YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE: Neighbors out on a Limb
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Aug. 20, 2013
PALM SPRINGS - Two men in a Palm Springs neighborhood are upset with each other over a tree. In July 2012, Mitchell Compton cut down his next door neighbor's tree branches that were overhanging his house.
"The dying needles were just going in my patio furniture and my pool plaster, my patio and it was just a huge mess in my yard," expressed Compton, "The tree is a hazard even with the limb cut down. It needs to be removed."
Compton added he approached his neighbor about the situation several months before he took matters on his own.
"I offered to cut down the tree at my expense and give him the firewood and he declined," said Compton.
His neighbor, Larry Hochanadel, said the tree has sentimental value and refused to trim down his tree to preserve it.
"I planted the tree roughly 40 years ago, my daughter's first christmas, and we bought the tree as our christmas tree that year and then we planted it afterwards. In the meantime, we watched it grow up," shared Hochanadel.
Hochanadel claimed the tree never posed any danger to Compton's property and is suing him for $25 thousand for having his tree limb cut down. Compton believes the lawsuit over the tree is unnecesary and thinks it's not a neighborly thing to do.
"You take care of your own property and his tree was a hazard to my property, and I offered to take care of it. He didn't want to do anything about it, so I took care of it and then I get sued, which is ridiculous," exclaimed Compton.
In the meantime, a resigned-looking Hochanadel said that he will have to remove the tree eventually because he believes it's off-balance and posing a danger to his house.
"I've had a couple different arborists survey it and got their opinions on it and basically, it's now a hazard to my house because now the tree is out of balance and is leaning toward my house," said Hochanadel.
The Director of Planning from the City of Palm Springs said this is a private matter between the two men and does not involve the City.