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Monument Avenue homeowner considers filing suit against city

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A homeowner in Richmond is considering legal action after a city tree crashed into his Monument Avenue home last month.

Contractors are back at Carl Archacki’s Monument Avenue residence.

First, a fire temporarily uprooted his family. Then, another disaster occurred about two weeks after the second floor renovations were finished and the family had moved back home. A massive Oak tree crashed through the roof.

To add insult to injury, Archacki said he spotted the city tree leaning on his property and even contacted a city arborist, offering to pay to remove the tree.

However, Archacki said he was told that he would be fined if he attempted to remove the tree, since city inspectors deemed it healthy.

Then, as powerful storms moved through the area on June 25, the tree smashed through his home’s roof, causing extensive damage.

“Bending the entire roof ridge of the home, so that the backside has to be pulled down,” said Archacki. 

However, since the tree damaged his home, Achacki said the city has allowed him to remove a different city tree — at his own expense.

“And now, I am considering different legal possibilities against the city…” said Archacki. “I do feel that there is liability — and there is no government immunity in this case.” 

Sharon North, a city spokesperson, declined an on camera interview, but did provide the city’s policy on tree removal. It shows a tree inspection is done within ten business days of a request. The tree is immediately removed if the entire tree is actively failing. For example, if the soil is lifting or if there are cracks that move in the trunk of the tree.