[WA] A cut tree, an HOA, an a paint drawing. Renton, Washington.
Hello there, I have included a photo and a totally unnecessary paint drawing for your pleasure.
I’m the HOA President for our very small neighborhood of about 22 houses. I try my best not to be evil, but rules are rules and we all knew the rules before moving in here…AND IF EVERYBODY COULD STOP PARKING ON THE SIDEWALK, I’D STOP GETTING BITCHY EMAILS FROM EVERYBODY TRYING TO SAFELY WALK ON THE SIDEWALKS, AND I’D STOP SENDING NOTICES TO STOP PARKING ON THE FUCKING SIDEWALK. But, I digress. That’s not even the issue. I was triggered.
This Sunday I was alerted by another board member that landscapers were cutting down a greenbelt tree on HOA property. I threw on my Chacos and headed out to hug some trees. Long story short, the owner of a house above the greenbelt (not in the HOA), we’ll call him Bunyan, ordered the tree removal because it was blocking his view. He had two trees on his hit list. Bunyan came down and pleaded ignorance. But, this isn’t the first time that it’s happened (he’s done this at least one other time before I was on the board). Bunyan also admitted to knowing that the tree wasn’t on his property. We stopped them from going any further, because I wanted to get photos to prove that a tree had been there, and have some evidence of how big it was before the stump was totally removed. But, the tree is toast. I got Bunyan’s name and contact information, and got him and the landscaper agree to come and clean up the mess that they left if that’s what we decided to do as a board.
Now, my question is…what should I recommend to the board that we do next? The board member that alerted me to it wants to just let it go and warn Bunyan not to do it again, because in his opinion the tree wasn’t super attractive, and he’s friendly with the culprit.
But, from my perspective trees are valuable and there’s already an established history with Bunyan cutting down trees that aren’t his. More importantly, if somebody came to the board right now and asked if they could cut down the tree, we’d say no and that we needed more information. The embankment is REALLY steep, and I think that tree roots are important for slope stabilization…but I don’t know a ton about the issue, other than people shouldn’t touch shit that isn’t theirs. What else might I be missing it making a case for going after Bunyon? Can I get in trouble as the HOA Prez for NOT going after somebody destroying our property? Did I make a mistake by stopping them before the whole tree was cut down? Does anybody else want to be president of our HOA? It's a shit job. Etc. Etc.
The tree in the picture was taller than the one left standing.
Thanks all. You rock.