Can city government prevent me from cutting down a tree on my own property
2 attorney answers
Very interesting question. I do not feel that a Yes or No answer is sufficient because the answer will depend upon changing cirumstances. Your real issue is whether you will be found liable for not taking an action that you are legally prevented from taking. The short answer would be No - you are not liable for failing to take an action (tree trimming) that you are legally prevcented from taking (ordinance) and that occurs after an act of God (storm). However, this may change based on the circumstances. If the tree growth extends to such a degree over time that a reasonable person would take action you could be found liable. My advice - put the city on written notice of the condition, regularly update the noptice to the city in writing, preserve evidence of your notices and delivery, and maintain adequate liability insurance. You might also look into the possiblity of obtaining a waiver of the ordinance from the city or challenging the constitutionality or legality of the ordinance in court.
I would echo Mr. Durrett's advice. Would it open the door for a wrongful death claim - Yes - but that doesn't mean you would be found liable.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.