Should Olerud's Neighbor Cut Down The Tree?

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by Sportspress Northwest Staff

SportsPressNorthwest

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Former Seattle Mariners first baseman and current Clyde Hill resident John Olerud wants that community's Board of Adjustment to order Bruce and Linda Baker, his neighbors, to chop down a 50-foot Chinese pine tree on their property that, according to Olerud and his wife, Kelly, blocks their view of the Seattle skyline.

Olerud, who attended Washington State University, spent the majority of major league career with Toronto (won the 1993 American League batting title) and spent 2000-04 with the Mariners, and his wife have been asking the Bakers for more than two years to get rid of the tree. The Bakers have consistently refused.

In a Seattle Times story Monday, the Oleruds say that tree "unreasonably obstructs" the view from their $4 million property, which faces Lake Washington, Seattle and the Olympic Mountains, and that property values in the neighborhood are closely associated with views.

The Oleruds built their 6,680-square foot home in 2008-09. The pine was there years before the Oleruds began construction.

Olerud has offered to purchase a replacement tree for the Bakers, one that wouldn't block his view, but the Bakers say the tree is an important part of their home and has been valued by an arborist at $18,000.

Olerud must demonstrate to Clyde Hill's Board of Adjustment that the pine not only blocks his view, but decreases his enjoyment of his property. He must also show that removing the tree wouldn't decrease Baker's enjoyment of his property.

The Board of Adjustment will make a decision on whether the tree goes or stays in November if the Oleruds and Bakers can't come to an agreement before then -- unlikely since the families have been haggling over the tree for two years.

The Oleruds and Bakers obviously need to some help resolving the issue, which is where you come in.

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