Pitkin County landowner must remove trees; they block views
December 16, 2009
ASPEN – A Pitkin County landowner must remove seven trees, planted without approval, in order to preserve views of the mountains from Watson Divide Road, county commissioners decided Wednesday.
The trees, five spruces and two cottonwoods, are among the vegetation planted around irrigation ponds several years ago. The landscaping went well beyond an approved plan at the time. It envisioned only cottonwoods around the ponds and none in nearby hay meadows.
Landowner Patti Wheeler had two men ready to cut down trees during a Dec. 14 site visit by commissioners, but they urged her to hold off.
“My objective was to give them a visual of what they wanted,” she said.
Wheeler said Wednesday she was happy with the compromise. She said she anticipates the trees will be cut down, rather than transplanted, as she has been advised the trees probably wouldn’t survive. Transplanting the spruces would cost $900 apiece, she said.
The eventual height and width of the trees troubled commissioners, who feared the stunning views from Watson Divide Road would be compromised.
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Though seven trees will be removed, others that were planted without approval will be allowed to remain.