In May of this year, developer YarrowBay notified

officials of the city of Black Diamond that its contractor had removed a number of significant trees in violation of city code. In 2008 the City Council enacted new laws protecting and preserving significant trees located in the city. This law requires that a tree removal permit be obtained prior to removal of significant trees, unless the tree is otherwise exempt. According to YarrowBay, its contractor performing work on Yarrow Bay property for future construction of an infiltration pond removed a number of significant trees without first applying for a tree removal permit and without their knowledge or permission. City staff responsible for enforcing the tree preservation code met immediately with YarrowBay officials and inspected the site, which consisted of three affected areas, each of which was less than 1/4 acre in size. This area is over 1/2 mile south of Auburn-Black Diamond Road and is not viewable from any public roadway or private property. City staff observed that the majority of the approximately 113 felled trees were primarily Douglas firs and were not of sufficient size to constitute significant trees as defined in Black Diamond Municipal Code 19.30. 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. City staff determined that if a tree permit had been applied for prior to the tree removal, the permit would have been granted and that the proposed correction met the remedial goals of the tree preservation code and was consistent with the policies under the new code enforcement provisions for prompt and voluntary correction of the violation. The mayor and City Council were notified of the violation by Yarrow Bay representatives during public comment at the May 20 City Council meeting, and have subsequently been informed of the action taken by city staff to resolve the violation. Although there has been much public comment on this issue during subsequent City Council meetings, the decision making authority regarding the appropriate enforcement action to be taken resides in the executive branch of government. The mayor, after reviewing all of the facts and circumstances has determined that the enforcement action taken was appropriate and that no further action is necessary.

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