City Council Urges Stricter Enforcement of L.A.’s Tree Laws

Winny

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
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Be careful where you cut down trees in Los Angeles, even if they happen to be on your property, as doing so unpermitted, could result in some problems. Like with Misha Crosby, who got into a little trouble for removing eight protected trees from his property to make way for a new home to be built there. He hired arborists to cut down said trees, but it's said that the trees were protected and he was misinformed about the whole situation.

Due to it, he will not be able to obtain a permit to build for up to 2 years I believe. They take their protected tree ordinance very seriously over there and intend to keep the 2 year penalty in place.

Read more about this story here - My News LA
 
Location
Los Angeles, California, United States
Yeah I'd say they take these things seriously. It must suck for the homeowner being stuck with this land and not being able to build on it. As well, I see he has to replant the trees at some point. I think what would be great, is if he could donate the trees to be planted anywhere, so that he could then use the land as he pleases and could help bring these trees back elsewhere.
 
This is a good example of the necessity of buyers needing to do due diligence. Part of the offer/purchase agreement should allow for cancellation if, prior to the close of escrow, it is determined that the property can't be used for the intended purpose because of the restrictions of protected species. This includes not only trees but any growth or living thing (animals, bugs, whatever) that may be disturbed.
 
This highlights the need for checking with the authorities and learning about the proper rules. You should always get the information from the authorized channel. While a lot of people take advice form neighbors, friends, family or someone they know, you should never trust the judgement of other people unless they are directly associated with permit offices. By the way, what species of trees are considered protected in LA?
 
This highlights the need for checking with the authorities and learning about the proper rules. You should always get the information from the authorized channel. While a lot of people take advice form neighbors, friends, family or someone they know, you should never trust the judgement of other people unless they are directly associated with permit offices. By the way, what species of trees are considered protected in LA?

Good advice. Homeowners need to be aware that the contractors they hire generally aren't legal professionals. Homeowners should understand that it's them, not the contractor, who will get held liable if/when compliance issues arise. Unless the contractor is explicitly hired and under contract to handle permitting (and has liability insurance to back up their legal work), responsibility rests squarely on the homeowner to work with the government and ensure everything they're doing is properly permitted.

This is a good example of the necessity of buyers needing to do due diligence. Part of the offer/purchase agreement should allow for cancellation if, prior to the close of escrow, it is determined that the property can't be used for the intended purpose because of the restrictions of protected species. This includes not only trees but any growth or living thing (animals, bugs, whatever) that may be disturbed.

Great point about due diligence. Parcels in LA have got to be something like 99% developed at this point. If I were buying an undeveloped lot in LA, I'd definitely want the full story on why the lot hadn't been developed yet. Maybe the protected trees had been an issue for the parcel's previous owner and that's why they were selling it to begin with?
 
Yeah I'd say they take these things seriously. It must suck for the homeowner being stuck with this land and not being able to build on it. As well, I see he has to replant the trees at some point. I think what would be great, is if he could donate the trees to be planted anywhere, so that he could then use the land as he pleases and could help bring these trees back elsewhere.
Definitely! There are always things to consider when doing any type of work on your own property. I have some trees on my property, but I would always double check before cutting them, in case they are protected for the type of trees they are.

This is a good example of the necessity of buyers needing to do due diligence. Part of the offer/purchase agreement should allow for cancellation if, prior to the close of escrow, it is determined that the property can't be used for the intended purpose because of the restrictions of protected species. This includes not only trees but any growth or living thing (animals, bugs, whatever) that may be disturbed.
Yeah that is a good point, because I know if I purchased land, I would want to be able to make any changes I want, so it's best to find land you can modify freely before ever making a purchase.

This highlights the need for checking with the authorities and learning about the proper rules. You should always get the information from the authorized channel. While a lot of people take advice form neighbors, friends, family or someone they know, you should never trust the judgement of other people unless they are directly associated with permit offices. By the way, what species of trees are considered protected in LA?
There's always that chance that people give out the wrong info, which is why it's always best to check up on the rules before doing anything. Make sure everything is checked over in the planning stages.

As for the protected trees in LA, that's a good question. According to the article they discuss the homeowner cutting down five black walnut trees, and one Mexican elderberry tree. So I'm guessing those two types of trees are protected, unless they mean just those trees themselves.
Good advice. Homeowners need to be aware that the contractors they hire generally aren't legal professionals. Homeowners should understand that it's them, not the contractor, who will get held liable if/when compliance issues arise. Unless the contractor is explicitly hired and under contract to handle permitting (and has liability insurance to back up their legal work), responsibility rests squarely on the homeowner to work with the government and ensure everything they're doing is properly permitted.
Exactly, they are not legal professionals, so it's best to always check with a second party after talking with your contractor. The homeowners get stuck with the bill if anything bad happens, or the work happens to be unpermitted.
 
This is a good example of the necessity of buyers needing to do due diligence. Part of the offer/purchase agreement should allow for cancellation if, prior to the close of escrow, it is determined that the property can't be used for the intended purpose because of the restrictions of protected species. This includes not only trees but any growth or living thing (animals, bugs, whatever) that may be disturbed.
I second this. Not that I would want to go around cutting trees in my property; especially if they are healthy, but I would definitely not want to get in trouble for something I wasn't aware even of.
 
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