I received a "Request for Action" from the local code enforcement official office to remove a tree in the area of grass between the street and sidewalk. This tree is not on the property that I own. The property boundary is defined by the pins marking it, the are visible and recently placed. The town has a tree commission in its ordinances. This area where the tree has been growing is defined as a STREETLAWN, the streetlawn is a public area, and trees growing in a public area are defined as SHADE TREES and PUBLIC TREES. Permission is required to prune and plant and remove and there are all sorts of prohibitions. The Request for Action was not delivered by certified mail as is required when the borough is ordering a property owner to remove a hazardous tree on a private property. The tree is in fact dying, and should be removed, however, if the ordinance is not clear about who pays for removal for a streetlawn tree not technically on my property, I naturally don't want to pay. I want to remove it it, and send them the bill and argue it....provided I have a 90% chance of winning.
1 Answer from Attorneys
I suggest you contact the code enforcement (CE) unit & inquire why you were issued the notice. Explain your analysis & see what the response is. CE may be mistaken on ownership or responsibility, or maybe you are. I would not arrange for the removal until this is sorted out. In the end it should be pretty straightforward what your rights & obligations are. If you ultimately have a disagreement with CE you may need a consult with a local attorney with expertise in real estate issues. Good luck!