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Woodside: Couple fined for illegally downing trees

Original post made on Jan 22, 2014

In an echo of its last encounter with a Woodside property owner who had felled major trees without a permit, the Town Council last week chose to once again reduce the statutory fine by half and offer a refund.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 9:28 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by rich, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

When you're rich, it is easier to do the crime and pay the fine than to deal with plebeian permits.

Posted by RW, a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

When doing remodeling, it's not the responsibility of the homeowners to pull permits, its the responsibility of the contractor. I would have imagined the same applies to tree removal companies. I guess not...

Posted by homeowner, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Let the suckers burn, it's along the same line of "responsible behavior" that our wonderful councilpersons apply the failing bridges of the Town of Woodside.

Posted by Richard II, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

"When doing remodeling, it's not the responsibility of the homeowners to pull permits"

The buck stops her.... elsewhere?

Posted by Marty, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm

And if the crowded trees had caused a catastrophic fir, the couple would be fined. The permit requirement for felling trees on one's own property is ridiculous. The property owners are responsible for the trees and so should be free to take care of them however they choose.

Posted by Person, a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm

RW is incorrect. The homeowner is ultimately responsible to insure all work that is required to be permitted is done under permit. The contractor and homeowner can make an agreement as to who is responsible for obtaining permits, but that is a contractual issue between those 2 parties. A licensed contractor is required to do work under permit and in order to not jeopardize his/her license he/she should make sure permits have been pulled, but the contractor is not necessarily the one obligated to apply for the permits.

Posted by PV Resident, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jan 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

It would seem appropriate for Woodside and Portola Valley to do a bit more balancing of competing interests when it comes to trees. Preserving a feeling of openness, light, vistas and "viewshed" deserves its due along with the trees (which seem to be presumptively sacrosanct). Which trees are planted -- and where -- should receive the same scrutiny as which trees may/may not be removed. Property owners preferences and rights should also be in the mix.

Posted by JENNIFER, a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jan 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

When I stop to think of all that has come and gone in a mature tree's life time….and the fact that this tree has survived it all…to cut it down seems the ultimate arrogance. Justify it any way you want.

Posted by PV Resident, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jan 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm

When I think of looking out on a wide open vista where I can see the distant hills, the sky or the Bay... to obstruct that view, that feeling of freedom and openness seems like an unfortunate circumstance which should be viewed with a sense of balancing these naturally competing interests and concerns. A sense of accommodating the trees and those who legitimately value both the trees and being able to see what is in the distance beyond should help us have a productive discussion and develop some guidelines which reduce the tension surrounding these issues.

Neither trees nor views should trump the other. There needs to be a balance.

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