Monday, September 26, 2011

Let the Sun Shine In!

Having the warmth from the sun reach our property can bring us more than just a good feeling and keep our bodies warm. It can keep mold and mildew at bay and even increase our property values. And the emotional well being we derive from a summer's day has no price tag.

Many jurisdictions have sunlight ordinances. No, I mean real sunlight, the kind that comes from above. (Many also have "sunshine" ordinances, which are supposed to provide an open and transparent governance process, but that is a "whole 'nother story.") If your City has a tree and/or view ordinance, it may have a sunlight or solar access ordinance too. This means if you can document the existence of a view or sunlight that pre-existed your purchase of the property, you may be able to have trees blocking such a view or solar access thinned, trimmed or even removed.

There is generally a process invoving informal talks, attempts at mediation and often submission to a recommendation of a community "tree committee" before you have a right to bring a legal action to regain your lost light. Check with your town's Municipal Code (almost all the Municipal Codes for the whole United State can be found at )

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tree Law on the Radio!

Tonight, Thursday, Sept. 22, 9 PM, PDT, for those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area (and sometimes the signal goes north to Seattle, south to LA) I will be on the Peter B. Collins show with hubby, "Tree Detective," Ray Moritz, to discuss what can go wrong with your trees, what damage can be done to them, and what you can do about it.

Tune in and call in with your questions. 810 on your AM dial. Or listen at