HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoed two bills Monday, including legislation making property owners liable for removing trees that fall into their neighbor’s property. Malloy said the bill could see healthy trees felled unnecessarily.
The bill passed both legislative chambers with broad support but it was opposed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association in the Judiciary Committee. The bill would make the tree owner liable if the neighbor had previously notified the owner that the tree seemed likely to fall and the owner made no effort to remove or prune the tree back within 30 days.
In his veto message, Malloy said he was worried the legislation would leave property owners feeling forced to take down trees which neighbors complain about even if they are healthy.
“I am concerned that this bill is weighted too heavily in favor of neighbors who want branches and trees taken down and provides no avenue for a tree owner to contest a neighbor’s assertion that their tree or branch is ‘likely to fall,’” Malloy said. “Without such a provision, there is a strong possibility that tree owners will feel compelled to remove a tree upon merely receiving a letter from a neighbor, even when the tree may in fact be healthy.”
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