Permit confusion leads to tree removal on South Hill conservation land

SPOKANE, Wash. – The City of Spokane said there was some confusion over tree removal along the bluff on Spokane’s South Hill on Monday and Tuesday.

City officials said a contractor built a road, removed trees on parks conservation land along the bluff below Bernard and north along the bank of Latah Creek, adjacent to and across an Avista corridor and on private property.

The Parks and Recreation Department had issued a tree removal permit to The First Tee of the Inland Northwest for a six acre par 3 youth golf course, according to city leaders. Officials said the agreement did not including the building of the road along the bluff or tree removal on the road. They said the road work was done outside of the scope of the potential agreement.  Officials said Avista entered into a verbal agreement with The First Tee of the Inland Northwest to share the cost if an access road.

In a release, City leaders said there was a misunderstanding regarding the authorization of construction of the access road and tree removal. They said the city did not receive or authorize a permit request for the work, which included property designated as conservation land. The contractor has been told to stop all work, according to the city. Officials said the city’s risk management department will be assessing the damage.

“Spokane Parks and Recreation, Avista and The First Tee of the Inland Northwest are committed to learning all the facts and to communicate that information with the public. We’re also committed to learning from errors that lead to this unplanned damage to Park conservation property to ensure they don’t happen again, and to working with stakeholders to follow all appropriate processes to ensure restoration, mitigation and communication internally and with the community take place,” City leaders said in a release.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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