Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dumb Homeowners Wanted View; Now Face $1.6 Million Fine and Their Houses Might Slide Down A Hill

Homeowners face huge fines for cutting down trees
on city owned land to improve the views. Plus, cutting the trees
has increased the risk of landslides that could wreck these homes.   
Everybody wants a million dollar view.

Especially if its from their million dollar house.  

Some people in a West Seattle, Washington neighborhood cut down about 150 big leaf maple trees and Scouler willows because the vegetation was blocking their spectacular views.

Here's the problem: The trees were not on their property. It was on city land. And nobody got permission to cut down the trees, says The Stranger,  a Seattle area alternative paper. (and a very good one!)

Now the city has filed two lawsuits in King County, Washington Superior Court, seeking $1.6 million in damages.


A bigger ouch, according to The Stranger, is why the city planted the trees in the first place. The steep hill on which the trees were growing is prone to landslides. The city figured, correctly, that the trees' roots would help hold the hillside in place.

Now that the trees are gone, there's an increased danger that the hillside, and the houses owned by the people who wanted the views, will slide down the hill during any of Seattle's notoriously rainy winters.

At least before the houses slide down the hill and/or the homeowners are bankrupted by the lawsuits against them, they can at least enjoy their spectacular views of Puget Sound and downtown Seattle.

Still don't think it was worth it, though.

The Stranger also reports that lots of people are doing incredibly stupid things with trees to get better views from the hilly Seattle area.    
Ugly, dangerous regrowth on a
tree that had been "topped" to improve views

One thing their doing is topping trees, which means lopping off the branches of a tree to make it much shorter than it was.

This idea of topping a tree always backfires spectacularly. You could kill the tree, or if not, cause all kinds of other problems.

In part because the trees still have a great big root system, new branches come right back and grow back more quickly and much thicker, meaning the view would soon be even more blocked than before the tree topping.

Trees that has been topped are also less stable. The new branches are weaker, the extra foliage is heavier, so the formerly topped trees are more likely to topple over onto nearby houses during storms.

Well, that's one way to improve your view. If a tree falls through your roof, you'll have a nice view of the sky from your living room, right?

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