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snakes

@sbcglobal.net

Code Enforcement problems

The goons at City Hall are after us to trim trees back that the City has, for decades, trimmed themselves along a busy street. I don't think it is our responsibility because we have no access to the street side of the wall, and a *different* section of the municipal code would seem to grant us relief. My question for you is this -- what is the "street right of way line" as mentioned below in part (ii) of the Parkway strip definition?

There's no sidewalk. Our rear wall is set back about 8 feet from the curb in the event they ever wanted to construct a sidewalk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

L. "Parkway strip" means either (i) the area between the curb and sidewalk within a fully improved street right-of-way, or (ii) that area extending from the curb to the street right-of-way line in an area with no sidewalk, or (iii) any area within a street right-of-way in which a street tree is located;

9.06.070 Responsibilities of property owners.
It is the duty and responsibility of all property owners to maintain shrubs, ground cover, concrete, rocks, bricks, etc. (landscape material) in the parkway strips immediately abutting the owner's property, regardless of whether such property is developed. Property owners are not responsible for trimming street trees. Furthermore, if the property is directly adjacent to a street that is inaccessible due to a fence or wall preventing the ability to easily access or effectively apply water, the property owner is not responsible for watering and/or maintenance of the trees and other landscape material.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The last sentence of section 9.06.070 seems to let us off the hook.

Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
Even though "Property owners are not responsible for trimming street trees." seems to clear you, doesn't mean that there is no section 10 that nullifies section 9 partially or entirely.

Never read legal documents in parts. Additionally, it may not even be the last revision.

The way I see it (not legal advice in any way) you have a few options:
- send this to the city and ask them where does it say that you have to trim the trees
- get a lawyer to deal with the city
- trim the tree and leave it be


PoloDude
Premium,VIP
join:2006-03-29
Northport, NY
kudos:3
reply to snakes
are there power lines or other utility lines running near or through the trees?


snakes

@sbcglobal.net
reply to Dodge
I only cited that way for purposes of this post. I've read all of the relevant chapters several times.

The problem we have with City Hall is they interpret the municipal code in whatever manner is most convenient to them. Calling them for an opinion is a futile endeavor. I think what's going on here is they don't want to spend the money to maintain the trees anymore, so they're hoping the homeowners along our street cave to their bullying.

We can't trim the trees from our side of the wall. There's no access to the street from our backyard. And since there's no sidewalk either, we would have to pay for traffic control and permits to close the slow lane of the street for safety purposes.

By the way, I think the street right of way line may be synonymous with our property line, which is where the block wall sits. Anybody know?


snakes

@sbcglobal.net
reply to PoloDude
yes, there are power and utility lines running through the trees. I think the power lines are too high to be affected, but phone/cable lines do run within the meat of the tree.


o boogie
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Central TX
reply to snakes
[caveat] I do not know if there is any standardization.

In my locale, the 'right of way' is a right-angle measure from the center line of the street, extending beyond the curbing to a point (which parallels the said center line). In my case, 10 ft., on both sides of the street.

BTW, this is how a "street tree" is determined... if the tree is within the 10 ft. area, then there is all sorts of permitting & ordinances which apply.


stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA
reply to snakes
What if you told them that you were going to just cut the trees down? That shoiud raise some eyebrows! Then just paint a red X on the trunks just to get them thinking. Are the trees on the street side of the wall?


snakes

@sbcglobal.net
They probably wouldn't care if the trees disappeared. They want the trees trimmed back so they can write tickets without the speed limit and no parking signs being obstructed from view. It's a mix of trees of both sides of the walls.

The city has trimmed the affected trees back on a semi-annual basis for decades.


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

5 recommendations

reply to snakes
Contact your elected representatives and ask for their intervention or explanation. Enlist like-minded allies by finding out who's in the same boat. If you get no response or an inadequate response, have the opposition make changing this part of their platform.

Regarding communication with appointed city officials, if you're getting the runaround, communicate only in writing or by e-mail so that you can forward the erroneous messages to supervisors and elected representatives when you seek relief.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
said by ArgMeMatey:

Enlist like-minded allies by finding out who's in the same boat.

This is good advice. Find out if your neighbors are being similarly harassed. And most importantly, stand together as a group. Show up together at a city council meeting and state your case.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to ArgMeMatey
said by ArgMeMatey:

Contact your elected representatives and ask for their intervention or explanation. Enlist like-minded allies by finding out who's in the same boat. If you get no response or an inadequate response, have the opposition make changing this part of their platform.

Regarding communication with appointed city officials, if you're getting the runaround, communicate only in writing or by e-mail so that you can forward the erroneous messages to supervisors and elected representatives when you seek relief.

And the local newspaper or "on your side" reporter for the local TV news.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to snakes
By looking in the ordnance in your original post it looks very clear that you're not responsible. Not only does it directly say that you are not responsible for trimming the trees it also says that if it's not accessible to you, which apparently it isn't, no part of maintaining it are your responsibility. It's hard to figure out why government pursues some issue sometimes in this looks like one of them, probably because they don't want to spend the money out of their pocket.

I would deftly do like with suggested earlier and contact a local television station. I'm sure they would love to get not a story like this where the local government is brutalizing citizens.


snakes

@sbcglobal.net
Thanks for all the replies.

Question: Would you interpret the section about us not being responsible for the parkway the same regardless of which side of the wall the trees are physically planted on?


nightdesigns
Gone missing, back soon
Premium
join:2002-05-31
AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to snakes
Strange wording. I would just assume that if the tree is on your property it is your responsibility regardless of wall placement. I've never seen closing a street lane for tree trimming cause an issue to the tree trimmers. They just set down cones and do their work.

They probably did the work prior as a courtesy, but due to budget issues they pass the buck.
--
This Space for Rent...

walta

join:2001-05-22
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to snakes
Before you trim anything on city property you may want to read about the man charged with a felony trimming the bushed adjoining his property.

»blog.heritage.org/2013/12/03/fel···m=social

Walta


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to snakes
said by snakes :

Thanks for all the replies.
Question: Would you interpret the section about us not being responsible for the parkway the same regardless of which side of the wall the trees are physically planted on?

I certainly would but then again I'm not a city official where you live.


snakes

@sbcglobal.net
They want permits and traffic control because it's extra $$$ for City Hall. Nice, eh? They also require the tree trimmer to plunk down maybe $1000(?) bond in advance. Not sure if this applies to homeowners attempting to cut their own trees.

I'm trying to understand the spirit of the ordinance as written. They seem to be extending an olive branch to those of us who have difficulty complying with the maintenance and watering requirements due to a wall or fence limiting access. There's not many places in this city where a property owner cannot access the rear parkway, so I have to presume it's written for people like us. I guess I'll find out soon enough.


screwthem

@optonline.net
Unless you want the trees this is my approach, the complaint is they are blocking the signs yes? Kill them. It is amazing the damage some liquid chlorine can do.

Towns will bully you, they know YOU have to pay to fight them THEY don't.

My town gave a lady repairing a building damaged from a collapse due to snow load a hard time about windows, she went to her lawyer, this was the lawyers answer. Do what the town wants, they are wrong, you have complied with everything HOWEVER by the time you pay me to fight them and win it would be cheaper for you to just do what they asked.

That's what I would do, I recommend you do not.

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to snakes
said by snakes :

They want permits and traffic control because it's extra $$$ for City Hall. Nice, eh? They also require the tree trimmer to plunk down maybe $1000(?) bond in advance. Not sure if this applies to homeowners attempting to cut their own trees.

I'm trying to understand the spirit of the ordinance as written. They seem to be extending an olive branch to those of us who have difficulty complying with the maintenance and watering requirements due to a wall or fence limiting access. There's not many places in this city where a property owner cannot access the rear parkway, so I have to presume it's written for people like us. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

yeah, they do things like this when they feel like it. there's been corruption in every level of government, people tend to ignore that. the inspector could be looking for money.. anyway, bring it to court, the judge will throw it out. no lawyer defend yourself with the plain language of the ordinance.. it does clearly state that you are not responsible for that!.