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Who Cut Down 153 Critical West Seattle Trees Without City Permission?

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The West Duwamish Greenbelt is considered an environmentally critical area due to it's steep slope, but that didn't stop some local homeowners from cutting down 153 trees without permission. Now the city of Seattle is pissed.

It has not been a very good time for trees in Seattle. Last week, #ManInTree decimated an old sequoia in downtown Seattle but that was nothing compared to what someone did to 153 trees along the West Duwamish Greenbelt in West Seattle in January.

The clear-cut area, on the hillside north and east of the 3200 block of 35th Avenue Southwest, above Southwest Admiral Way, belongs to the Seattle parks and transportation departments, parks department spokesman David Takami said.

The trees Friday lay where they were downed, crisscrossing more than an acre of the hillside. Their stumps, some a couple of feet in diameter, jutted through the debris.

"The city had not issued permits for the tree cutting," Takami said in an email earlier this month. "That’s all we can say for now but we are taking this matter very seriously."

On Monday, West Seattle Blog was contacted by a lawyer representing a nearby homeowner who says they and some other local homeowners had hired landscapers to top and prune the trees and somehow that morphed into all of the trees being cut down at the stumps.

Considering the importance of the West Duwamish Greenbelt, which is considered environmentally critical due to its slope and potential for landslides, the city is not messing around with potential charges. City Attorney Pete Holmes has said he may criminally-charge homeowners and the business responsible and is pursuing civil remedies as well. Restoration of the trees is expected to cost in the hundreds of thousands.
· ‘The guts of some people’: Acre of public trees in West Seattle cut down [ST]
· Where East Admiral tree-cutting investigation stands; City Attorney’s Office says ‘could be a felony’ [WSB]
· City considers felony charges in illegal West Seattle clear-cut [ST]