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OP committee looks to address unauthorized tree removal

By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer

The Ocean Pines Architectural Review Committee is preparing a motion to be submitted to the board of directors that would address the issue of residents removing trees from their property without going through the required avenues to secure permission to do so.

“I am sending a motion to the board, preparing that for them to discuss the application process, or permit process if you will, and to see if there are things that can be changed to that process as far as who will be getting the actual permit,” board liaison Rick Farr said.

“What’s happening is there are trees that are being removed in Ocean Pines that aren’t going through the proper process or permits aren’t even being pulled by a residence or contractors.”

Farr stressed that this is an issue with residents ultimately, not the contractors who are hired to do the work.

“We’re trying to tighten that up to make sure they go through the proper process of going through the application for the removal of trees,” he said.

The committee met Tuesday morning and Farr said that there was no opposition among committee members and that the only concern was the issue at hand — making sure that residents are compliant in submitting applications for tree removal.

“There is a process in place and it’s not being followed,” Farr said. “It’s been a problem for a while. It’s only now been brought up in the past several months. The committee has taken on a vested interest in ensuring that the proper procedures are being followed and having the onus on the property owner to follow the process.”

Farr didn’t elaborate on specific solutions that are possible for the issue, instead referring back to the point of the process they’re in — bringing the issue to the board and letting them begin working it out at their next meeting.

“The biggest thing is making sure residents know, when they’re looking to get approvals for making changes to property, they must go through the proper channels,” Farr said. “The application needs to be submitted and approved to the (committee) whether it’s fences or additions or anything that’ll alter the property. They need to go through that process.”

“Some people are just doing it on their own. Then some violations come about. We want to educate people to (remind) them there is a process — which they know — because they got all the regulations and requirements to make sure they follow them (in the first place) and it’s important that they do so. We want to make sure that they’re educated. You can’t just do anything to do it, you have to follow procedure in putting your application in.”

This story appears in the print version of Bayside Gazette on May 5, 2022.