The city is still completing its investigation, and could decide on possible penalties within a week or two, Ray said.
“In cases like this, the city typically issues fines,” Ray said.
The bill could be steep: Fines of up to $1,000 per large tree are possible, he said, plus restoration costs. The clearing went against the city’s tree conservation rules, and happened on a site that falls under a “critical areas” ordinance designed to protect sensitive lands. In this case, the steep tree-covered slope is important for erosion control and stability, Ray said. Healthy trees also help control stormwater runoff, he said.
The property where the trees were cleared is owned by Dow Cedar Street LLC, according to county records. Any restoration work on the site would be the responsibility of Patterson, according to the city.