospam" from email addy.
I agree, as long as everything is done legally and for the environment. (I have
grand kids that I want to protect.)
Keywords being "show the agency" & "correctly." He didn't even contact or
inform anyone of his plans.
Obviously we have different laws as to the preservation of wetlands here in Mi.
He will either have to pay a hefty fine to the state, be made to restore the
property to its original state or serve time in jail if he refuses the first
I am not an unfriendly, sneaky neighbor. After speaking with the property
owner, we discovered that we knew him and his fiance.
I am not spying. My view from this computer in my office looks directly
towards his property. In Mi. it gets cold and dark here quite early in the fall
and I can't do any gardening outside. (Which is the basis of this message
I don't have too much time on my hands and I am a private person who doesn't
care what others do as long as it's legal. If he only would have pulled the
right permits he would have been OK.
Also let me add that I'm not the only one or the first one in the area that
questioned his actions. Three other property owners called to report him before
I called, which was to a different agency and only to ask if he pulled the
Sue in Mi. (zone 5)
My husband spent the last two weeks clearing underbrush and trees that we
thought needed to be removed. We didn't go on anybodys property but ours.
We didn't ask anybody. We had two backhoes and really cleaned up. We
also dug out the creek bed. Just who are you suppost to ask if you want to
do something to property that you own? My Grandfather bought this property
in 1904. We have never ask anybody when we wanted to do something to this
property. I cannot believe we would need any kind of permit.
You must not live in the United States, or you never pick-up a
newspaper, watch TV, or listen to news or talk radio. It's hard to
believe that someone in the US would not be aware that environmental
protection laws exist, and wetlands are protected. It comes up in nearly
every election of any consequence.
If you are in the US, I'd suggest you at least find out if you're
breaking any laws. Not knowing the law is no defense, and not knowing
the law makes it a lot easier to accidentally violate it.
Note that the intent of these laws isn't to restrict the use and
enjoyment of your property. They exist to govern situation where your
actions may adversely affect the property of others, and/or the
long-term viability of a sustainable environment.
On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 22:37:49 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Roy) wrote:
well, i believe there are MANY MANY more regulations which encumber
the use of private property; there may be even neighborhood
associations which further limit what one may do, to which people
voluntarilly submit....they give up personal freedom in order to limit
the freedom of others.
HOWEVER there are zoning laws and if done rightfully, they would
protect the nature of your neighborhood, they would preserve standards
of population density and would protect your enjoyment of your
property. People chose to live in places which have the desired
quality of life, and something which screws it up, like a strip mall
in a fairly rural area, for example, or, some industrial thing which
belches crap into the air, this does not belong in a nice rural
residental neighborhood. So a person wanting to smelt iron or spray
pain cars would look for an area zoned for that sort of use, and not
wind up next to your nice house.
Well - gotta tell you. Working the night shift, it really sucks to have
a rooster [or your neighbours leaf blower] going off beside you. City
folks don't tend to have the luxury of working sun-up to sun-down. When
you're packed in the way you are in the city, you've got to figure out
ways to live with your neighbours - and making sure they get some sleep
is definately one of them.
"A cat spends her life conflicted between a deep, passionate and profound
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