Portland Requires Homeowners Get Permits To Remove Trees Knocked on Their Homes by Winter Storm
If you need more evidence that America has become a “permission-slip” society, look no further than the City of Portland, Oregon, requiring homeowners to get permits to remove trees that’ve fallen on their houses during recent winter storms.
Portland alt-weekly Willamette Week published a story last week about Joel and Sarah Bonds, who had a large Douglas Fir in the backyard squash their house after it became weighed down with ice. The tree barely missed the Bonds’ young daughter and cat.
As it turns out, the couple were not unaware of the danger posed by the tree. In 2021, they’d applied for a necessary city permit to cut down the tree and another in their backyard. The city’s Urban Forestry division turned them down, citing the trees’ apparent health and the damage their removal would do to the “neighborhood character.”
That decision rankles the Bonds now. Making them even more mad is the fact that the city is requiring them to obtain a $100 retroactive removal permit for the one tree that fell on their house and plant a new one in its place at their own expense.
A Forestry Department employee also advised them to hire an arborist to chop down the second, still-standing tree, but that they should take care to document the work in case they’d need to apply for another removal permit. According to the Willamette Week story, the couple could risk daily $1,000 fines for
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