View-Obsessed West Seattle Homeowners Who Illegally Cut Trees Sued for $1.6M

Comments

1
And they still should face jail time. We got a new breed of raging asshole who have been moving to Seattle for years now and it's about time to knock them off of their pedestals.
2
I still want jail time for them, too.
3
Maybe they could spend a summer weekend replanting the 150 trees while wearing orange jumpsuits that say, "ASSHOLE". Invite the media.
4
"Suck it, view-mongers. " is crude.
Ansel has a well publicized aversion to crude expression.
Why do you persist in creating a hostile workplace for him?
That is insensitive and mean.
5
Plant new trees and in the mean time, while they're growing, build a big wall obstructing the view. No matter what, their new view must be blocked some way, otherwise they'll simply say the ends justify the means and others will do the same thing in the future.
6
I like DOUG's idea.
8
Jail? That's stupid. Fine them and be done with it.
9
Fining them the cost to replant the trees and then a but more on top as an asshole tax seems appropriate to me. Throwing people in jail leads to a loss of state funds, and does not help anyone but people looking for petty, vicarious revenge. Just like with drug addicts.
10
Jail time may be an inappropriate waste of resources for non-violent offenders - but perhaps home arrest (with every window facing the 'view' covered with plywood) would be suitable in this case.
11
Gotta be jail time here and preferable a felony conviction. If it's only money on the line, then a rich person may well decide that paying a fine is simply an investment in getting something they wouldn't otherwise be able to get through legal means.

An improved view of the sort were talking about here significantly increases the value of the home. I bet these people could easily pay a $100k fine and break even on the transaction after 1-2 years of added appreciation on the value of the home, because of the improved view.

I looked these homes up on Zillow a while back when somebody posted a map of the affected area online. At that time, they were valued at $800k-$1m. With better views, I'm sure they're easily worth more than that now. With each passing year and increase in appreciation, they're worth more still. It's like remodeling the kitchen. You may go out of pocket $50k-$75k, but before too long you make it back in appreciation on the home value (at least in Seattle's current market).
13
Since the trees are cleared I think we have a great new spot for a homeless camp.
14
#13, I like the cut of your jib!
15
Haha, I totally forgot about Marty Riemer.
16
I like DOUG.'s idea. I don't think jail time is appropriate - but I would also go ahead and put a big old view-obstructing wall on the properties (that the owners have to pay to construct).

And if the arborist companies have any responsibility for checking that appropriate permits are in place, they should face some sort of fines as well (although far lesser).
17
The City says it knows who cut the trees. And says 26 people, or 26 properties may be involved. Maybe Involved? Well, if you don't have proof of payment to those who you say cut the trees, then you don't have a case.

Just because a house or houses have a view now. Or a better one. Doesn't mean that that house provided money for the cutting.

The biggest fault or money should be paid by the companies who cut the trees in the first place. Then the homeowners who paid them should pay 40% of any fines if found guilty.

And the City is going the Civil, not Criminal Court route. It seems like they don't have enough proof in the first place.
18
@13 An amazing idea.

I think it should go one step further since those trees helped support the hillside that the houses were built on the city should just declare them unlivable. Since all the damage was done by the homeowners the city shouldn't need to pay anything.
19
Sorry, no jail time. We're getting rid of cops 'n jails, don'tcha know...
20
Okay, illegal. Yes. But damaging the environment? Growing trees sequester more carbon than mature trees. So, the IF the city plants trees in this greenbelt, the environment will actually benefit. Furthermore, why doesn't the city cut down all the old sick overgrown parking strip trees and plant saplings that will absorb carbon for decades to come. It's got to be cheaper than Seattle City Light constantly hacking at old trees under the telephone lines.
21
Seattle's Greenbelts are, by and large, shit.

Filled with shit 2nd-growth trees, mats of English ivy, and impenetrable brambles that house thriving populations of rats. They are rarely an asset to the surrounding neighborhood.

Sections of our City Parks are just as bad and have sat in that condition for decades.

What undergrowth did they city chop down to determine the extent of the damage? Probably Himalayan Blackberries. Fuck Himalayan Blackberries.

22
Use eminent domain to condem and remove these 26 houses in order to provide a permanent protective buffer for the greenbelt. That way, assholes like the perps who did this won't be tempted to repeat this atrocity.
23
I'd say throw them in jail, if I believed in jails.
24
@9 Putting drug addicts in jail for crimes they committed, is the right thing to do.
25
@20: uh, you DO realize that trees, once dead, release all that carbon they "sequestered" back into the environment, right? And the brand new trees planted in their place? They release their carbon too, once dead in 50, 100, 150 years. So...not actually a solution for what you want them to be a solution for. But I agree that trees are pretty.
27
@5. Exactly. Particularly when you consider that the lowest homeowner's insurance liability limit on those policies is $300k. Multiply that by six homeowners and you have more than paid the $1.6 million. So they don't get renewed and have to fork out a few hundred bucks extra for a policy from some other company for a few years, until the claim history ages. It is less out of pocket then they paid to cut the trees down. Yawn!
28
These assholes might have also destabilised the hill their homes sit on. Smart.
Also, I couldn't help but look up the offending couple's house (it's not hard to find). This information won't solve anything, but it's one of the ugliest houses I've ever seen.
29
You get a nice view of a blue tarp for two years among other things if you pull this crap in Australia.
30
Trees ARE a view. Looking out your window and seeing trees is a beautiful thing. What the fuck is wrong with people.
31
Nice of them to clear land for a new "tent city."
32
Blue tarps, homeless camp, unlivable homes due to destabilized hill
These all sound like the things the fines should pay for.