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Friday, November 09, 2012

Seattle Times: Olerud backed by Clyde Hill board on removal of neighbors’ tree

Nine years after he won his third Gold Glove as a Seattle Mariners first baseman, John Olerud has won a victory in a different venue.

The Clyde Hill Board of Adjustment ruled Wednesday night that Olerud’s neighbor to the west must remove two trees because they unreasonably obstruct Olerud’s view of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline.

I tried to submit a Joyce Kilmer tag to no avail.

Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:10 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general, mariners

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2012 at 02:58 AM (#4299461)
Nine years after he won his third Gold Glove as a Seattle Mariners first baseman, John Olerud has won a victory in a different venue.

Now that's a stretch.
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:08 AM (#4299466)
If I were the neighbor, I'd sue him. And I'd get the Arbor Day Foundation involved or something.
   3. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4299467)
John Olerud, who once happily shared an infield with a Robin, is now chasing the robins out of his field of vision.
   4. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4299473)
John Olerud, notorious for wearing his batting helmet in the field, will get to use it again as a hard hat.
   5. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:13 AM (#4299475)
Who'd he vote for, though?
   6. Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: November 10, 2012 at 05:19 AM (#4299480)
The nice thing about the article is the quotes from City Councilmen saying the rule is badly written.
   7. Lassus Posted: November 10, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4299485)
The guy should put up a very low sign in very big letters, YOU SUCK, so John has to see it every time he looks at the lake.
   8. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4299490)
The guy should put up a very low sign in very big letters, YOU SUCK, so John has to see it every time he looks at the lake.

Or a big picture of Frank Thomas, unanimous 1993 MVP.
   9. GregD Posted: November 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4299540)
A couple of questions:
1) surely the Bakers' lawyers could drag this process out until the tree and all the participants are dead, no?
2) doesn't this create an enormous financial incentive for every person selling a house to demand all the neighbors cut trees before you put your house for sale? Otherwise, you are--as in this case--just transferring money to the buyer. The Oleruds aren't retaining the value of the house they bought--which is fair enough and protected under California law, as I understand it--they are using the law to gain a value that wasn't there at purchase. That's got to make potential sellers start acting crazily.
   10. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4299553)
Who'd he vote for, though?


I have friends who live in Seattle who claim to have seen him at a $5000-a-plate dinner for Obama's Super PAC. Carry that as far as you're willing.
   11. puck Posted: November 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4299555)
The guy should put up a very low sign in very big letters, YOU SUCK, so John has to see it every time he looks at the lake.

Have some guy carve a middle finger out of the stump.
   12. McCoy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4299560)
2) doesn't this create an enormous financial incentive for every person selling a house to demand all the neighbors cut trees before you put your house for sale? Otherwise, you are--as in this case--just transferring money to the buyer. The Oleruds aren't retaining the value of the house they bought--which is fair enough and protected under California law, as I understand it--they are using the law to gain a value that wasn't there at purchase. That's got to make potential sellers start acting crazily.

No because the requestor has to pay for the removal of the trees as well as replacing the trees with non-obstrusive trees/shrubbery. Most people aren't going to go through this whole process for something that is likely to be frivolous and expensive for themselves.
   13. depletion Posted: November 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4299577)
If Walt Weiss was in there, he gets to that tree.
   14. GregD Posted: November 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4299595)
No because the requestor has to pay for the removal of the trees as well as replacing the trees with non-obstrusive trees/shrubbery. Most people aren't going to go through this whole process for something that is likely to be frivolous and expensive for themselves.
Most cases surely won't be this stark but this is an $18,000 cost to increase home value by $225,000. If this gets normalized, then a seller would be crazy to hand that money over to a buyer, right? And won't you get all kinds of side contracts between neighbors (I won't make you cut down your tree if you don't make me cut down mine, etc.) and complex questions about whether they can enforceable on later purchasers?
   15. McCoy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4299602)
We don't really know the cost of removing the trees nor the increase in value to the home. Homeowner A is saying his trees are worth $18,000 and homeowner B is saying his house will increase in value by $225,000 if they remove those trees. As far as I can tell the law doesn't say you have to reimburse homeowner A for the value of the trees. Merely that you have to cover the cost of removing them and replacing them while also proving that removing those trees does not reduce the property value of homeowner A's land. As for the increase in value I'll believe it when I see it. As an aside I think the law is pretty stupid in that Olerud was able to purchase his property at a discounted rate since the trees were there already. So by having the trees removed he is getting a windfall and should have to get taxed on that windfall at the very least.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4299653)
Rickey Henderson remembers playing with a guy in New York who also asked his neighbors to remove their trees.
   17. DKDC Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4299667)
So by having the trees removed he is getting a windfall and should have to get taxed on that windfall at the very least.


He may have to pay taxes on that $225K when he sells the house and realizes a capital gain.

Current tax law allows him to exclude up to $500K in gains if its his primary residence, but hopefully that tax break goes away when and if there is a fiscal cliff deal. Either way, if he has $500K in capital gains for other reasons, then he'll pay taxes on all of this.
   18. McCoy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4299680)
He may have to pay taxes on that $225K when he sells the house and realizes a capital gain.

Yes and it is my view that if you are arguing that cutting trees down will increase your property value then you should have to immediately pay a capital gains tax on that windfall as well as having your property tax adjusted to reflect the new value.

Afterall if I catch ARod's 800th home run ball and decide to hold onto it the IRS can tax me on that despite not selling the ball.
   19. Gamingboy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4299685)
Who'd he vote for, though?



I have friends who live in Seattle who claim to have seen him at a $5000-a-plate dinner for Obama's Super PAC. Carry that as far as you're willing.


I actually vaguely remember reading earlier about this dispute that Olerud is actually something of an environmentalist (he's a religious man who thinks protecting god's creation is important, or something like that) but that the amount of money that those tree took off the house's value was just too much for him.

Again, that's just a vague remembrance of stuff from earlier. Dunno if true.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4299729)
. . . surely the Bakers' lawyers could drag this process out until the tree and all the participants are dead, no?

According to TFA, they can appeal to the City Council. Might also be able to go to court, contending that their property was being "taken" for private purposes and without fair compensation, but lawyers fees can add up quickly.
   21. Guapo Posted: November 10, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4299805)
16 years after being traded for Robert Person, John Olerud is acting like a horrible person.
   22. The Ghost screws up everything with hubris Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4299833)
Very unusual regulations in this little town. It is a small, high income enclave, one of a group of so-called "Gold Cost" communities, Bill Gates' Medina being the most prominent of them.

This is an unusual regulation. I live 2 towns over, where I'm involved in codes such as these, and I've owned real estate in a dozen towns around here. Never had this pop up before.

That said, I can understand (if not agree with) the logic behind this. A lot of view-blocking trees don't do much of anything for the people who won the trees. WE don't let people build overly tall buildings, maybe we shouldn't let them own unnecessarily tall trees. But maybe Olerud should give the tree owners half the increase in his property value.
   23. The Ghost screws up everything with hubris Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4299834)
And won't you get all kinds of side contracts between neighbors (I won't make you cut down your tree if you don't make me cut down mine, etc.) and complex questions about whether they can enforceable on later purchasers?

One can buy a view easement from another property owner, it isn't rare. Using this case,, Olerud could have gotten an agreement from the neighbor, Baler, where Baker allowed a restriction to be recorded on the title of his property, saying he wouldn't let anything, building, tree, whatever, go higher that X high. Olerud could have paid him for it.
   24. McCoy Posted: November 10, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4299849)
In the towns I lived in in Wisconsin they had height restrictions for property on the waterfront. Dumbest thing they ever did. Absolutely killed development on the waterfront and yet they constantly were crying about a lack of revenue and when the crash came they went deep in the red. Maybe next time instead of only having a house on an acre plot you let them build condos, townhomes, and apartments on the waterfront instead.

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