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Woodside Man Hit With $52K Fine For Cutting Down 6 Trees

WOODSIDE (CBS SF) -- A Woodside man was slapped with a $52,500 fine for cutting down six trees on his own property without a permit.

In December, contractors at Rajiv Gujral's Woodside property on Jane Drive cut down six Bay Laurel trees without permission from the city.

Woodside had imposed stiff fines in 2010 to stop wealthy homeowners from clear cutting lots, and building mansions. But, Gujral said he had been assured by his tree trimmer that the Bay Laurels were okay to cut down without the $50 permit.

"It was a mistake, I listened to people who I thought knew what they were talking about," said said Gujral.

However, the town had delivered not one, but two warning letters, and a stop-work notice to the site.

After an emotional appeal to the Woodside city council, the fine was cut in half, to $26,250 but not before Mayor Ann Kasten chastised Gujral for not being a more responsible homeowner.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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