There is trouble with the trees.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Take, for instance, the Chinese pine across the street from retired baseball star John Olerud’s Clyde Hill home.
John and Kelly Olerud see an eyesore that blocks the view of the Seattle skyline from their new, custom-built home.
The owners of the pine, Bruce and Linda Baker, see the natural beauty of a rare tree that stands sentinel over the family’s backyard patio.
Olerud, a former Seattle Mariner, one-time American League batting champ and three-time Gold Glove winner, has been asking the Bakers for more than two years if he can pay to have the tree cut down.
For two-plus years, the Bakers have refused.
Now the Oleruds want the Clyde Hill Board of Adjustment to order their neighbors to cut down the tree, saying it unreasonably obstructs the view from their $4 million property facing Lake Washington, Seattle and the Olympic Mountains…
In Clyde Hill, a city of almost 3,000 between Bellevue and Medina, property values are closely associated with views.
The city says it was the first in the area and one of the first in the nation to adopt a process for condemning trees that block too much of neighbors’ sunlight or scenic views.
To date, no tree has been cut under that 20-year-old law…
Olerud said he would be willing to buy a replacement tree that wouldn’t block his view.
In an effort to placate Olerud, Baker cut down a small coast redwood, agreed to remove the spruce and had the pine pruned in a way intended to allow some of the viewscape to show through. But he wasn’t willing to cut down a tree that his arborist called very rare and valued at $18,000…
The Board of Adjustment is expected to make a decision in November if the neighbors don’t reach an agreement.