A view can be of the tree that is actually blocking your 'view'on January 8, 2013 @ 9:03 am (Updated: 9:38 am - 1/8/13 )
First off, I must admit it's amusing to see a couple of extremely wealthy families squaring off, battling over who deserves a better view of the Olympics from their multi-million dollar homes.
Former Mariner John Olerud will soon have an "improved view" from his Clyde Hill home, but he's going to pay for it.
Olerud's neighbors have two 50 foot trees obstructing his home's view, and the city has ordered them removed at his expense.
The ruling is the first of its kind since 1991 under the view obstruction and tree removal ordinance. The Seattle Times reports those trees will then be replaced, and Olerud's neighbors will have to keep them trimmed to no higher than 25 feet.
But the fact that Olerud and his neighbors tried to out-Christian the other is also curious to me. During a Clyde Hill city hearing, the Oleruds quoted Jesus as saying 'You should love your neighbors' as a reason for why those neighbors, the Bakers, should cut down their tree for them. As it so happens, Mr. Baker is a Presbyterian minister. In one of Baker's counteroffers, he would have had the Oleruds "tithe" $25,000 to a charity.
Putting all that extraneous stuff aside, I've got to say I think the Bakers got screwed - but I'm not here to re-litigate the case.
By the way, I have nothing against John Olerud. He was always one of my favorite Mariners. In a world full of trash-talkers, he was that rare "gentlemen" in pro sports. A great role model.
What does bother me is how short-sighted the Oleruds are. I know this is a minority view, but I think there's more to a view than just the mountains, or Lake Washington, or the Seattle skyline.
The Bakers' rare, 50-foot Chinese pine is ALSO the view. Why not appreciate that view instead of impose your own pre-concieved ideas of what a view should be on somebody else?
This issue happens to hit close to home for me, despite the fact that my salary would be little more than chump change to either the Oleruds or the Bakers.
We have a ramshackle cabin up on Whidbey Island that's shared by a bunch of related families and we have a tree that blocks our view of Mt. Baker. Some in the family want to cut it down to clear out a view of the mountain but others - led by me - argue vociferously that tree is every bit as good as Mt. Baker. They can't see the tree for the metaphoric "forest" of a view.
In my personal family battle, I've given framed photos of the obstructing tree as Christmas presents and turned them into a jigsaw puzzle for visitors to the cabin. It's now the best-known tree on our property! Everybody else has a view of Mt. Baker but no one else has our tree!
With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, I think that I shall never see a view as lovely as that tree.
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