A falling limb did nearly $4,000 in damages to a vehicle parked in the street and a San Antonio man says the city should pay. The city said no.
The disagreement centers on whose property the tree is on.
The limb fell after a summer storm and crushed the top of Anthony de la Zerda's truck and damaged other areas. He said the city should pay for the damage. He said when limbs fell in 2009 and 2010, the city took responsibility and cleaned them up. He said the Public Works Department even told him how to tell who's responsible.
"They explained to us the property thing and how that side is the city's and anything on this side of the sidewalk is mine," de la Zerda said. "They told me anything that fell on my side was my responsibility so as you can see I cut everything on my side."
He figured since the tree is planted in an easement between the sidewalk and the curb, it is the city's tree and the city's responsibility.
"It's a matter of principle,” de la Zerda said. “And as a taxpayer, I will not put up with this type of stuff. I'm just not going to do it."
However, city workers possibly passed on some bad information. The city said the limb "was from a tree located on property which is Mr. de la Zerda's responsibility.”
As for why the city cleared limbs earlier: “The city will clear debris or items blocking the city's public streets.”
The city said homeowners are responsible for everything that happens from the curb to the house.
De la Zerda’s neighbor complained about a tree in front of his house and the city came out and installed a no parking sign instead of trimming the tree.
Here is the city's full response to the limb accident:
“The City's initial assessment of Ms. Lipinski's claim remains the same. In accordance with the City's ordinance, the limb that fell on her car was from a tree located on property which is Mr. de la Zerda's responsibility and therefore, the City is not responsible for the damage done to Ms. Lipinski's car. The City will clear debris or items blocking the City's public streets and did so, along with clearing the tree from the car, when we were notified that the tree limb had fallen and was interfering with traffic on the street.”
Here are some links to the city's easement ordinance