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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Haller Lake Residents Win Court Ruling In School District Tree Fight

posted by on August 13 at 17:29 PM

A group of North Seattle residents have won an injunction against the Seattle Public Schools, halting the districts plan to remove a grove of 68 trees from Ingraham High School’s campus later this week.

Haller Lake residents claim the district has violated the city permitting process and have lobbied the school district to leave the trees. Last night, the school board held a emergency meeting to discuss the issue and decided to proceed with the plan. Now, school district must now go before a judge on August 25th and make the case for removing the trees, which were to be cleared to make room for a 12 classroom expansion at Ingraham.

Despite the temporary ruling, the district doesn’t believe it has done anything wrong.
“The restraining order doesn’t reflect on the merits of the case,” says Seattle Schools spokesman David Tucker.”We went through a complete environmental process. We have students that need new classrooms. Our priority is going to be first and foremost in meeting the needs of these students.”

The school district has signed a contract with a logging company to remove the trees on Friday, and the delay may force the district to pay $10,000 and $17,000 to the company.
A judge ordered the group Save Our Trees to put up a $7500 bond to cover costs if the school district prevails in the suit.

RSS icon Comments


Put down your axe.

I have spoken.

Posted by The Lorax | August 13, 2008 5:36 PM

So trees are more important than good schools?

Posted by Education first | August 13, 2008 5:41 PM

I've heard there is another spot on the same property they can build the building on. Other than where the trees are.

Posted by PC | August 13, 2008 5:42 PM


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Posted by Self-Hating Hipster | August 13, 2008 6:32 PM

@2, This is a false choice. It takes decades, if not centuries for a tree to grow to maturity, and there are very few of them left in Seattle. It takes minutes to cut them down and only a matter of months to build a new building. If there was no other way to accommodate the necessary expansion on that property or anywhere else in the vast Seattle School District you could make that Trees v.s. Children argument, but that is not the case.

There are plenty of other ways to accommodate the expansion. The school should be required to put together a next best scenario, i.e. what would they do if they could not cut the trees. If the next best thing is overwhelmingly more expensive, then they can come back and make the case, but right now they haven't even given other options due diligence.

We can have both schools and trees if we are willing to put a little bit of effort into trying.

Posted by honeyspider | August 13, 2008 6:39 PM

The best idea would be to raze the current building and build a new one in its place, saving both trees and students' dignity.

Posted by laterite | August 13, 2008 6:44 PM

I'm tree-ambivalent, but I enjoy seeing them getting this injunction since the school board seems to have been a bunch of dicks dropping out the city permitting process.

Posted by Andy | August 13, 2008 7:36 PM

Does anything in this city ever actually get done? Jesus. I think the school district should seize the nearest Save our Trees person's house through emminent domain and build the school expansion there. Dumbass NIMBY bastards.

Posted by Bob | August 13, 2008 8:01 PM

Cut the fricking trees now. NIMBYs.

Posted by The Real Lorax | August 13, 2008 8:56 PM

reduce the footprint of the new school - two story?? - save trees, get the space you need

in the area schools seem to be one story sprawl, why is that so suburban concept the norm??

saving these trees is a good part of new energy to become more tree friendly over the whole city - walk not just talk

re name the school - "TREE GROVE"

Posted by Jesus Tree Lover | August 14, 2008 2:29 AM


The School District has other alternatives. If the courts ultimately don't agree they'll have their way in pretty short order.

Hmmm...what did I forget?

Oh yeah.


Posted by Kelo was robbed | August 14, 2008 3:15 AM

The city tried to do an end run around the neighbors and got burned by an injunction. I have here the world's tiniest violin, playing "My Heart Bleeds for You."

Posted by Greg | August 14, 2008 2:46 PM

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