[symple_googlemap title=”Neighbor dispute” location=”Canyon Lake Drive, Hollywood Hills, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”18″]

A Hollywood Hills man is suing his neighbor, a Los Angeles City Council candidate, claiming she had trees on his property cut down or drastically pruned in order to improve the view from her multimillion-dollar home.

Eugene Matthews is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed Tuesday against Sheila Irani in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging negligence, trespass and unjust enrichment.

Irani, who is running for the Fourth District council seat, claims the lawsuit is “politically motivated,” and says Matthews has several signs in his yard supporting Tomas O’Grady, an opponent of hers.

She contends that she trimmed about two feet off “hedges” that were “dry and dying” and which hung over her own property in order to remove a fire hazard.

According to the lawsuit, Matthews has owned his Canyon Lake Drive home since March 2001. The property once included a “beautiful array” of trees more than 30 years old that were visible on Google Earth images, the suit states.

Last summer, either Irani or someone working on her behalf cut down 10 conifer trees that were as high as 20 feet tall to stumps, the suit alleges. A dozen other trees were severely pruned, according to the lawsuit.

After finding out about the trees and confronting Irani, she said, “I am not going to let your trees mess up the view of my $3.4 million home,” the suit alleges.

The cost to replace the trees cut to stumps was about $46,700 and the pruned trees were reduced in value by at least $50,000, according to the plaintiff.

The suit also alleges Irani or those working for her poured a caustic substance that killed plants and trees on Matthews’ land and that she admitted spraying an insecticide outside his young children’s bedroom, causing his daughter to develop respiratory problems that required treatment by an ear, nose and throat physician.

The complaint further alleges that “assorted male guests” of Irani “can and do look directly into plaintiff’s daughter’s room,” causing stress to Matthews and his family.

“(Matthews) has filed a police report for the … activities of Sheila Irani,” the suit states.

— City News Service

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