LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tree meeting rescheduled to Sept. 11
The Tree Commission has rescheduled a meeting to discuss the future of El Cerrito's trees. It will take place on September 11th at 7 P.M. at the Community Center.
For those who may not know either the background or the rationale for this meeting:
Recently, the City of El Cerrito repealed an ordinance entitled: "Obstruction of Views by Trees on Private Property."
It granted an implicit right to a view of the San Francisco Bay.
What does this mean? If property owners believed a neighbor's tree blocked their view of the Bay, the "view-seekers" felt they had a right to demand that their neighbor cut down or severely prune the tree. If the tree owner did not agree, the Tree Commission could be asked to adjudicate the dispute and make a "finding". Usually the Commission ruled in favor of the view- seeker.
The ordinance was biased in favor of property owners who desired Bay views. It did not recognize the value of trees to the property owner or the community as a whole. The ordinance led to bitter disputes between neighbors as residents were pressured into removing or topping trees. This resulted in a decline in property values in several neighborhoods and overall quality of life for many of our neighbors.
A Future Ordinance? IT COULD GET WORSE.......Help Shape the Future!
The City is gathering public input to help decide whether or not to devise a new ordinance. The City may adopt an ordinance that will grant a legally enforceable right to a Bay view to certain citizens, over the objections of many residents.
We believe a view ordinance should be eliminated in El Cerrito. Residents should be allowed to settle tree/view disputes on their own as has been the custom for many hundreds of years under Anglo-American law.
PLEASE ATTEND THE MEETING ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th, 7p.m. at the COMMUNITY CENTER on Moeser Lane.
SUPPORT AN URBAN FOREST PLAN AND TREE EDUCATION, NOT STRICTER LAWS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.
Friends of El Cerrito Trees.
For more information visit the website at www.ectrees.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Run dates: 2003-08-01 - 2003-09-11