The Jungle Den Villas condominium association board of directors thought they had followed all of the proper procedures when they paid a landscaping company to cut down a large laurel oak tree. The Astor, Florida, community’s directors had found the decaying tree to be dangerous; it was dropping limbs on the dock and its roots were damaging the seawall.
The company the association hired agreed and, according to the board president, its owner assured him a permit would not be necessary with its arborist’s report. Unfortunately, that proved not to be the case, and the Volusia County Department of Growth and Resource Management issued the community with a violation notice indicating it could face more than $20,000 in replacement costs. The association would either be required to plant more trees or pay up.
In a subsequent report on the matter in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the landscaping company’s owner explains that an arborist’s assessment before removing such a tree is usually sufficient for residential properties, but he denies saying a permit was not necessary. He noted that the customer is responsible for permitting, which is indicated in its written agreement with the association.