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Subject: privacy tree height
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07/15/2020 9:10 AM  
Hi, we live in recently new built community with HOA, neighbour has existing 6 ft privacy fence between our backyards, he wants to plant few 12 ft trees 2 ft inside his fence, I am ok with this except 12 ft is just too much and will feel like a wall across my right side of yard, and will obstruct sunlight,and only view we have completely. our HOA documents says:"the location of major alteration should not impair the view,the amount of sunlight or the natural ventilation of adjacent properties:.
our local county also has regulation regarding this I believe: "Fences, walls, and hedges shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height within any side or rear yard nor four (4) feet in height within any front yard, street facing side yard (except A-2), or within that portion of the side yard in front of the front setback line. In no event shall barbed wire, razor wire, or any other similar contrivance be used in residential districts".
I am not sure however if this tree inside his fence will be categorized as one of above-fence,wall,hedges, I think so logically or I can erect 30 ft tree right within my property anywhere too.
pls advise, I have offered my neighbor to consider 8 ft trees instead of 12 ,which can give both of us partly of what we need.


07/15/2020 9:31 AM  
What variety of tree is your neighbor proposing to plant? What starts as 12' will grow larger (similarly with your recommendation of 8' trees).

My response to your actual questions might vary based on whether these are actual trees being planted or some variety of shrub. Typically in the NE, people plant some variety of arborvitae as privacy screening. While I believe these are technically trees, they are more shrub-like and depending on variety, they can grow quite large and form a hedge.

Further, the planting of trees only 2' onto their property will result in mature growth of the tree that hangs over the property line into your property. This may be a big deal or perhaps not.


07/15/2020 9:34 AM  
Further, is "major alteration" defined in your documents anywhere?

To you, the planting of these trees and obstructed view would likely constitute a major alteration; however, in the grand scheme and maybe other interpretation, perhaps a major alteration would be something more along the lines of a shed structure, a house addition, pool installation, etc.


07/15/2020 9:37 AM  
This is likely not going to be resolved amicably - keep trying, though.

Whether the language is clear may be a secondary consideration - the primary may simply be that you not allow someone to take the sunlight, view, etc away.

If you decide to block, then it is lawyer-up time. The value of "winning" relates to the value you attach to the thing being taken away.

And, the variety of "tree" is important ... however, it sounds as if this location is such that almost anything higher than the fence itself will block something you find valuable.


07/15/2020 2:17 PM  
Let your neighbor and the board know that a 12 foot tree only 2 feet from the property line would extend well into your property (canopy and roots) and you are not ok with that as you are concerned with potential future damage to your property from the tree.

Suggest that the trees should be planted at least 15 to 20 feet into their property to keep most of the root system within their property and minimize encroachment onto your property from the canopy.

If you know what type of tree they want, do a search online and see how large the canopy and root system can be and adjust your setback as needed.

I would suspect that the owner doesn't want those trees that far into their property and will try to work with you on the issue.

Suggest they plant the tree at lea


07/16/2020 6:31 AM  
I would look at it as a positive. You said the trees would block your view of the sun. Those trees would provide shade, cutting down your power consumption making your house cooler in the summer.


07/16/2020 8:41 AM  

Interesting comment, but this is Maryland.

So many other factors related to direction, as well.
(New York)


07/22/2020 6:40 AM  
I think you're taking the proper steps by trying to compromise, but yes do keep in mind that these trees will probably grow even larger.

Get the board involved if necessary, but try to negotiate with your neighbor first.


07/22/2020 4:39 PM  

Why would the Board be involved if there no HOA restrictions?
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > privacy tree height

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