CAMDEN — A judge has ordered a Camden waterfront landowner to remove some trees and cut back some others that were planted to block the view of a neighbor.

Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler issued her order Feb. 9 in a lawsuit filed by Richard Tranfeld and Kara Doremus-Tranfeld against Patricia Arcuni-English.

Arcuni-English owns waterfront property on Harbor Road in Camden, north of town and off Route 1. The Tranfelds own the adjacent property away from the water.

Wheeler gave Arcuni-English 60 days to remove every other pine tree along the boundary between the properties and trim all the arbor vitae to a maximum height of 10 feet. She must also remove a row of seven more trees she planted along the arbor vitae.

Arcuni-English also must include a restriction in her property deed to prohibit any future growth higher than 10 feet in the area that would interfere with the waterfront view from the Tranfeld property.

The Tranfelds filed the court complaint in May 2016. A jury-waived trial was held in September in Knox County Court.

Wheeler noted in her ruling that the relationship between the Tranfelds and Arcuni-English began poorly the first day the Tranfelds moved into the home they’d purchased in January 2016.

According to events recounted in the ruling, Richard Tranfeld wanted to start a fire at his home and went next door to see if he could borrow firewood. Arcuni-English wasn’t home, so Tranfeld took some wood, leaving a note on the door that he’d borrowed it, but as he was leaving, Tranfeld met Arcuni-English coming home and she thought he was stealing it.

Soon after, Tranfeld removed a tree that was 18 feet inside his property. Arcuni-English confronted him and told him that “In this neighborhood, we don’t do any cutting without discussing it with the neighbors first.”

She was also upset that he later cut some bushes and overgrown branches.

Arcuni-English argued to the court that the she planted were not intended as a “spite fence,” but to restore the privacy she had enjoyed for the more than 40 years she’d lived in her house.

The judge pointed out in her ruling that the Tranfelds were warned by other Camden residents that the lawsuit could cause them to be ostracized by the garden and yacht clubs in town.

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