Stormy Sunday knocks over tree, property owners want city to clean up

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Sunday night it rained, it thundered and there was some lightening and Murray Hill residents say there was a loud crashing sound.

"I thought it was a pecan tree," said Billy Roden.

Roden said when he looked out of his back door a very large tree fell on his garage apartment which was being renovated.

"I don't want to have to file another claim with my homeowner's insurance company," he said," I don't want to be canceled because it is not my tree."

It is not his tree, but it appears that the burden of repairing his property and removing the tree belongs to him.

Roden wants to know why when he complained to the city that the tree was a threat and the city not only inspected it but agreed that it was in moral decay.

"There's a history of complaints with the city and they marked it for removal," he said.

The property, which is vacant lot on Colonial Avenue, has signs that Jacksonville's Municipal Code Enforcement Division tagged the property.

If the tree was in the public right away, the department of public works would have removed it, but it is on private property and MCCD must declare it a a public hazard then begin the process to remove it. The process involved getting bids from a contractor.

Apparently the process took longer than Roden expected.

"It is frustrating," he said.

This is a pretty common concern with neighbors.

The rule of thumb is if the trunk is in the neighbor's yard, the tree is the neighbor's responsibility.

If you are concerned send your neighbor a certified letter stating your concern and ask them to eliminate the threat.

If the tree falls then you have a right to sue and recover your loss.


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