Arboricide
Arboricide City of Seattle

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Rest easy, trees of Seattle.

The city has reached a settlement with nine West Seattle homeowners who allegedly hired workers to cut down a bunch of city-owned trees to improve their views.

Those homeowners—Kostas Kyrimis, Linda Kyrimis, Nancy Despain, Wendy Sweigart, Leroy Bernard, Joyce Bernard, Charles King, Shirley King and Bruce Gross—on January 31 agreed to pay the city $360,000 to resolve a lawsuit against them over the dead trees. The city previously settled with two other alleged tree-killing couples for $440,000 in April.

First reported by the Seattle Times, the felling of 153 trees in the West Seattle greenbelt sparked outrage among environmentalists. According to the city’s lawsuit, the felled trees were in an environmentally critical area and helped prevent landslides.

The Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation has begun restoration on the site and plans to use the settlement funds in that effort, according to a press release.

Mayor Jenny Durkan used the occasion to remind everybody who she last worked for. "“Under President Obama, I was on the frontlines, fighting for and protecting the environment,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan in a statement.

Council member Lisa Herbold says the settlement sends a message to would be tree-killers, using a word I’d never heard until now: "I expect these clear consequences will make someone think twice before considering arboricide in the future,” Herbold, who represents West Seattle, said in a statement.