SUBDIVISION COVENANTS OFTEN PIT TREE OWNERS AGAINST THOSE WHO WANT TO PRESERVE VIEWS
As property values go up, the value of views increases. This has caused some property owners in certain subdivisions to sue to remove trees under restrictive covenants. Covenants often contain provisions that are protective of views. Even if covenants do not contain a specific view covenant, they may prohibit “noxious” or “undesirable” uses, and some subdivision covenants have been interpreted to include view-blocking trees. These disputes usually depend on the unique facts in each situation, but property owners who are protecting their views have turned to covenants to force neighbors to prune or remove trees.
The increasing value of views has also led some subdivision residents to undertake “view zoning.” View zoning attempts to plan for specific vegetation in specific areas. Large trees may be allowed in certain areas but prohibited in designated view corridors. This preserves the visual and ecological appeal of graceful mature trees while limiting the haphazard impact on views.