The article states that Olerud petitioned a zoning board in his city of Clyde Hill to condemn his neighbor's tree under a rarely used local ordinance that allows trees to be forcefully removed for aesthetic reasons. Glad I don't live there.
The article also states that the neighbor had already removed one tree on his property for Olerud, and that Olerud quoted the Bible to the zoning board about the Golden Rule, and how that meant the neighbor should capitulate and cut down his other tree.
In Olerud's defense, it sounds like he lives in a hyper regulated city that might be akin to a gated community. In that sort of situation, maybe a person gives up his ordinary property rights to community aesthetic regulation and control to a much greater degree than an ordinary urbanites would be comfortable with. Maybe in Clyde Hill, ugly trees are outlawed, and Olerud is just doing his civic responsibility in bringing the offending pine to trial. Ultra-rich gated community commune squabbles just register as absurd to ordinary people who live in houses that they paint whatever color they want, ignore their neighbors and don't like the government. But, the people that live in gated communities seem to really like them, and maybe feel a duty to police one another.
Is all this a big deal? I don't know. But Olerud's quote from the Bible is particularly cringe worthy. He should have left God out of this one.