September 24, 2009

Pickens’ wife sues city over pruning order

The wife of Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens said she is suing a California city over an order to prune plants on her back deck.

Madeleine Pickens, 62, filed a lawsuit Sept. 18 in Superior Court against the city of Del Mar

when the city, enforcing its view ordinance, ordered her to prune the evergreen shrubs and palms on the back deck of her $35 million home in the city, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

The city issued the order after neighbors Charles and Lynn Gaylord complained that Pickens' plants partially block their view of the coast.

Apparently, they feel they're entitled to their view all the way down to La Jolla from their couch, Pickens said.

The lawsuit claims the city's enforcement of the view ordinance is arbitrary, capricious, and unconstitutional in retroactively imposing landscaping requirements.