05/21/2013 03:46 EDT | Updated 07/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Illegal tree cutting nets charges for arborist, homeowners

Two homeowners and an arborist in North Vancouver have been charged with illegally cutting down trees in a North Vancouver park to improve their views.

Homeowners Roger Mulloy, 54, and Hooman Bozorgnia, 41, and arbourist Jeff Hoff, 33, each face a charge of mischief over $5,000.

"From what we can determine and what appears quite evident is that the homeowners wanted to increase their westward view of the homes ... [this] was done quite substantially considering the window of they created by cutting down the trees," said RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong.

Police say a total of 35 trees, some estimated to be 145 years old, in Capilano River Regional Park were either cut down or severely trimmed.

Officials estimate it will cost about $50,000 to reforest and clean up the damaged area and about 40 years for the forest to recover.

Police say the illegal tree cutting could have jeopardized nearby homes given the possibility of slope failure and the increased risk of a forest fire from the remaining debris.

The investigation started in February 2012 after police received a complaint that "significant" deforestation had occurred near the 4000 block of Capilano Road.

The three men are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.