March 12, 2024 at 5:34 am

A Nasty Neighbor Cut Down An Old Tree On Their Property, So They Rezoned the Neighbor’s Yard And Royally Screwed Him Over

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/@niko_photos

Wow…this guy sounds like a real gem

In case you didn’t pick up on what I’m putting down, that was SARCASM, my friends…

And you’ll see what I’m talking about in just a minute…

Check out how this person’s dad got back at a neighbor who went way too far.

Destroy our tree? We’ll destroy your driveway.

“By North American standards, our house is really old.

It’s older than the town; hell it’s older than Confederation. The house was originally built by a merchant from the area like 200 years ago.

With its age comes a very big property line, and apart from a couple adjustments here and there to account for infrastructure and housing development, it’s basically unchanged from a hundred years ago.

It rarely ever comes up here, but in any dispute relating to property lines, the official town plan takes precedent; and our property line crosses over into our neighbours’ property. This will be important later.

Their neighbor is a real creep.

And now for the two major players in this tale: Our jerk neighbour, who we will call… Lumpy. He’s just the worst; he ran an illegal chop-shop in his backyard, and seemed to be afraid of trees.

He also always took a two-week long vacation in summer, and it was always at the end of July – this part is also important later.

The other one is my dad. At the time he was in Government Oversight, but before that he was in the Department of Justice, and his major responsibilities included training Crown attorneys.

This included the Attorney General. In the pecking order, Dad was actually pretty low, but the Crown knew and respected him, and they were keenly aware that Dad knew the law inside and out; if there was anything even remotely resembling a legal dispute, Dad was almost always in the right with his argument.

Now we begin our tale:

The Slight

The line between our yard and Lumpy’s was pretty clear: our side was grass, protestant lilies, shrubs, and trees; his was a gravel driveway. Before the incident, there was a large Manitoba maple tree growing there.

It was very old, but grew in such a way that it blocked just enough sunlight to have a pleasant level of light going through the window. We had no intentions of ever removing it – maybe trim it a little if it got too close to the windows.

Lumpy wanted to do something…

However – some lower branches were sagging onto Lumpy’s driveway, so he asked if he could cut down some of the lower branches so that his car wouldn’t get damaged when he drove in and out.

It was a fair enough request, and he did ask permission first, so we told him to get a landscaper and a quote, because we sure as hell weren’t going to let Lumpy do it, and were okay paying for that.

A couple days later we were all on a day trip somewhere, and when we got back, Lumpy comes over and tells us not to worry about the landscaper because he “took care of it.” Red flags were waving at that statement.

He went too far…

So we went and checked the tree – he cut the entire tree down. Then, to add insult to injury, he painted the stump with some sort of weird grey stuff. Don’t know what it was, but it had to have been toxic as hell, because nothing ever grew on that stump again – not even fungi.

So we’re understandably ****** off, but unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about it because there’s no proof. So now we’ve got a stump that was once a beautiful tree, a smug neighbour, and seemingly no course of action to take. Dad didn’t accept that scenario, and he had a plan.

Dad got busy.

The Plan

As I said earlier, Dad knew the law inside and out – so he began to plan things out. He made a few phone calls to the town’s civil architect, a couple inspectors, the local landscaper Lumpy was going to get that quote from, and a contractor. He visited city hall and got a copy of the official town plan – which, remember, is the final word on property lines. He had everything arranged, and now he began to wait.

The Revenge

Like clockwork, Lumpy went on vacation, and the plan was enacted. Over the course of two weeks, we expanded. We rebuilt our fence to new dimensions; re-arranged the shrubs; dug up the gravel driveway and put fresh dirt and grass over it; and planted a weeping willow in a spot where, as it grew, would always hang, and shed, into Lumpy’s yard.

With the expanded fence and shrubbery, Lumpy’s driveway was a small strip of pavement, maybe half a metre wide, the fence placed an old, dying maple and a hawthorn on our side, but because of how the two trees grew, most of it was on Lumpy’s side.

The key point is that the placement of the trunk dictates whose property it’s on, so it’s our tree that he can’t touch, no matter how annoying or destructive it is.

Showed him!

With the new dimensions, the chop-shop he was running was now on our side of the fence – but because it was illegal, it was just scrap metal as far as the law was concerned. So we sold it to a local scrap yard.

By the time Lumpy came back, our yard had expanded almost three metres into “his” yard, and waiting for him was Dad, the civil architect, and a lawyer with a stack of documents outlining, in full detail, that what they did was 100% legal, and there wasn’t a thing he could do about it.”

Here’s what Reddit users said about this.

One reader was a big fan of this story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual offered a theory…

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person was upset by what the neighbor did.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual shared their own story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Good job, Dad!

Nicely done…

If you thought that was an interesting story, check this one out about a man who created a points system for his inheritance, and a family friend ends up getting almost all of it.