If it's in a common area, it's not "yours." Decisions concerning the maintenance of common areas are made in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Declaration of Condominium and the bylaws. Typically condo owners have an undivided fractional interest in common areas, and the HOA or COA makes decisions about maintenance. Consult the Declaration and Bylaws to ascertain what rights you may have.
Not legal advie as I don't practice law in California. It's just my two cents on the facts you describe in light of general principles of law. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds California licensure. I practice in Vermont ONLY.
Contact the members of the board of directors and lobby them to save the tree.
Disclaimer of California Attorney. Laws differ from state to state. Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract. Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan. Robert J. Suhajda, MS,CPA Attorney-At-Law 17721 Norwalk Blvd. #43 Artesia, CA 90701 562-924-8922 Tax Relief Lawyer. Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns, Homeowner Association Strategist.
You should contact the board members and try and get them to agree to keep the tree. You can also get additional owners to support you. If enough owners request that the tree remain, then the board might agree.
First, study your CC&R’s and see if the Board of Directors are making the decision or this has been delegated to an architectural committee. Whoever is making the decision, contact those individuals and present your side of the story. Another issue is that many communities have passed tree ordinances which require a city permit to cut a tree down when the trunk is in excess of a certain amount of inches; in some communities it as small as 4" width. If they are in violation of the city ordinance, put the Board of Directors on notice.
I hope this is helpful.
John N. Kitta
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