Agency fines condo owners $10K for alleged tree limbing | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Agency fines condo owners $10K for alleged tree limbing

Amanda Fehd

A $10,000 fine has been levied against three condominium owners at the Tahoe Marina Lodge in Tahoe City for allegedly cutting the limbs off the tops of trees to improve the property’s view of Lake Tahoe.

The Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency approved a settlement agreement last week which calls on Steve and Donna Swan of Alta to pay $2,500 and Ron Rosenberg of Oakland to pay $7,500 to the agency.

Rosenberg declined to comment when contacted by the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Neither the Swans nor Don Hillebrandt, the president of the homeowners association, returned repeated calls for comment.

No one admits fault in a settlement agreement.

Rosenberg allegedly directed the Swans to do the work, however the extent of what he told them to do is disputed.

In the settlement, the Tahoe Marina Lodge Homeowners Association agrees to implement a “comprehensive vegetation management plan” to address an alleged history of limbing trees at the property.

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The TRPA determined “unauthorized tree limb and vegetation removal had been occurring on the TML property in the past,” according to the TRPA’s staff memorandum to the Governing Board.

“In fact, most of the trees limbed by the Swans had been previously and unlawfully limbed, although to a lesser height,” the memo stated.

The memorandum alleges the homeowners association denied permission to the Swans to limb the trees, attempted to stop the Swans when they were cutting the trees, and cited the Swans for violating association rules.

“The original settlement offer was adjusted down to $10,000 to take into account the Swans’ inability to pay a sum larger than $2,500.”

According to the Placer County Assessor’s Office, the Swans own a 1,152-square-foot condo. A lakefront unit at Tahoe Marina Lodge with the same square footage sold this September for $1.25 million.