Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels wants to halt tree-cutting loophole for developers
Rather than protecting trees during development, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels says, city code in some cases encouraged their destruction before the building even began. Nickels on Monday proposed closing a legal "loophole" with temporary rules that would prevent builders from clearing trees before filing for a building permit.
Under the current code, the city can only designate trees for protection after a developer has applied for a permit. Some builders have chosen to cut down trees before filing a permit.
Nickels' proposal comes two weeks after a judge stopped Seattle Public Schools from cutting down 63 trees at Ingraham High School.
The school district had applied for a permit, then withdrew the application, saying that without filing a permit, city code allowed the district to eliminate the trees.
The issue wound up in court, and now the Ingraham tree-cutting is on hold until the school district applies for another permit.
It's not certain whether Nickels' proposal would save the trees at Ingraham.
The painting is by Laura Tasheiko