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Sidewalk Squabble Puts Homeowner Between Safety And Tree

By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)- Anthony Madrid has lived in his home south of Sloan's Lake long enough to know his neighborhood is changing.

"[It is] drastically changing now. With all this new rebuilding and tearing down houses."

(credit: CBS)

He thinks it's his new neighbors that reported him for a 15-year-old problem; a bump in the sidewalk in front of his house.

Anthony Madrid (credit: CBS)

"I noticed some people and they were walking their dog and they were texting at the same time and they hit the stump there and said, 'Oh that's kind of dangerous.' The next thing I know the city's out here."

(credit: CBS)

A city inspector told him he needed to get rid of the bump in the sidewalk caused by a tree root.

Anthony says that's okay with him, "I'd like to just pick the stone up, cut the root down and then lay the stone back flat again. He said, 'You know you can't do that because you're messing with the Forestry of Denver now.'"

(credit: CBS)

Anthony says the inspector told him he needs to replace the entire section of sidewalk that passes in front of his house. Replacing the whole thing will cost a lot more than his solution. And if the roots stays there, Anthony says it will just cause the same problem with the new sidewalk.

Either way Anthony is willing to take care of the problem, "I'm going to do it but I just have to wait to get bids in and stuff."

(credit: CBS)

He just hopes that next time his neighbors will talk to him first before they report him to the city.

"If they would have come to me and said, 'Hey you think we could do something about this?' I would have been happy to work on it."

According to City of Denver ordinance Sec. 49-551.1, it is the duty of the homeowner to care for, maintain and repair the sidewalk adjacent to their house.

(credit: CBS)

That means not only shoveling it when it snows, but also fixing and cracks or hazards. The city says that Anthony can call the Forestry Office to request to have the tree removed, but Anthony says he doesn't want that because he likes the tree. He just doesn't like it messing up the sidewalk, which he has to fix on his own dime.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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