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Outdoor hedges - Code forcing cutting

Discussion in 'Property Maintenance' started by Annoyed_PA_Guy, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    We have it in our ordinance(so code enforcement can enforce), it is also in the State traffic code which can be enforced by the PD, that the only thing allowed in the sight triangle over 3' are traffic control items. Hedges, bushes, trees, branches hanging down, Halloween decorations, etc.....
    cut them in the sight triangle, and replant or install screen or fence outside of it by getting proper permits if required in your city.
     
    #21 my250r11, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  2. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    I had not heard of a sight triangle ordinance/law prior to this thread.
     
  3. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    Me either, but I'm not surprised such crap exists.

    Our ordinance says fences have to be 4' or lower on a street-facing side, and that trees, shrubs, or any other plant growth cannot encroach on the public way nor reduce visibility at intersections. Since I'm the lucky guy that gets to enforce it, whether or not it's reducing visibility is up to me.
     
  4. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Too many times do I see stop signs obstructed by street trees and side walks with the bottom of adjacent tree crowns less than 80" (ADA maintenance requirement)
     
    JBI likes this.
  5. Keystone

    Keystone Sawhorse

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    As others have pointed out, this is a site triangle issue.

    Interestingly the height concern is a zoning issue and should be handled according to zoning rules and regulations very likely not property maintenance because that entire section dealing with trees & shrubs would need to be substantially amended and very concise which would partake into zoning ordinances.

    It's apparent the code department just wants this to go away. They are not demanding that you remove and or relocate the shrubs to the 10tt setback when they could become an issue, they are asking you to cut them down and let's not forget a notice of violation hasn't been issued so no legal basis for fine issuance can be sought as you have not been formally notified in writing as code and zoning would require. Can you fight it, absolutely on a few fronts but I'm just wondering how much money you really have to spend! I will tell you from my experience, once you mention lawyer to me all conversations are done and the only correspondence will be through attorneys at considerable expense per letter and billable phone call hour. Do yourself a favor, cut the hedges and move on.
     
    JBI and fatboy like this.
  6. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    Same here.

    By the way, here if the tree or shrubs are on the the city side of the property line they will be removed by us. We will general ask the owners first even tho we don't have to and yes if they were really want to cause you issues they would have wrote a citation to see the judge.
     
  7. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    Here it's usually one of the first thing Planner/Engineers talk about on a new development, especially an infill project.
     
    JBI likes this.
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Same here

    The Bermuda Triangle
     
    JBI likes this.
  9. VillageInspector

    VillageInspector Sawhorse

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    I would really think long and hard before bringing an attorney into something that looks very cut and dried and against you. As I always tell people that respond with things like its been that way for however long as if its my fault for not seeing it the minute the violation occurred. I just look at them and ask " If a police officer stopped you for speeding would you respond by saying you have been speeding up and down this road for years or would you just leave it alone and comply? Same difference, just cure your violation and move on as there is nothing an attorney is going to do for you except hand you a bill for services rendered and you will still have to bring your property into compliance.
     
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  10. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    In Canada at least...

    If the hedges were above the permitted height when the by-law came into effect, they likely cannot require your to reduce them beyond that height. Retro-activity on zoning by-laws are typically a big no-no. What you have would be a legal non-conforming use. It does not comply with the current requirements, but complied with the requirements when planted (assuming they did). Here, we own our sight triangle. this does not mean people plant things in our right of way, they do all the time. But when there is an issue, I just call works and they come out and trim it.
     
  11. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    I am for compliance

    Just need the specifics in writing

    Minimimum requirements as some state
     
  12. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    Although linnrg beat me to it, I will agree that the hedge would be viewed as a living fence in this instance. It serves the same purpose as a fence and potentially obstructs the sightline at the intersection.
    I also agree that hiring an attorney would not be necessary, and will likely cost you $$$ to hear what this group already told you for free.
    For the uphill neighbor, if/when the runoff impacts your property, take pictures and file written complaints either hand delivered and date stamped in your presence or by certified mail. If possible pictures of the swales/ditches being created as well.
     

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