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Delta not intervening in neighbours' tree dispute

Civic staff say the dispute is between neighbours about private trees
delta, bc city hall
Staff tell council the city shouldn’t take remedial action against the property owners whose trees allegedly pose a hazard.

The City of Delta will not get involved in a dispute between two property owners over alleged hazardous trees on one of the properties in North Delta.

Council recently received a letter from a law firm representing a 116th Street couple asking for the city to take remedial action against a neighbouring homeowner on 92A Avenue due to two large backyard trees that are close to a shared property line.

Noting the root system is very shallow with one tree abutting an embankment at the property line before it drops a metre in elevation, the letter states it’s resulting in the trees pushing over a shared fence and a retaining wall and collapsing into the 116th Street property.

The letter also notes one of the trees is leaning significantly toward their client’s home, causing safety concerns.

The letter to council also notes the North Delta property owners whose trees are creating the hazard have refused to take action.

An arborist report was also attached to the letter and report to council, which concluded the trees would push against any newly constructed fence or retaining wall.

Delta staff responded to the request that the city take action under the Community Charter to declare the trees in question a hazardous condition and impose remedial orders against the trees’ owners.

That response provided to council was that staff do not recommend initiating a remedial action order.

“The trees are not on City property and this a dispute between neighbours about private trees,” the Delta city staff response states. “The City’s Tree Bylaw regulates the removal of trees on private property and established criteria for when a tree removal permit would be issued. In this case, the owners of the trees in question have not made an application to remove the trees.

“The writer has the option to seek remedy through the courts if the trees on the neighbour’s property are alleged to create a nuisance or risk to the writer’s property.”

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