raod crew chopper took out our trees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by prhamell, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    Every summer the road crew takes their chopper machinery all over the place to cut brush down along the side of the roads. Well, this week it was our turn on our road. Yesterday my kids and I went for a walk and I was devestated. They went in at least 10 feet and took down some 4-5 year old walnut trees along our barbed wire fence line. The fence borders a hay field and about half of the wooden posts are falling down. Two of our apple trees (at about 12 feet from the road and on the inside of our fence line) are half gone. They just mutilated everything. So I called up the county highway dept. and they said because we live on a road not a county highway, that our township chairman authorized it. So I left a polite but concerened message on my township chairman's answering machine. What a jerk he was when he called me back. He was rude and obnoxious. Said he did it himself and they go in 16 feet from the road. I was surprised and asked him if he went up and over our barbed wire fence. He replied, if it was at 16 feet, then yeah. 16 feet seems like quite a ways to go in chopping. Garunteed we didn't plant any of these trees ourselves, but they were a nice border and wind line. So now I'm thinking, fine. Then if anything happens to my property within that 16 feet, will the township pay for it?! Yeah, right. Becky
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Generally, the legal right-of-way on public roads is 66 feet measured from the centerline of the road.
     

  3. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    Before you complain too loudly, you better check how wide the road easement is! If it's greater than 16 feet, consider yourself lucky ... at least until the next time they cut the brush. Then somebody will remember that you complained and they'll go the width of the easement just to "get even".

    16 feet isn't that bad ... I've got to put up with easements: r the road (25'), a couple power lines (25'), AND a natural gas line (20'). Fortunately, the power lines and natural gas line run through my fields.
     
  4. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I live on a 16 rod road.. that means 16 rods to either side of the center line, which puts the town right of way pretty much in my living room. I agree that when they're chopping they're not any too darn careful... but we've cultivated as positive relationship as possible with the town road crew and if they're cutting trees on our road, pretty much anywhere on our road, they'll bring us the trees for our woodpile.

    Still, until it greens over again, it is ugly as sin, isn't it?
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Well they spray along our roads but they come by and check with me before they do.We have 15 feet easement from center of the road.

    big rockpile
     
  6. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    Your lucky it was futhur back than it was, we have 20 foot easment where I live.
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    About 25 years ago they did this to the trees in my parents' front yard. I pitched one more fit about it. They left a huge mess scattered all over the yard...ripped up trees, etc. The next day the road commissioner met me at the house with a crew. He apologized to my parents and his road crew cleaned it all up...cut down the remains of the mangled trees, cut it into firewood and stacked it on my Dad's carport. Hauled all the mess away too.

    Guess we were either lucky to have a nice road commissioner or I was real good at pitching fits! It makes me sick to see good trees ripped apart.
     
  8. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hate the huge road easements US has. England has hardly any, many a road can not be widened because the landowners will not permit it and many a road is a 1.5 to 2.5 car wide track between the 12 ft stone walls of the homes on either side! I would like to build stone walls but aside from price likely to be a covenant about how high they can be and they'd probably have to be my side of the many easements for everyone and their brother along the road so my front yard would be half as big as if I leave it unfenced/walled.
     
  9. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I caught a county guy about a month ago as he was about ready to start to swing a boom mower into some spruce and hemlock trees which are at least 50 years old. I jammed my car in front of his tractor , got out and verbally laid into him. He was extremely apolgetic. The trees weren't touched.

    If they had been touched after I had left, the tractor would not have been operable the next day and for some time after that. The county parks stuff alongside roads where they quit for the day. Same goes for the gas people. At a certain point they know they have to cooperate if they don't want some hunter to accidently shoot some of their equipment.

    FWIW, never threaten anyone. Don't make yourself a suspect.
     
  10. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the laws are here, but our berms along the county roads are about 20 feet wide on each side of the road. Electric/phone lines run just inside the berm's edge, just outside our property lines. The road crews keep the berms clear of trees, and the electric/phone crews trim branches around their lines. Last time they came through, I asked them to trim my cottonwood that's trying to hug the line from pole to house, and they said that they aren't allowed to do that because the tree is too far in from my fence (it's about 6 feet in from the fence). Apparently, people have successfully sued the electric company for property damage when they've trimmed trees in the past or entered people's property without expressed permission (even if the company has an easement for their power lines), so they're very careful now about how much and where they cut or trim.
    A while after the trimming crew comes through, the clean-up crew runs all the cuttings through a chipper and hauls off the mess.

    I don't like losing any trees or shrubbery in my neighborhood, but I also don't like it when the power goes out every time the wind blows. And with our local elk population, it's a lot safer to drive if the elk don't have cover right up to the road. Seems we've come to a sensible compromise between necessary and evil in this area. It should work elsewhere too.
     
  11. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    See if you can talk to someone at your local newspaper about coming out and doing a story and about making photographs. In the mean time, make photos yourself of all the damages. I have done this numerous times when the county overstepped their bounds, during my 25 years with local newspapers here....if you can get a good news reporter on your side, showing the injustice or this, and the killing of trees, you will be waaaay ahead....

    Most cities and counties "pride" theirselves on being "Tree Cities" and that kind of thing now so they shouldn't be indescrimnately cutting trees....either on their right of ways or off...

    Even if this is on their right-of-way, there may be something that you can do if these trees and such were not hampering their views, etc. If this is niot on their right of way, you can really raise a stink!

    Find out if this is on their right of way or not, then ask to be on the agenda of their next meeting, whether this is county commission or a township council. Have photos with you to pass out to those on the commission or counsil, speak slowly and try not to get upset.

    best wishes!
     
  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Oh- and getting your upset children to write letters to the editor to the local newspaper would also likely be good....having them tell of how bad it looks, how we need trees, and how devastated they were to see the desctruction. Even small children can write simple letters.
     
  13. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    big (12" plus) rocks or hunks of concrete in and around base of the trees help the mowers out a lot,
    I have heard, that any way,

    and I don't know who dumped them rocks there either,
     
  14. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Don't they also have a law were a landowner is required to let folks trespass across his property due to some sort of ancient "right of path" or some such thing?

    One of my Scottish hooligan associates tried to explain it to me once during a visit. I thought he was nuts but he swore that if there was some sort of ancient trail or path on your property you had to let people trespass across your land.

    I have to get back to the UK some day. I really liked the scenery. Scotland especially for ancestor-ic reasons. I always had pictured the entire country as flat for some reason and was really struck by the rugged landscape. Loved it. They grow pretty girls there too I observed.
     
  15. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of years ago the road crew came UP our driveway and took out all vegitation on OUR side of the driveway, not on the road side of the driveway!! Needless to say I was P****. Cut down were 3 very large some kind of speciality spruce bush, and a large lilac tree/bush, and a few other plants.
    Well I called the highway department and they had someone come look at it, tried to say it was road easment, and then I showed them the tire marks of their heavy equipment in our driveway. They admitted that they thought they were doing us a favor and cut all the stuff down. I said no way, you replace it, at the SIZE it was when you cut it down!!!
    Turned out the spruce was some kind of rare stuff that costs an arm and a leg, oh well to bad!! They tried to get me to sign off on a lessor cost plant, but we had others further up the driveway and I wanted them all to match. So they did replace all of the plants. They came out and dug holes and put special dirt in, planted the plants and I had them come and maintain the plants for a year until we knew they were well set in. They did, I can be VERY persuasive when I need to be!! LOL
    But everyone is right you need to check what the set back laws are in your area, each area, each country is different. Most easements are measured from the center of the road. If they have gone over the amount even by an inch I would be complaining as far as the governor if necessary. It wont be, the mayor at most, will probably take care of the problem.
    If they are within the easement then you might try the letters to the editor especially with the kids letters, who knows you may get some sympathy and they will do something just to keep you quiet!!! LOL Good luck
    Alice in Virginia
     
  16. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whats with all the whining?

    Keeping ditches trimed reduces road related costs, makes them safer, and prevents power outages.
     
  17. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    whining???????? I believe it is called "property rights" and I believe it is one of the fundamental basis on which our country was founded....

    you can have safe roads and good electricity WITHOUT mutilating trees on property that shouldn't even be affected....

    we've had a near constant battle with Alabama Power and won one round by having them trade out $6000 in tree work on another side of our property and then later they had to pay us dearly for several trees they cut "by mistake" when they cleared the right of way again.....I believe that was the time I threatened to chain myself to a tree and call all my "news buddies" from the larger newspapers and TV stations in Birmingham....

    We must stand up for our property rights!
     
  18. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    ...and if your worried about power outages, well that is life in the country!

    the Dang Co-OP has been doing VERY AGRESSIVE tree trimming by their feed lines. They are installing Steel poles and Just litterally mowing everything withing 20 feed of the lines!!!

    AGREED! :mad:

    Back years ago they just ran the line to the other side of the road, or move the wires to one side of the support cross to avoid tress, now they hack'em down like mad. Why we almost had a "shady lane" near us, but the Electic company just plows down the side of the road. it is very hard to find a Shady lane anymore.

    of course with new Fiber optics, water lines and soon sewer lines being ran out....all the way out to country, our property rights will be even more jeperodized.

    Remember those Concrete things you buy and put by the road, somehow that meant the road commisioner cannot mow up on your land, anyone remember those?

    http://www.gribblenation.com/nclost/bridges/hshoalsbrdg-sd11.jpg
     
  19. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    Since they don't exist any more... except in select areas in Texas. None of us own our land... there is no "allodial title" any longer. Want me to prove it? Everyone who isn't required to pay property tax owns their land... simple. If you OWN the land, you don't pay for it year after year. If you pay property tax, you are 'renting' the right to the land... but enough about that... for a full discussion of this, find recent work by M. Badnarik.

    You have a right to be indignant over someone coming onto "your land" to do something you;ve not approved. you have NO RIGHT to be angered over the county / town doing something along THEIR road easement. The easement exists so that the town / county can maintain the road AS THEY SEE FIT.

    Have a coffee and a Marlboro and CALM DOWN!

    R
     
  20. Ohiosteve

    Ohiosteve Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have a pretty poor township trustee! Be sure to remember him on election day. I am a trustee here in Ohio and we are always very carefull not to overuse our boom mower. We trim only enough weeds and brush to keep overhang off the road. Road width right of way can vary alot. Some of our roads are 90', that is 45' on both sides from the middle of the road.