2021 Ice Storm Damage
As follow-up to our most recent email update regarding the damage to the trees in the community caused by the snow and ice event, we received some additional information from the City of West Linn and wanted to inform all homeowners. The public right of way including the sidewalk, street trees, and roadway are all the property of the city. By City Code, the adjacent property owner has the responsibility to do routine maintenance of the sidewalk, street tree, and landscaping that fronts their private property. This assignment of regular maintenance responsibility is consistent with other cities throughout the Portland Metro area. By having property owners complete adjacent maintenance, taxes are kept low. To clarify further, the street trees are the property of the city, not the homeowner, thus there will be no compensation for property you do not own.
Please understand that this is not a regular event or time of the year. In fact, this event is considered once in a lifetime and will likely be remembered as one of the greatest natural disasters to hit West Linn of all time. Thousands of trees were damaged and uprooted by the ice storm. This damage goes beyond the obvious physical destruction visible to the untrained eye and has impacted trees on a level that are often not immediately visible. The city has contracted with skilled, experienced, and certified arborists to review the condition of every tree as the city goes through our initial sweep of cleaning up damage. Nobody wants to remove healthy trees as this serves no purpose. Only hazard trees are being removed. After this initial cleanup of the city, a more detailed analysis will take place which could result in the removal of more trees. Tree removal is not taken lightly but is often necessary to re-establish a health more resilient street tree canopy. The city’s staff is working to document all tree removals and locations. The staff will also be working in the future on stump removal. This inventory of removals will form the basis for setting policy on replacements and a future restoration plan. No trees will be replaced until a thorough review of the whole city can be completed and policy set on replacements. Additionally, these replacements will likely not begin until late fall or winter.
The city has a staff of 6 full time people in streets dedicated to a city of almost 27,000 residents, so their response will be a little slow in comparison to what you might be accustomed to by private companies. We ask that you alternatively contact our managing agent, The Management Trust, with any questions or concerns so they can be routed to the appropriate party. Our community manager is Madison Castillo and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (503) 670-8111 x5222.