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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default City Requires Me to Remove Tree and Fix Pavers (Tree is Hoa's Territory)

    My question involves real estate located in the State of California.

    Hello, I got a letter from the city saying that the tree in front of my property is in violation of some code and some pavers need to be replaced (roots pushing up the sidewalk). I have the option to pay the city ($2K) to do it or get it done myself. The tree is between the sidewalk and the curb. I don't know why I should be responsible:
    1) I didn't plant the tree. I assume the developer did and it is in the front yard, maintained by the HOA.
    2) I am not the sole owner of that tree.

    However, the HOA so far has responded that they just do some lawn mowing and basic landscaping, and that they are not responsible based on the CC&Rs. They point me to an amended article, which I had already found on my own, but I don't see that would make me responsible if only on the grounds that I did have nothing to do with the planting and that I am just a fractional owner of that area under the HOA and as such, I think the remedy should be with the HOA.

    ARTICLE VII, SECTION 2, is hereby amended to read in its entirety as follows:
    "Association Maintenance Responsibility With Respect to Private Lots. The
    Association shall maintain all landscaping located between the garage and the back
    of street of each Lot (except Lots 45 through 48, inclusive) and the turf areas
    between each house and Hausmann Street of Lots 1 through 15, inclusive. Lot
    Owners are responsible to replace all plants, trees, grass, groundcover and bark as
    needed. Owners are also responsible for adequate watering of all plants, trees,
    grass, and groundcover."

    Can anyone offer insight into this? I searched the site, but I could not find anything like this.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,745

    Default Re: City Requires Me to Remove Tree and Fix Pavers (Tree is Hoa's Territory)

    Quote Quoting lameri
    View Post
    The tree is between the sidewalk and the curb. I don't know why I should be responsible:
    1) I didn't plant the tree. I assume the developer did and it is in the front yard, maintained by the HOA.
    2) I am not the sole owner of that tree.
    It doesn't really matter who planted it. You wrote that it "is in the front yard" but that you're "not the sole owner of that tree." Obviously, that implies that you are an owner of the tree but that others also have an ownership interest. Can you explain this? Typically, the owner of a tree is the person who owns the property on which the tree is located. Who owns the property where the tree is located? If the answer to that question is anyone other than you, then why do you say you are "not the sole owner"? If it's not on your property, then you shouldn't be an owner at all. In this regard, did you contact the sender of the letter and explain that you don't believe the tree is your responsibility? If not, why not? If so, what response did you receive?


    Quote Quoting lameri
    View Post
    the HOA . . . [has] point[ed] me to an amended article
    That section doesn't help us. It doesn't sound like the first part applies. Do you own one of lots 1-15? Is the tree located in a "turf area[] between [your] house and Hausmann Street"? Also, the statement that "Owners are responsible to replace all . . . trees . . . as needed" seems pretty dispositive. Do you disagree? If so, why?


    P.S. Is this Elk Grove, CA?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,901

    Default Re: City Requires Me to Remove Tree and Fix Pavers (Tree is Hoa's Territory)

    Actually, it's quite possible he is the owner of the tree and as far as the city is likely concerned, it's his responsibility. He may have his own course of action against the HOA.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: City Requires Me to Remove Tree and Fix Pavers (Tree is Hoa's Territory)

    Quote Quoting lameri
    View Post

    Hello, I got a letter from the city saying that the tree in front of my property is in violation of some code and some pavers need to be replaced (roots pushing up the sidewalk). I have the option to pay the city ($2K) to do it or get it done myself. The tree is between the sidewalk and the curb. I don't know why I should be responsible:
    1) I didn't plant the tree. I assume the developer did and it is in the front yard, maintained by the HOA.
    2) I am not the sole owner of that tree.
    If you have a copy of your lot survey I would look to see if there is an easement on your property for the purposes of shade trees and sidewalks and perhaps utilities if Hausmann Street is a public street. Also look at the recorded subdivision plat for when it was developed to see if there are easements.

    I would also look for any shade tree or sidewalk ordinances in your city's code of ordinances and look for anything in the CC&Rs for anything relating to the same.

    I wouldn't be to quick to respond until I know the answers to the above questions.

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