Seattle Homeowners: Fight for Your Property Rights!

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  • This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  JoB 2 months ago.
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    Michael Waldo

    The Exorbitant Costs of Tree Removal Permits in Seattle.
    As of Jan. 1, 2018, the city of Seattle is charging homeowners $324 per hour to review a tree removal permit.**

    You are charged per hour for the permit review, whether or not the permit is approved.

    This fee comes on top of the arborist’s fee for the required Tree Risk Assessment (which usually begins at $250).

    One of our customers was charged for 3 hours by the city to review his permit — nearly $1,000 to simply review the permit — on top of the cost for us to actually remove the tree.

    This fee is charged to you even if your tree is dead and dangerous.

    Can you afford these crazy costs? Is it right for the city to keep adding fees and regulations? Look at your yard. Do you have a nuisance tree? Is one of your trees sick or dying? Plan to spend about $575 on up just to get permission to remove the tree.

    ** These fees currently apply only to trees that are on the planting strip or trees with a diameter and species that designates them exceptional. With the proposed new rules, these fees will apply to EVERY tree with a diameter of 12″ or more, regardless of its health



    Seriously? This city is utterly ridiculous anymore, if I didn’t love my job so much I’d seriously be looking into leaving.



    As homeowners do not own trees on the planting strip, regardless of whether or not they planted them, this seems reasonable. This is not a violation of your “property rights” as these trees are not your property. To clarify your **, What you are asking is to have a fixture that is a public resource and of public benefit to be removed for personal reasons. Many, many street trees have been cut down or destroyed by “tree trimmers” or ignorant property owners who think they have the right to chop up anything they don’t like, for any reason, whether they own it or not. Not that the old rules were enforced very well, but I’m guessing that the travesty of the Admiral clearcutting case helped to spur these new regulations.



    I’m not aware of a concrete proposal to enact changes with the current tree removal process… A tree group has put forth a proposal for the council to discuss in August but that to my knowledge isn’t something they’ve directly endorsed. As is, you don’t need a permit unless it’s exceptional, it’s on public land (parking strip) or on an environmentally critical area (e.g. at risk of landslide). That all seems reasonable. We also don’t know if the final recommendation will allow offsetting the tree cutting by planting elsewhere or if anything will be enacted at all.



    Michael Waldo

    anonyme – we may not own trees in the parking strip but we are responsible for them



    EdSane, maybe check out a map of how many ECAs there are in West Seattle. You might be amazed at how much of our area is classified that way, triggering a whole review and restoration plan for even one tree.



    here’s a question for you. Who is responsible for the rain gardens the city installed once the contract for their care runs out?
    i once had two very lovely trees that i invested in :(

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  JoB.
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