When most Seattle residents think of neighbor disputes, loud dogs and motorcycles may be the first topics to come to mind. Yet property line disputes are another common form of neighbor-related discord, and can bring about costly consequences.
The last situation most residents would prefer to experience is that of neighbor disputes. Not only can tension between neighbors create distress; unresolved disagreements can last for years and, in certain predicaments, can even reduce the overall value of a home. Yet when neighbors fight together for a common cause, the legal tables can quickly turn.
A Collective Battle
Sometimes, neighbors find themselves in situations where they dispute together instead of against one another. The Seattle Times recently reported on a situation in which neighbors are battling a developer over the preservation of a century-old Cedar tree. The tree, fondly named Exceptional Western Red Cedar Tree, is now compromised due to a new developer who recently bought the land upon which it stands. The developer plans to build two 3,000 square-foot homes on the property, which would ultimately require the demolishing of Exceptional Western. According to The Times, the neighborhood is currently on their second appeal in the hopes of saving the beloved tree. Others in the area commented on the tree's aesthetic value, as well as Seattle's need to preserve more heavily forested areas.
A Call to Action
As in the Exceptional Western tree dispute, neighbors have the right to take legal action when they feel an outside party has committed an act of injustice. Seattle's official government website dedicates a page to neighbor disputes, and what can be done in such situations. While the state cannot become involved in neighborly disputes, neighbors may obtain a survey and press for legal advice in the case that another person has altered or compromised property. In cases such as the neighborly tree dispute, hearings may take place to determine the best path to resolution.