TREE TROOP­ERS’ AXE TO GRIND

City plays judge, jury, ex­e­cu­tioner

24 Hours Toronto - - News - SUE-ANN LEVY

We might want to call this a Made at City Hall episode of Law and Or­der.

Eto­bi­coke res­i­dent Joe Pelech is the felon.

The al­leged vic­tims are three healthy pri­vate trees (those be­long­ing to Pelech) and one wimpy look­ing city tree.

In this episode, Pelech, a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor, has been tried, con­victed and fined $2,797.24 by the city’s tree po­lice with­out a chance to even give his side of the story. His crimes?

The tree cops were bloom­ing up­set, it seems, that Pelech’s land­scaper re-graded, land­scaped and in­stalled a fence around his back­yard this sum­mer with­out putting proper tree pro­tec­tion hoard­ing around the trees — ac­cus­ing him of scrap­ing the bark and roots of the trees.

Prov­ing that City Hall can get a wig­gle on when cash is in­volved, he re­ceived a de­tailed two-page let­ter on June 15 — a mere two days af­ter a tree cop vis­ited his home. That let­ter lists his crimes and or­ders him to pay $699.31 for each tree they say he dam­aged.

“It’s just ridicu­lous,” not­ing he al­ready paid $35,000 in the du­pli­cate land trans­fer tax just a year ago when he bought the home.

“It’s bor­der­line crim­i­nal (how I’ve been treated) ... They is­sue you a fee that you can’t dis­pute (and) no­body wants to talk to you about,” he added, con­firm­ing he has not paid the fine.

STAN BE­HAL/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Joe Pelech has been fined nearly $3,000 by the City of Toronto for not pro­vid­ing enough pro­tec­tion for his trees.

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