Tree code controversy addressed by city of Black Diamond

A simmering controversy concerning 113 trees cut down on YarrowBay property in Black Diamond has been brewing for the past couple of months.

The issue was addressed in a city press release sent Wednesday, July 21.

YarrowBay, a Kirkland-based developer that is seeking building permits from Black Diamond for two master planned developments, The Villages and Lawson Hills, reported to the city the trees had been cut down by a contractor. Officials from YarrowBay stated the contractor was doing work for the company for a future infiltration pond. The contractor did not apply for a tree removal permit according to YarrowBay representatives.

Colin Lund, director of development for YarrowBay, informed the City Council about the issue at the May 20 meeting.

Since the May 20 meeting a number of citizens have asked city officials what action would be taken.

The release noted, “Last year, the City adopted a new ordinance centralizing code enforcement provisions under Chapter 8.02 of the Black Diamond Municipal Code. This new chapter provides for the prompt and voluntarily correction of code violations. In this case, the property owner proposed that it correct the violation by making application for a permit and pay $6,150 into the tree fund, the amounts specified for removal of 113 significant trees.”

According to the release the staff determined the actions taken by YarrowBay “met the remedial goals of the tree preservation code.”

The city release stated the decision on enforcement rested with the executive branch and Mayor Rebecca Olness determined, “the enforcement action taken was appropriate and that no further action is necessary.”

Tree Ordinance

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