The View Restoration Committee had their first case in seven months under this new policy (“View Committee Clears its First Dispute,” July 10 edition), which says something about the policy’s usefulness.
In order to complain about an overgrown hedge (or tree), the complainant must provide proof of a “before” view, pay a $500 initial minimum fee (plus any additional actual cost) for a non-binding arbitrator, pay another $630 for a public hearing with the committee, get three bids from certified arborists, pay the entire trimming cost (unless the committee apportions it), and be liable to replace the plant if it dies within two years, even though it was trimmed by a certified arborist.
So it costs the complainant about $1,500…and there is almost no incentive at any step for the hedge/tree owner to cooperate.
The Hedge Claim Policy which covers hedges within “set backs” is no better; cheaper but more complicated.
City of Laguna…you can do better than this.
Louis Leo, Laguna Beach