NJ Man Hires Construction Crew To Tear Down Neighbor’s Trees, May Have To Pay $1 Million

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There’s something that happens when a person becomes a homeowner. Suddenly, there is a rush that makes people become so petty, yet so competitive. Even the nicest people on the block hold resentment. Someone has a greener lawn – well you can’t have that! So and so have better Christmas lights – honey, it’s time to go to The Christmas Tree Shop immediately!

But for one New Jersey homeowner, he was so obsessed with anger towards his neighbor’s tree line, that he just couldn’t cut it… literally!

Samih Shinway stands in front of trees that his neighbor cut down. (James Keivom)


Grant Haber of Kinnelon, New Jersey was so frustrated that his neighbor’s trees blocked his view of the New York City skyline, that he and a a group of contractors he hired onto their neighbor’s property and began using chainsaws and cutting down trees. In total, they cut 32 trees before homeowner Samih Shinway called police who issued an immediate cease-and-deist, according to the New York Post.

But the damage was already done. A quarter of an acre of various oaks, birches and maple trees laid on the ground lifeless.

And now? Haber faces 32 counts of illegal tree removal, a trespassing charge, and may have to pay ONE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS. All for a damn view of New York City?

Haber was initially fined a $1,000 per tree – totaling $32,000. However, a town ordinance requires anyone that “illegally removes a tree” must replace it with “another of like or superior species.” Well, some of those trees were 150 years old that he needs to replace, so Haber better get his check book ready.

And if that wasn’t enough… Haber may have to construct a roadway to the site as well as water the new trees for two years – that will cost an estimated $1.5 million! As well as paying for the soil, the clean-up and plenty more.

To use Ron Burgundy’s famous Anchorman line: “Well, that escalated quickly.”

As for me, I think I’ll just stay in my apartment for as long as possible.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


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