Dangerous Trees

MALA Dangerous Tree Rules and Regulations

Background: Merifield Acres is a community distinguished by its abundance of trees. The Merifield Acres, Inc., Covenant 8 makes special provision for the protection of trees on lots. MALA has the responsibility to deal with trees on the common areas to include Oak Park, tennis court, runway, apple orchard, main entrance, and road right- of- ways. While trees are a source of natural beauty and afford privacy, they can become a source of danger as they die and drop limbs or fall. In addition to the natural die-off due to age, drought and insects increase the number of trees that die. Also, live trees can become a danger as a result of storm influence. Live trees can have limbs hanging lower than ten feet over the roads, the clearance required by fire trucks. MALA must anticipate the potential danger to the common area users and facilities associated with dangerous trees and implement rules and regulations to address the situation.

Authority: MALA is the owner of common areas and roads . Merifield Acres, Inc., Covenant 10 provides that MALA has responsibility for the “general safety” of lot owners.

Rule: MALA through its various officers, Committee members, and Maintenance Contractor shall identify any tree that appears to pose a potential danger to the users of the common areas or roads. Such a tree is designated as a dangerous tree. For a dangerous tree located adjacent to power lines, Mecklenburg Electric shall be notified by the Chair of the Common Areas and Facilities Committee (CAFC). For any tree located in Oak Park, tennis court, runway, apple orchard, and main entrance, the Chair of the CAFC shall determine whether the tree is a "dangerous tree" that must be removed. For any tree located near a road, the Chair of the Roads and Maintenance Committee (RMC) shall determine whether the tree is a "dangerous tree" that must be removed.

For a dangerous tree located on common areas: MALA, under the direction of the CAFC, shall promptly arrange to remove the tree.

For a dangerous tree located on a lot, no imminent danger: The Chair (or designee) of the RMC shall send the first notification letter to the lot owner (attachment 1). If the owner fails or refuses to respond to the first notification letter, the President of MALA shall send by registered mail, return receipt requested, the second notification letter (attachment 2). The second notification letter shall notify the lot owner that failure to remove the dangerous tree could result in legal action.

For a dangerous tree located on a lot, imminent danger: If in the judgment of the Chair (or designee) of the RMC and the MALA Vice President, the tree poses an imminent danger to users of the common areas, roads, the danger area will be cordoned off and the lot owner shall be notified by the most expedient means available of the need to remove the dangerous tree. If the property owner cannot be contacted or does not agree to take prompt action to remove the danger, MALA, under the direction of the RMC, shall take action to eliminate the danger. Any cost incurred by MALA shall be billed to the lot owner.

attachments:

Merifield Acres, Inc., first notification letter
Merifield Acres, Inc., second notification letter
first notification letter non-Merifield Acres, Inc.

December 9, 2008