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Scottsdale homeowners push back against HOA plan to remove 670 trees from neighborhood

An HOA in Scottsdale wants to remove 970 trees in the neighborhood and homeowners are upset.
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 5:43 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The heat is on across the Valley, but things are a lot cooler in the Arcadia Community of SilverLeaf at DC Ranch in Scottsdale. Tom and Julie LaPorte want it to stay that way, but there’s no guarantee. Their HOA wants to remove hundreds of trees.

“My first reaction was, I couldn’t believe it,” said Julie LaPorte. “We can’t recreate this, and they just want to rip it apart.”

The DC Ranch Association recently asked the Scottsdale Development Review Board if it could remove 670 trees in the neighborhood because of the potential damage the roots could cause to utility lines, surrounding streets, and homes. The Review Board said “no,” but now the HOA is appealing that decision. Homeowners told Arizona’s Family they’d been provided no evidence that the trees are an immediate threat and no assessment of the impact replacing all the trees could have on property values and the community.

“Taking out all these trees is going to increase water usage because you plant new trees that need more water,” said Tom LaPorte. “You’re going to remove the shade, which means grass will need more water. The houses are not going to have shade anymore, so your electric bills are going up, so the carbon footprint is going to increase. Removing trees is exactly contrary to what the city wants to achieve.”

Arizona’s Family reached out to the DC Homeowners Association and was provided the following statement:

“The Association has an appeal of the Development Review Board decision regarding its Street Tree Replacement Project that is pending a future review by the Scottsdale City Council. Experts have advised the Association that the trees must be replaced to avoid damage to homes and property. The trees are being properly maintained in the meantime.”

The LaPortes said that pulling out and replacing all the trees, which are about 20 years old, will cost millions of dollars, with homeowners footing the bill. Tom LaPorte said he’d rather pay for any damage from the trees as it pops up.

“If you have to spend $80,000 on street repairs every 20 years, instead of spending $4 million to replace the trees now, not to mention all the things we will lose, it seems to be a much smarter investment,” LaPorte said.