NORTH GLENDALE — When Ann Collard and her husband hired a private contractor in August to trim the trees around their home, they could not have imagined the bill would balloon to nearly $350,000.
Costs soared when a city urban forester cited the Collards for illegally pruning 13 trees — including five that are reportedly on city-owned land — without a permit. And under the city’s new Indigenous Tree Ordinance, the fine was equal to twice the value of the damaged trees.
“We trimmed our trees and now we can lose our house?” Ann Collard asked.
The fine has the attention of the City Council, which is awaiting a report on the matter before deciding how to address the potential unintended consequences of an ordinance that was adopted in March mainly to discourage property owners from razing protected trees to clear the way for development.