Neighborhood battles over redwoods

Published 04/14 2014 06:55PM

Updated 04/15 2014 09:35PM

NORTHEAST BAKERSFIELD - There's a growing dispute in the Rio Bravo neighborhood of Country Elegance. At the root of the problem are redwood roots. Two large redwood trees are tangling up one woman's septic tank.

The homeowners association wants to chop them down, but five neighbors want to spare the trees the ax.

"We want them simply to move the septic tank out from under the driveway," said Michael Sullivan, who is petitioning to save the trees.

Two homeowners association board members said it's not that simple, that the trees are just going to keep growing and it's an expense the board doesn't want to pay.

"They can't justify paying an extra four or five thousand dollars to relocate the septic tank," said neighbor Jim Hudgins, who is also fighting to keep the trees.

Hudgins and Sullivan said the board has no idea if the septic tank, that only serves one house, isn't in need of repairs itself since it hasn't been investigated.

"They think by simply removing the trees, they'll get to the septic tank and find it's ok," said Sullivan.

"We can't see that it's okay. Get into the tank itself and evaluate it, which we think it's already destroyed and they'll have to spend the money to replace it anyway."

The board members said they're accepting subcontractor bids on both the septic tank and the tree removal. To avoid problems with all 63 homeowners, the board will leave it up to a neighborhood vote when all of the estimates come back.

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