A big red x marks the culprit. The roots of this silver maple tree spread out... lifting up the concrete... buckling part of Steve Dozier's driveway.
Steve says he first called the city of Colorado Springs eight years ago and was told not to touch it.
Steve adds, "They said if we remove the tree there was a $1,500 fine."
Steve says he felt helpless... waiting... watching... seeing the problem grow. As time went by his driveway got worse.
Steve says he kept calling. Then finally this summer, the city's forestry department sent out a crew. Workers cut down the tree and yanked out the stump.... calling it a liability.
The city's risk management office also investigated, but found the city wasn't liable for the damages.
Supervisor John Davis says the city and other public entities are protected by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.
It requires proof of negligence.
Davis says, "On behalf of the city we're sorry to Mr. Dozier for what's taken place. We're of the opinion that tree roots alone wouldn't constitute fault or negligence."
Dozier says, "I feel as though this was a city responsibility to tear up my driveway and at least... to not offer any kind of assistance to me... is kind of bogus."
The city forestry department says it's been planting trees or paying for them to be planted... ever since the days of General William Jackson Palmer.
But now... silver maples are no longer used. That's because their roots grow too close to the ground's surface... causing problems.
We feel for Steve because apparently he's stuck. He can't even turn in a claim on his homeowner's policy because most insurance companies won't cover tree root damage.
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