Screwed up yesterday. Could have been fined. Long story short: don’t touch a Portland street tree without a permit. We hired an arborist to clean up, not cut down, the street trees that haven’t been maintained in years at NW Hoyt (PGE cuts the portion in the wires but nothing else). Ironically, the stop work order came as I was at the Bureau of Development Services getting our building permit (issued and approved). I’m meeting with Urban Forestry (who issue tree permits) on Monday to discuss the street trees. City code has provissions for fining and/or jailing both the property owner and the contractor hired! Ignorance may not be bliss (or an excuse)!Portland Real Estate Blog
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Charles & Jenny Turner
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I remember when your ‘neighbor’ on NW 22nd Place and Everett cut down the huge, gorgeous, healthy tree in his front yard w/out permits…I don’t remember his punishment but there were outcries from the community and the city. I know it is his property and the whole property rights issue but when you have something that unique that the neighborhood enjoys I see why there needs to be caution and a review before it is cut down.
I find it interesting that the City gets its panties in a bunch over tree-trimming in the alphabet district, but it is fine for people to slice and dice lots on the eastside to slap up those hideous skinny houses.
Charles, just curious, have any of your buyers ever purchased a skinny? If so, do you have any idea what they were thinking?
A relative bought a skinny in the desirable Magnolia area of Seattle. New construction, if well done and well designed, is very desirable…well insulated, new wiring, new plumbing, fuel efficient, new roof…what’s not to love. And the kicker, in a close-in desirable neighborhood. Practically any hundred year old house is a fixer to some degree. You can say that you sacrifice some character for the new stuff, though.
I’ve walked through two of them, and absolutely detested them. The ones I saw just felt shoddy and claustrophobic to me. They also are usually shoehorned onto the smallest lot possible. As a gardener, that is a deal-breaker for me.
As a former resident of the area I assure you that the neighborhood thinks that street trees are very important and they were the ones who probably raised a ruckus. The City doesn’t have tree police so if no one in a neighborhood contacts them nothing happens. The arborist should have known what the City requires and gotten a permit if appropriate.
One of our big battles was with the City sidewalk folks. The least little bump in the sidewalk and they want the tree cut down, or the roots cut such that it will eventually kill the tree or make it not sound. It was fun, in a perverted way, to pit the City tree folks against the City sidewalk folks. The family that purchased our home got a special status for the tree as it was a rare variety, which hopefully put an end to the sidewalk war.
The City arborist has done a great job identifying trees suitable for an urban environment that don’t cause right of way grief. Portland is blessed.
I’m curious to know why the city doesn’t maintain the trees themselves? We came home one day to discover that the city of Beaverton had trimmed our trees, which is just fine with me.
The City maintains trees the same way it maintains sidewalks… delegate to the property owner.
“I find it interesting that the City gets its panties in a bunch over tree-trimming in the alphabet district, but it is fine for people to slice and dice lots on the eastside to slap up those hideous skinny houses.”
A damaged tree can take a hundred years to replace. An ugly house can be demolished in a day. I think it’s fine to be more careful with things that cannot be fixed quickly.