More city-owned trees illegally cut down in West Seattle

May 1, 2016, 11:33 AM | Updated: 11:34 am

What happened in the North Admiral neighborhood is striking but apparently very easy to miss.

“I didn’t notice that the view was being obstructed,” said Cheryl Rioux, who has lived in the neighborhood since last July. “And then when I got the thing in the mail, I thought this was really weird.”

“I thought they were talking about Duwamish,” said her neighbor, Anne DeRham. “I didn’t even read it.”

Did they think it was about their neighborhood?

“No, of course not,” said DeRham.”No,”

“No,” agreed Rioux. “Because it (the trees) wasn’t high.”

So it came as a surprise when these North Admiral neighbors spotted a gap in the trees. When they looked more closely, it is obvious the trees were cut down.

“Right, they shouldn’t be touching that property,” said Rioux.

The trees were part of the city-owned Duwamish Head greenbelt with the spectacular view of Puget Sound. In March, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says the city was mulling criminal charges over the illegal cutting of more than 150 trees in the West Duwamish Greenbelt neighborhood .

Related: Illegal tree cut makes views worse for some West Seattle homeowners

The Seattle Parks Department believes the trees were cut down in February. No one said Saturday that they saw it occur. And most neighbors weren’t all that concerned about it, initially.

“It depends,” said Vincent Rioux. “If it impacts the structure of the hillside and has issues like that, which I understand the area is prone to, then that’s a problem.”

A potential landslide was the concern when the city discovered a clear-cut last winter two miles away on 35th Avenue Southwest. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said then the clearcut could result in jail time.

The North Admiral neighbors say they wouldn’t go that far.

“I totally get that people want their views,” said Cheryl Rioux. “And I think there’s got to be a remedy. But it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be, clear-cutting.”

The penalty depends on the value of what was cut down.

If it is worth more than $5,000, the crime becomes a felony which brings with it the possibility of jail time. Anyone who knows what happened, is asked to come forward.

Local News

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More city-owned trees illegally cut down in West Seattle