The settlement, combined with a $440,000 deal last April, means the city will collect $800,000 overall after the destruction of more than 150 trees in a greenbelt.
The city of Seattle will collect $360,000 from another group of West Seattle homeowners accused of having public trees cut down to improve their views.
The settlement announced Monday is the second reached in connection with the destruction of more than an acre of greenbelt above Southwest Admiral Way.
In 2016, City Attorney Pete Holmes brought civil lawsuits seeking $1.6 million in damages and fines against two groups of homeowners for the illegal cutting.
The first group agreed to settle for $440,000 last April, which means the city will collect $800,000 in total for the loss of more than 150 trees, including many big-leaf maples and Scouler’s willows, near the 3200 block of 35th Avenue Southwest.
Most Read Local Stories
- Seattle-area residents should prepare for wild weather ahead, forecasters say
- King County customers of restaurants, theaters, gyms must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test
- COVID-19 kills Moses Lake couple, orphans their 8-year-old after visit to the fair
- Here's what you need to know about King County's vaccine or test requirement
- Wild weather plus terrible Seattle drivers: Stay safe in fall's first big rainstorm
The city is using the money from the settlements to restore the West Seattle greenbelt and other natural areas. Remediation work already is underway at the site.
“In addition to recovering money for the city to restore such spaces, the settlements serve as a deterrent to future cutting and provide notice that the city will seek damages where others harm our natural resources.”
Two nearby but distinct sections of the hillside greenbelt were razed in late 2015 or early 2016, and an investigation determined two groups of homeowners were responsible. The trees were cut carelessly and left lying on the steep slope, which had been designated by the city as an environmentally critical area at risk for landslides.
Stanley and Mary Harrelson and Marty and Karrie Riemer settled their suit last year, while Kostas and Linda Kyrimis, Nancy Despain and Wendy Sweigart, Leroy and Joyce Bernard, Charles and Shirley King, and Bruce Gross settled theirs Jan. 31.
George Mix, an attorney representing the Kings, said his clients sought before the settlement to dismiss the city’s claims and “felt strongly about our defenses.”
Lawyers for the other defendants in the second group didn’t return requests for comment.