: views from the Hill

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tree ballet from a different perspective

Article in today's Chron.

A major tree was down by the end of yesterday. We see more of Piers 27-29 than we used to. Not something I'm happy with. Two smaller trees remain for now while the neighbors try to sort things out with the owner. The neighbors who object to the tree removal, knowing that it's perfectly legal, are media savvy enough to call in the journalists and try to raise a public hue and cry.

Without the trees, the birds could end up perched on some other limbs on Telegraph Hill, but not even Bittner knows exactly what would happen.

"I can't predict it," he said.

The birds would probably perch on the trees they perch on when they aren't perching on the cypresses. Unfortunately for Bittner, who loves the parrots, those trees aren't just outside his door.

My views on the disagreement are influenced by an uproar in Carmel, CA, some years back. A resident went through all sorts of grief to get permission to remove a Monterey pine that was growing too close to his house and forceably lifting the roof off the walls. The house predated the tree, but the tree huggers were out in force arguing that the tree should have precedence.

In the neighborhood case, the property owner has valid concerns about liability should one of the aging cypresses come down on a neighbor's house ... or a neighbor. Me? I like the green between me and the piers, but I don't think the parrots are a compelling argument to force the owner to keep the trees. The parrots hang out elsewhere, all over the hill and beyond. If these trees go, there are plenty of trees, some even on public property and subject to current tree rules, that they will flock to instead.

Solomon, where are you?

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