The owner of a landmarked Brooklyn house says a tree is damaging his property, and he says says the city is asking for a lot of green to have the tree removed.
Homeowner Leslie Zafra's front steps are cracked and slowly lifting. The root of the problem? A Siberian Elm tree that belongs to the city.
"We decided to remove the tree three years ago, only to find out from the Brooklyn city forestry department that the tree cannot be removed under any circumstances because it is considered a healthy tree," Zafra said.
However, the healthy tree is creating an unhealthy situation, as its roots are slowly destroying Zafra's property. After contacting his community board, the homeowner said the city started singing a different tune, one that unfortunately comes at a great cost to Zafra and his family.
"We received a letter from the forestry department explaining that after careful evaluation, we can, we have the permission now to remove the tree. However, we would have to make a check payable to the city Department of Parks for $19,095 for restitution, which we find to be overly excessive.
After Zafra contacted NY1 For You, NY1 for You called the Parks Department. Upon looking into the situation, a spokeswoman said that the agency revisited their calculations and revised the restitution requirements, and is now working with Mr. Zafra to resolve the issue.
NY1 for You will keep you updated.