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Trees lead multiple neighbors to court

Throughout the Pacific Northwest, the ability to live among green trees and natural foliage year-round is something sought and appreciated. It is actually also considered one of the benefits of living in an area that gets a relatively high amount of rainfall. However, there may well come a point when people in Washington State might not be so happy to have mature trees near their residences.

An example of this can be seen in neighboring Oregon where a nearly year-long lawsuit about some trees in a residential neighborhood is about to be heard at a trial by a judge. It is not known exactly when the dispute first arose but last spring some neighbors initiated legal action against a group of other neighbors. One set of people own homes at lower elevations from other neighbors. The first set of homes are on properties with very tall trees.

The other neighbors who initiated the lawsuit live at higher elevations. Collectively, these people allege that the trees on the properties below them impinge on their rights to a view as protected by the covenant of their 1950s subdivision. The people who own the homes with the trees in question point to the cost of trimming the trees and the potential negative impact on the health of the trees as some reasons to not have the trees cut.

When what may seem like a normal neighborly disagreement arises, it might be wise for people in Washington to reach out to an attorney in case the problem escalates.

Source: The Register-Guard, "Dispute over SW Eugene neighbors' tall trees that block views headed to court Tuesday," Christian Hill, February 11, 2018

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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
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