Tree madness in Mosgiel

A Dunedin City Council planner has recommended that resource consent be declined to fell an oak tree in Mosgiel.

This is an example of bureaucracy gone mad. Trees grow. Trees fall. Trees are cut down.

Why should trees on out own properties not be our own to do what we like with?

ODT: Developer to fight to allow felling of tree

Council planner Lianne Darby has recommended the hearings committee decline CC Otago Ltd’s resource consent application to fell the tree in King St, Mosgiel.

The tree, which is about 25m high, made a significant contribution to the amenity of the area, was healthy and the effects of its removal could not be mitigated, Ms Darby said in her report to the committee.

However, CC Otago Ltd director Craig Horne contends the tree’s canopy shades the existing dwelling and affects the comfort of its occupants, outweighing its amenity value.

‘Amenity value’ is a term used to try and justify councils dictating what it’s citizens can do with their own property.

When I moved in to my current property I cut down two large trees which shaded a neighbour’s house for much of the winter. The trees were close buildings and a high risk. I just cut them down.

I’ve probably cut down a hundred trees on my property. There were far too many, planted too close together.

I cut down an oak tree on my street boundary. It was planted to close to another oak so I pruned it to ground level. The other oak is doing much better now. I also planted another oak in another part of the property, in a much better location. It’s doing very well.

I’ve planted more trees than I have cut down. Better trees, in  better places, and the trees I haven’t cut down are doing better.

The Dunedin City Council is currently going through the process of implementing a new District Plan. This wants to forbid me from planting specified types of trees. It wants to forbid me from building, and it wants to forbid me from painting buildings a whole range of colours.

They want to severely restrict anything done above a 100 metre altitude. A lot of Dunedin is higher than 100 metres (my property happens to straddle the 100 metre contour). Because some people don’t want other people to do things with their own property. They don’t want to look across a harbour and see a house on a hill. And they want to force you to keep some trees and not plant others.

Why should the council dictate to me what I can do with my own property and my own things on that property?

One of the most important amenities a city has is it’s citizens. Or they should be.

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12 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th March 2016

    Planners should advise owners not control them.

    Reply
    • kiwi guy

       /  4th March 2016

      What would be the point then?

      We know who cuts down all trees, the developers wanting to cram in as much concrete as they can.

      Reply
  2. jamie

     /  4th March 2016

    It’s a thorny issue.

    I imagine most people, like you Pete, are responsible and thoughtful about the trees on their properties.

    I was a bit saddened when a neighbour cut down about twenty trees at once and left a large barren site which they haven’t bothered to repalnt. I thought that could have been managed that a bit better. It’s their property, but it does have some impact on others.

    I suppose ultimately I have to come down on the side of self-regulation, gentle persuasion, and education. There are always going to be those who just don’t care but hopefully we can try to make sure there are more of us than them.

    Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  4th March 2016

      @jamie … thorny issue .. like a Hawthorn tree.

      Why do people think that cutting down trees chainsaw massacre stylz is OK
      we know it’s not … those of us that think with a Eco mind.

      Won’t they think of the children! Do they not know that trees are the
      Lungs of the Earth … taking carbon dioxide and replacing it with Oxygen.

      Replacing cut down trees is a must for erosion and the lung theory of everything.

      Self regulation is it practised widely? Really hmmm
      Gentle persuasion … a fine or a stint in jail maybe. 🙂
      Education … does that help when we have a large % of children leaving school
      who have no education on the Facts of the reality that face them in this world.

      I’m with you Jamie & Pete on the I care and will plant many more trees.
      Tree madness … usually undertaken by the Sad Bad and Mad.

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  4th March 2016

      I hate to see a chainsaw massacre as happened next door to me-I know that there was trouble with roots in drains, but this was just mass slaughter and the result is that the privacy for both places is now much less (I have planted some fast growing ones to block out the sight of their house when I go out of the back door) A massacre took place down the road so that they could put up a fence. The house was considerably uglified and I am sure that that has contributed to the fact that it has been on the market on and off for years-serve them right.

      Didn’t the people with the large oak tree notice it when they bought the house, as Sally Ridge seems not to have noticed the number of bedrooms in her historic house when she bought it ? Haven’t they heard of pruning ?

      Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  4th March 2016

        yes Kitty
        Pruning is the greenery control, no one does it much in the city?.
        Could it be, to off load the excess fauna and fern at a tip
        it could cost a pretty penny, not knowing… living in the country 🙂
        And a compost would take up precious space in the large
        lawns of suburbia.

        uglified I really like that word.
        Girlfriend … “Do I look good in this $1000 dress dear?”
        Boyfriend … “No you look uglified, a $10 dress would look better, darling.” 🙂

        Reply
  3. @ PG – I agree with Alan, Council may be useful in advising citizens, as they are with Animals, for instance, and only allowed to control them where evidence of actual “harm” is concerned? “Harm” may occur in some cases with trees?

    “Why should the council dictate to me what I can do with my own property and my own things on that property?” The answer to this has to do with your property, like your person, not being an entirely separate entity in the world. We and our property are connected and interconnected. No “Man’s Land” is an Island? (Well, some might be but you get my drift)

    There are members of the farming community round here who do not approve of the regenerating native bush, even on the steepest hillsides, because they think it should be pasture. To have some hillsides in pasture alone is evidently, provably harmful.

    There seem to be too many examples lately though of draconian bureaucracy favouring trees over humans, which appears to be the case here in Mosgiel? One has to wonder how we might argue for insulating and ventilating ‘healthy homes’ while forcing them to remain shaded by giant trees?

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  4th March 2016

      How can people bear to cut down healthy trees ? If they hate beautiful green living things, they should live in an apartment. Pruning is an option, surely-just not pruning to ground level.I have a tree that’s too big for the front lawn, so I prune it to a reasonable size and don’t let it overshadow the place.

      Reply
  4. kiwi guy

     /  4th March 2016

    Trees need protecting.

    There seem to be a lot of people with a pathological hatred for trees and want to exterminate all of them.

    The wrong trees planted in the wrong places are a problem. I see it all the time where someone sticks a gum tree, flame tree, rubber tree or yucca on their 1/8th acre section.

    If people were as familiar as me with trees they would plant beautiful specimens that suit the location.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  4th March 2016

      @Kiwi Guy

      Hopefully you wont mind me picking your brain for your expertise 🙂

      We have a tatty looking Palm Tree that is situated in a spot next to the house where we want to build a porch.

      My other half wants to just prune one side of the tree’s branches … because that will mean the porch will then fit.

      But it’s already ugly looking … and with one side missing it’s gonna look even worse 😦

      I want to chop it down … and am happy to plant three native trees in a different spot to make up for it.

      What natives would you suggest I plant?

      Reply
  5. Pantsdownbrown

     /  4th March 2016

    The answer: What was there first? The tree or the developer’s purchase of the property? Whatever was there first gets right of way……….

    Reply

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