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Town Danville Illegally Cutting Trees On Private Property

Original post made by Danville, Danville, on Oct 31, 2012

Came home today to find several trucks and employees of Atlas Tree Service in front of my home, saying they were going to cut my Sycamore tree that is on my private residential property. They said Town Danville hired them to drive around town and cut trees on private property! I watched them go up and down my street and trespass on private property and cut trees on private property. Town Danville never gave any notice to homeowners about this.
Town has no legal right to enter private property with no notice to homeowners and cut homeowners trees. There were no overhead wires or safety concerns. Town does not have easement to enter private property via tree cutting contractors they hired.
I called town to complain and got voicemail.
Geoff, you often monitor Danville Express, can you please look into this before more trees get cut.

Comments (12)

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Posted by Danville
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2012 at 7:57 am

Received a return phone call this morning from Jed Johnson of Town of Danville. He said they did not hire Atlas Tree, or anyone, to trim residential trees, and that they are going to look into this.

So if you see tree company entering your property to cut your trees, without your permission, immediately contact the Town of Danville.

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Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

Do not call the Town - call the cops. These people are trespassing.

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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good morning,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. What happened is that Morninghome is one of the streets being covered by our Pavement Management Program this year. As part of getting the street ready for the work crews to come in, the Town brings in a contractor to trim any trees that are overhanging the right of way. The statewide standard clearance requirement for streets is 14 feet. The contractor was only trimming those trees which did not meet this standard. This is done both for public safety and for routine maintenance purposes.

In this instance, however, our contractor started prior to notifying the affected homeowners as required by contract. Once we got word from the homeowner who posted on here that it was going on, we put the work on hold until all homeowners in the area were notified.

The Town regrets that the work began prior to the notification process being completed and we apologize for the confusion.

Any other questions on the project, please feel free to contact me.

Again, thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Have a good day!

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336

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Posted by Yeah, well....
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

I guess a functional understanding of the difference between "trimming" and "cutting" trees would be valuable here.... If your tree extends beyond your property line (like over a city street) whoever owns the property it extends over can trim that part of the tree. Doesn't really sound like "private property" is the issue here.

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Posted by Danville
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

I just got a phone call from Town of Danville construction manager, Guillermo Santolaya, who said Jed Johnson who called me early was incorrect, the Town of Danville did hire Atlas Tree Services as part of the road pavement project. I was told that the general contractor dropped the ball, and failed to give the homeowners any notice, that their trees were being cut, although the contract the Town signed required homeowners to get 72 hours notice. Per the contract, 41 trees are scheduled to be cut. Suppose to be a certified arborist as part of the project.

Was also informed that the contract the Town of Danville signed with contractor notes that the Town of Danville and all residents and homeowners are held harmless and there is a waiver of any liability for any injuries any workers claim occur as part of this project.

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Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

And the answer still is, "Call the Cops!!" That will put an end to "Jed Johnson" being incorrect and the "general contractor dropping the ball."

Get law enforcement involved as soon as these trimmers show up. It's still trespassing unless you receive prior notification.

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm

We've had the trees near the edge of our property trimmed by the city or contractors, which I liked because a) it was free and b) it ensured that tall trucks passing underneath would not damage them.
However, we were certainly notified ahead of time, so I can understand how it might be strange to find this happening when you came home.

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Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

I would not be happy if I were not informed, however, the town is within its rights to trim trees in the right of way. Most homeowners do not bother to trim trees that are overgrown and too big and overhang in the right of way and can cause damage to vehicles that get swiped by them. There are many instances of this thruout Danville and many other towns. Homeowners should be glad that it is being done at the taxpayers expense and not them having to come out of pocket which is why it is being done in the first place!

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Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

So, if it's done at taxpayer expense it doesn't cost you anything?

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Try hiring a tree trimmer or arborist who carries insurance (because we all know a right leaning fellow like you would never, ever hire someone who uses undocumented laborers, right Rick?), and see what that costs you compared to your dollar-twenty cents worth of city tax.
Or, hire someone who doesn't, and see what happens the first time one of the workers falls out of a tree, or drops a branch through someone's car roof, or your house.
Thanks for the input Rick; I know you foam at the mouth anytime anyone brings up the word tax, but it's still a bargain in my book. There are plenty of things the City of Danville does that make me very unhappy, but this is not one of them.

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Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Nov 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Please forgive the following, as it is at risk of being a sanctimonious parable, but after reading this thread I was reminded of a family our church helped after a record breaking deluge in Concord 3 years ago. The water was pouring into her kitchen ceiling because her gutters had not been cleaned in years. As I was up on the roof I said I was sorry this was happening to her and her response was..."I am just grateful I have a home, I will get that roof fixed". Great attitude with 4 inches of water in her kitchen. Point being, if we are luckly enough to have a house here, and maybe a tree got too big and it encroached on public access it is not the end of the world to have it trimmed. That tree will be here long after us I bet...especially aged town council members running for re-election...ooops I got political, could not resist.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

SNAFU if you know what that stands for. This is bureaucracy at it's finest. No one knows what either hand is doing and our tax dollars pay for the incompetence and there is nothing you can do about it. Kind of comforting isn't it?

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