San Francisco, CA
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: November 28, 2010 05:38 AM Sunday;
Visit Ross Claudia cut down 10 trees for neighbor privacy.
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Pine Trees Cut Down Backyard Replace Hemlock Trees Increase Privacy
0803 - ..
0804 - Summary/Objective
080501 - Follow up ref SDS 3 0000, ref SDS 2 0000.
080506 - ..
0808 - Progress
080901 - Started this morning taking the boys to the airport. Dropped Stu at
080902 - JFK for American Airlines flight to Los Angles going back to school
080903 - at USC tomorrow morning.
080905 - ..
080906 - On the way back, stopped and dropped Hutch at LaGuadia Airport, about
080907 - 5 miles from JFK. Hutch reports to his Marine flight base in
080908 - Oklahoma.
080910 - ..
080911 - The boys are expected to be home again for Christmas.
080913 - ..
080914 - Helped Ross cut down 10 trees in the backyard. This was a major
080915 - effort because these trees were up to 40 feet high with trunks varying
080916 - from 8" to over 12". Ross used a chain saw to cut a wedge from the
080917 - trunk near the ground. The direction of the cut wedges helped guide
080918 - where the trees fell. For some trees we used a rope to further guide
080919 - the fall.
080921 - [On 101130 1744 letter from Ross on pine tree project.
080922 - ref SDS 7 M75Q
080924 - ..
080925 - [On 101223 1030 Doctor Sandhu diagnosed flu symptoms caused
080926 - by excessive exercise cutting down 10 pine trees.
080927 - ref SDS 8 KI5J
080929 - ..
080930 - The trees were cut up with a chain saw on the ground and pieces from
080931 - 6' to in some cases over 12' long were dragged by hand up the hill and
080932 - stacked for processing with a chipper.
080934 - ..
080935 - This took about 8 hours. Claudia helped carry pieces up the hill.
080936 - The larger diameter cut pieces of trunk that were too big for the
080937 - chipper, were stacked in a pile down below. Ross advised that pine
080938 - is not good to burn in the fireplace, so the wood will simply rot back
080939 - to nature. Seems a big waste.
080941 - [On 101129 0900 completed work on pine tree project.
080942 - ref SDS 4 5O5M
080944 - ..
080945 - Ross borrowed equipment to cut branches and smaller trunk pieces into
080946 - chips. A friend from the high school football crowd loaned the
080947 - chipper, He set it up and demonstrated how to start it. The cutter
080948 - is powered by a gasoline engine, so it is more powerful than an
080949 - electric motor. On the way home from taking the boys to the airport,
080950 - Ross stopped at Home Depot. He got a price to rent a much bigger
080951 - chipper, which likely would have handled the larger logs, but later in
080952 - the morning he had a discussion with a friend that resulted in
080953 - borrowing the smaller chipper.
080955 - ..
080956 - Took 3 hours or so to push about 70% of pile through the chipper. It
080957 - got dark so had to pull off and will finish tomorrow.
080959 - ..
080960 - Work was physically demanding. Provided a good workout comparable to
080961 - 5 mile hike and calesthenics, though started to feeling sick toward
080962 - the end of the day. Body ached, coughing, sneezing, nose running. It
080963 - was fun working with Ross; he brings a lot of energy and commitment to
080964 - his work. Claudia joining in made the effort an enjoyable family
080965 - event.
080967 - ..
080968 - [On 101129 0900 completed tree removal project; continued
080969 - illness symptoms. ref SDS 4 5O5M
080971 - ..
080972 - [On 101130 0400 illness symptoms increase during flight
080973 - home. ref SDS 5 ZG4O
080975 - ..
080976 - [On 101223 1030 Doctor Sandhu diagnosed flu symptoms caused
080977 - by excessive exercise cutting down 10 pine trees.
080978 - ref SDS 8 KI5J
080980 - ..
080981 - Ultimately, it was disappointing cutting down such beautiful trees in
080982 - the forest behind Ross's house. Took 15 years to grow these
080983 - seemingly perfectly healthy trees, and only 8 hours to reduce them to
080984 - saw dust.
080986 - ..
080987 - Ross explained the purpose of project is to remove trees, which have
080988 - proven ineffective for meeting terms of the contractor's building
080989 - permit awarded perhaps 12-15 years ago, and which required enough
080990 - trees for a privacy barriar to prevent seeing Ross' home from the
080991 - backyard neighbor down the hill. When Ross bought the home 10 years
080992 - ago, the pine trees planted along the East property line about 15
080993 - yards from the house, were young and very bushy at the sight level.
080994 - This satisfied requirements for the building permit, since the
080995 - neighbor could not see anything through the trees at that time.
080997 - ..
080998 - The record is unclear whether there was a separate written agreement
080999 - and/or court order for the contractor to perform work that provided
081000 - privacy with a visual barriar between the 2 properties.
081002 - ..
081003 - At the time Ross and Claudia bought the home, the contractor notified
081004 - them that the trees had to remain in order to provide privacy for the
081005 - neighbor down the hill. This was confirmed in a provision added to
081006 - the property deed which referenced a court order and required Ross and
081007 - Claudia to maintain trees to provide visual privacy for the backyard
081008 - neighbor.
081010 - ..
081011 - Ross and Claudia have never seen the court order. It is cited in the
081012 - property deed, but not attached, nor did the contractor who sold the
081013 - house provide a copy to Ross and Claudia.
081015 - ..
081016 - Within the past few weeks the neighbor complained to the contractor
081017 - that trees planed 12-15 years ago, and which at that time satisfied
081018 - the neighbor's requirement for visual privacy, are now no longer
081019 - adequate. The trees have grown to a height that blocks sun from
081020 - lower branches, and so those branches are no longer bushy, with the
081021 - result that the neighbor can now see through the trees.
081023 - ..
081024 - There was communication between the contractor and Ross on this
081025 - matter, and possibly between the neighbor and Ross. The contractor
081026 - reminded Ross of the provision in his property deed, for Ross as the
081027 - home owner to assume responsibility after 10 years for maintaining
081028 - trees to provide visual privacy with the neighbor.
081030 - ..
081031 - Ross has not yet notified the contractor that he was misled in buying
081032 - the property to believe the level of visual protection provided by the
081033 - trees planted by the contractor would grow to become more protective
081034 - rather than less protective of the neighbor's visual privacy. Ross
081035 - reasonably relied on the contractor's implied warranty and
081036 - representation that so long as Ross maintained the trees, he would
081037 - satisify requirements of the 10 year provision in his property deed.
081039 - ..
081040 - The problem to solve is that the neighbor presents an open ended and
081041 - subjective commitment to perform work and expend money on providing
081042 - visual privacy. The provision in Ross and Claudia's property deed
081043 - will be an issue selling their home at some future time.
081045 - [On 101129 0900 Ross met with backyard neighbor, and was
081046 - told the neighbor has expanded scope of work required to
081047 - satisfy the neighbor's privacy requirements. ref SDS 4 5O5M
081049 - ..
081050 - Discussed this evening that Ross and Claudia call the contractor and
081051 - request a copy of the court order referenced in the property deed in
081052 - order to determine the precise obligation of Ross and Claudia.
081054 - [On 101129 0900 Ross called the contractor to clarify scope
081055 - of responsibility for maintaining privacy barriar.
081056 - ref SDS 4 M68F
081058 - ..
081059 - [On 101130 1610 letter to Ross suggests investigating the
081060 - court order to verify scope of obligations under their
081061 - property deed for him and Claudia, as home owners, to
081062 - correct defective work constructing a privacy screen with
081063 - pine trees, which was performed by the contractor to
081064 - protect the backyard neighbor. ref SDS 6 PT4M
081066 - ..
081067 - [On 101130 1744 letter from Ross transits copy of court
081068 - order indicating the order expired in 2008, and so Ross and
081069 - Claudia as home owners have no further obligations under
081070 - the provision in the property deed to maintain pine trees
081071 - on their property for a privacy screen. ref SDS 7 F34U
081073 - ..
081074 - [On 101130 1744 letter commends Ross' research obtaining
081075 - the court order and discovering the actual record is
081076 - remarkably different from the "official view of reality."
081077 - ref SDS 7 H63W
081079 - ..
081080 - Suggested Ross tell the contractor that subject to receiving a copy of
081081 - the court order, Ross feels the contractor retains responsibility for
081082 - performing the order. The tree privacy barriar is between the
081083 - contractor and the neighbor, as it has been the past years. To be a
081084 - good neighbor, and mitigate damages Ross has already taken the step of
081085 - removing defective trees provided by the contractor. Hopefully, the
081086 - contractor will be cooperative, and submit a work plan or offer to pay
081087 - for the work.
081089 - [On 101130 1610 letter to Ross cites contractor admission
081090 - of defective work, which was not disclosed to Ross.
081091 - ref SDS 6 F34X
081093 - ..
081094 - Send a letter to the contractor confirming Ross' position that the
081095 - contractor is responsible, and that Ross' only obligation is to
081096 - maintain the trees.
081098 - ..
081099 - Ross should further consult counsel on notifying the contractor that
081100 - misrepresentation in selling the home which only became manifest past
081101 - the 10 year provision in the deed, renders the contractor liable for
081102 - performing requirements in the deed, rather than Ross.
081104 - ..
081105 - Ross wants the contractor to remove the provision in the deed.
081107 - ..
081108 - It is a unclear why Ross' next door neighbor's are not having similar
081109 - problems with the same backyard neighbor, since evidently all three
081110 - properties present the same visual privacy issue for the same
081111 - neighbor.