The City of Edmonds has launched an investigation and will possibly pursue both criminal and civil actions related to damage of a 70-year old Douglas Fir by contractors working on a condominium project near downtown Edmonds. The condominium project is owned by Woodway resident Charles Ainslie, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Mountlake Terrace-based Golf Savings Bank. Golf savings bank was recently purchased by Sterling Savings Bank.
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The incident reportedly occurred on Walnut Street between Third and Fourth Avenues, where the tree in question was integrated into the backyard fence line of an Edmonds home. The property – and the fence – had been in the family for 60 years and the current homeowner wasn’t aware that the tree, estimated to be 65 feet high, was located on a city easement, according to Edmonds City Councilmember D.J. Wilson.
The condominium project owned by Ainslie is located across the alleyway to the east of the fence line, Wilson said, and on the morning of June 28, the homeowner heard a chainsaw noise coming from her backyard and went out to investigate. She discovered a group of workers cutting down her fence next to the tree.
“She went out and said, What are you doing,’ and folks who are working on this building back here said it’s none of your business, this tree is on city property, don’t worry about it,” Wilson told the council.
The root cutting allegedly occurred without city permission on Monday, June 28, after a representative for the contractor hired by Ainslie had come to City Hall asking how they should handle an apparent conflict between a large tree located on city right of way and development plans for the construction project, English said.
Parents of children who attend the home-based day care on the property were “shocked and extremely upset” when they learned about the loss the tree, said Stan Hanson, father of two children who have been coming to the day care for several years. “I couldn’t even recognize the play yard because it was completely different,” Hanson said. “They lost a really nice oasis back there where they could play. It was completely transformed in 24 hours.” The parents have established a tree fund to help the homeowner replace the tree, Hanson said.
Read the entire story at MyEdmondsNews.com.