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Our development manager is going to cut down 15 year old…

Customer Question
Our development manager is...

Our development manager is going to cut down 15 year old live oaks and replace with palm trees even though our community landscape plan calls for live oak trees. I would like to stop this deforestation and want to know if in St. Augustine and in St John's county fl if there are county requirements to be met before these trees are destroyed. I do not know of any problems these trees are causing. No sidewalk upheaval or foundation issues to date.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Not to my knowledge but then we, the residents were only informed of this decision to cut down the trees this morning.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes, does St John's county require COAs to get county approval on large landscape changes? This is a developer owned community yet, people bought into this place with the current landscape being a key reason.Thanks!

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/29/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,398
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Great, thank you! Bear with me a moment while I review…

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Thanks for your patience! Unfortunately, because I don't live in those counties and would have to do some extensive research of the municipal code to find out the answer for sure, I couldn't tell you if the county requires some permits, actions, or approvals. However, what I can tell you is that based on what you provided, if the landscape plan calls for only live oak trees and the development manager is looking to push the boundaries of that plan, you may be able to sue for a breach of contract.

A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because they have some state-specific breach of contract forms that you can use as well. Click here to choose your state and get started.

If the letter doesn't work, I'd probably recommend to you that you file a lawsuit and then request an injunction against them. This injunction request will basically ask the court to prohibit them from putting up the palm trees until the matter is decided in its entirety. It's a common procedural move to help you out.

What other questions did you have for me today?

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