“I was pregnant and crying, but it didn’t help.”

An unlucky young couple in Glendale, CA got hit such a huge fine for trimming some native trees without the proper permit that you simply won’t believe it.  Read the article.

Naturally the couple started a website about it, where I found under "Improve the Ordinance" this comment by a certified arborist:  "In 28 years in the business, I have found tree preservation policies mostly an impediment to good tree care."  Yeah, that’s what happened in my town.  Passionate single-issue activists were much more vocal in our tree-law-writing process than, oh, arborists and people who believe that dead and dying trees might pose a hazard to human safety.

Oh, okay, the fine was $347,600.  I’d be crying, too.

Thanks to Kathy Purdy for the story, which she spied on Ethereal Voice.

Posted by on December 26, 2007 at 6:46 pm, in the category Uncategorized.
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5 responses to ““I was pregnant and crying, but it didn’t help.””

  1. Fern R says:

    I’m pretty sure the city reversed all the fines last month. A local radio talk show went crazy over this issue and basically badgered the city into doing the right thing.

  2. Lisa says:

    In the town I live in, the licensed contractor (if you use one) is responsible for knowing about all regulations and obtaining all permits. This applies to tree guys, lawn guys, roofing guys, fence-erecting guys, the works–and it’s why it’s usually easier to just hire a licensed contractor rather than have your brother-in-law Ned do the job.

    On the other hand, do-it-yourselfers aren’t off the hook in this town: you still have to get a permit, get inspected, and conform to city codes.

    In this instance, I don’t understand why the licensed contractor isn’t the one who was fined and held liable.

  3. Ed Bruske says:

    Seems to me this would fall in the category of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

  4. Ed Bruske says:

    Seems to me this would fall in the category of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

  5. chuck b. says:

    There was an article in the NYT or some place just the other day (can’t find it now) about a similar problem. An insurance company told a homeowner to prune his trees or lose his insurance, and the city refused to issue a permit. Eventually they did but he had to spend a lot of time getting it worked out.

    Municipalities that pass tree legislation really need to look at it from all angles.