Tree scoflaw

A Scottsdale homeowner is facing fines of up to $2500/day for having the wrong kind of tree in his backyard. The tree at issue could reach 50' in height and was planted LONG before the homeowner bought his house.
The beef seems to be that the tree is too tall, a non-native species, and the Tree Abatement Division of the Scottsdale Public Works Department is feeling frisky.
Story at: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_northeast_valley/scottsdale/az-man-could-face-jail-time-over-tree-that-violates-city-code
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HeyBub wrote:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_northeast_valley/scottsdale/az-man-could-face-jail-time-over-tree-that-violates-city-code

Freedom, it's been said the swing of your fist ends at the other guy's nose. I'm making some progress with my neighbor, big limbs from two of his trees are going to fall on my property someday and cause damage if we don't do some major tree surgery.
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HeyBub wrote:

Please tell me more about this thing called freedom and liberty.
We don't have municipal bylaws like that here in Canada.
Some of the comments to that story, plus the following points are relevant here:
1) The tree appears to be a willow, of which some species are native to Arizona, the largest of which is the Goodding's Willow (Salix gooddingii) which can grow to 45 ft in height.
2) A neighbor must have complained about the tree.
3) Municipal bylaws concerning existing structures are generally not retro-active.
4) The guy appears to work in the health-care field, so he might have deep enough pockets to fight this in court.
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Yes, but ... the tree is already 50'.

Most likely, true. But "busybody" towns often send employees around looking for something to write up.
As a matter of practicality, it doesn't matter whether it was a neighbor or a town employee.

That's tricky. But, usually true. But a tree isn't a structure. Or, if you wish to consider it a structure, by growing it's "modifying" itself. Changes to existing structures often have to meet current standards.

Like it or not, communities have the "police power" to regulate such things as permitted vegetation. This often comes up when an owner decides to stop mowing his lawn.
Frankly, that tree hardly looks like any desert tree I have ever seen. It's clearly "non-native" and likely is thriving because the owner(s) have been watering the lawn.
But it just doesn't look right for a town built in the desert. (Green grass golf courses in the desert don't 'look right' either but ...)
I didn't download the video, but from my "Eastern" point of view, 50' high trees less than, say 40' away from a house are accidents waiting to happen. Take the damn tree down and for $1k be done with it.
Look at the bright side: in some areas, you need a permit before you can cut down a tree.
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Another possibility was that he was turned in by his insurance company. If tree fell on his house it would have cost them a bundle.
I agree that it is dumb to have trees next to your house that are taller than the house. Several week ago around here tornado approaching winds went through nearby development knocking down several large trees, crushing houses. I saw one afterwards where back of house was caved in and three car garage containing two Cadillacs was crushed as were cars.
OTOH, I don't believe it is the provence of government to regulate tree choices or what someone does with his trees.
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Doubt it. The insurance company would have just sent a notice. Cut tree or pay new higher premium, or no coverage.

You may have a point in tornado alley, but have you ever been to New England? Most of us have trees in our yards or on the street, most are tall hardwoods and no, we will not deforest the area.

Agree on that
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I just threw that out as a possibility. I've seen home insurance companies come out to look at what they insure.
Sean Hannity, who lives in Connecticut, often complains that he is not allowed to cut down one of his own trees if he wants to. Would be funny to see what local authorities would say if one of these trees fell on his house after he had complained on his radio show about it.
I've cut down big trees as a potential threat to the house but still have other big trees but they are not within a 100 feet of the house. I've also seen a tornado here while it was destroying a school gym. it also took out houses, treed or not. Fallen trees and branches have been responsible for about 6 power failures in my house in the last month.
Neighbor told me when she moved here she was thrilled with all the trees and deer - now she hates both ;)
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On 10/3/2011 9:50 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I have lots of 75' tall trees close to the house and the garage and I know what you mean. I like the trees and don't cut them unless they are dead or dieing. I took down one dead oak on saturday and another dead oak is coming down as soon as I get up a ladder high enough to get a rope on it (the area was backfilled over the tree roots). Damn, you should hear the noise and feel the ground shake when a dead oak that size hits the ground.

There are lots of trees and other invasive plants that are not native to the area that take over the natural species that I agree should not be allowed. Take Kudzu for instance. Wouldn't want your neighbor growing it along side of your property would you?
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On 10/3/2011 1:48 PM, Tony Miklos wrote:

No problem with banning people from installing invasive plants. But if the invasive plant was there before current owner bought place, stupid and abusive of the PTB to start trying to fine the owner. Work with them, try to educate them, and maybe cut some sort of deal, like having the city crew take it down at actual cost, and assist owner with a socially/scientifically acceptable replacement, of at least sapling (not seedling) size range.
--
aem sends...

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On 10/3/2011 7:48 AM, Frank wrote:

Do you believe they have the right to regulate water usage? If you've got something growing on your property that requires an excessive amount of water to keep it alive, and especially if it would become a hazard if it were left dry and became unhealthy, a municipality in a desert region is very likely going to have issues with it. A lot of communities out west also regulate the type and placement of plantings on properties, to reduce the risk of fires. It could be this tree was determined to be a problem due either to excessive water needs, or that it's a type (such as eucalyptus) that is a fire hazard. In either case, the tree has an impact on the rest of the community, which is when it is appropriate for government to step in.
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Very good and accurate summary of the "facts". As for that tree, _every_ willow species is of the 'grow fast, die young' type and are prone to having branches breaking off. That appears to be one of the 'Weeping Willow" species. I for sure would never have one of those messy things in my yard.
Harry K
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If you are referring to zoning laws, you also are subject to them. I don't think there is anywhere where you "can do what I want" with your property.
Your moronic snicker is unwarranted.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

I can do pretty much as I want with MY property. There are no zoning laws in Houston.
That said, we usually take matters into our own hands when a neighbor goes a little nutty. This mostly involves begging the malefactor to remove the blocked-up car in his front yard.
Rarely are firearms involved.
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