Search This Blog

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are We Shoreline, Innis Arden or Shorelinnisarden?

A local resident with very deep roots here has christened us "Shorelinnisarden" and designed us a new logo for the City of Shorelinnisarden! 

This inspired perhaps by a disturbing trend here. It seems we may be all forced to march to the Innis Arden Board Rules, if we are not careful. The upcoming discussions at the council to make Shoreline a "Tree City, USA" by instituting a tree cutting policy to suit the Innis Arden Board, will be something to pay attention to.

Maybe we already are?

Shoreline City Council is scheduled to take up the matter soon. But many are asking, really what would be the environmental impact of this proposal. Many are asking for a SEPA Review, to better understand what the impact would be. If you establish a Tree Board, with a pre-existing "Tree Management Plan" already in place, and a "Recommended Tree List" already established, how would this impact our whole Urban Forest Canopy? Especially if there are no conifers and most of the existing street trees not on the list?
Is it really better to have a Tree Board and a Tree City USA status, when having that moniker would really mean the Urban Forest would be diminished? Really?

Scene at Innis Arden's Bear Reserve where 46 significant trees
have been cut to please the "view conscious"

If so ................ All hail "Shorelinnisarden!" $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


  1. Here's a 55 page .pdf file on how to go about developing an urban forestry plan. Enjoy !

    Michael Oxman

  2. In an abbreviated response to Janet Way’s patch column on Innis Arden Trees, a few facts need to be brought forth. Innis Arden has fifty acres of Reserve Tracts. They contain almost eight thousand trees, as well as other shrubbery and ground cover. No other residential community in Shoreline can come close to the contribution that Innis Arden makes to the “canopy.”

    The Bear Reserve work involved the removal of 46 specifically selected trees -- and they will be replaced with three times that number of native species trees.

    The Club has a proven track record of success for such projects. Several years ago, as part of a City-approved plan for Grouse Reserve, approximately 100 trees were removed and 300 trees replanted along with 800 shrubs and several thousand groundcover plants. The work was all carried out under the auspices of a Vegetation Management Plan approved by the City of Shoreline. Here is a short video on Grouse Reserve. ( )

    All Shoreline citizens may choose to landscape their private property for solar access, sunlight (which improves the mood of many), safety, moss-free roofs, vegetable gardens and so on. These values are not vices.

    The real question now is whether the Shoreline City Council will adopt a responsible middle road. Or will the Council give in to the demand that, with regard to trees in Shoreline, it must be only one way.

  3. Dear June,
    I appreciate your response to this post. There are many fine people who live in Innis Arden. I'd like to think they'd like a "reasonable compromise". However the facts show, that they do not compromise. They SUE. They are the litigation kings and queens of Shoreline. But most shockingly, the are the lawsuit happy neighbors of Innis Arden. They sue anyone in their way over there. They sue old people and put liens on their property. They don't care who they hurt. And why? Just to increase their property values and power.

    These are facts, not just my opinion. The trees that were cut from Bear Reserve weren't just any trees. They were vital conifers preventing runoff. And Innis Arden also likes to complain to the Council and City bitterly about how Storm Creek is causing erosion? Really?

    Please, cry us a river Innis Arden. Please tell us when you are really ready to be "reasonable" and let the rest of us keep our trees, shade and wildlife.

  4. As a consulting arborist representing tree owners in Innis Arden legal battles to preserve their trees, I am familiar with the 'funny business' used by viewmongers to subvert environmental laws. If some feel these court fights are 'civil', it is only because they are high on chainsaw fumes emanating from the site of their most recent clearcutting extravaganza.

    Many reading this thread may not appreciate the vicious attacks by Innis Arden residents on their neighbors trees in the effort to enlarge their domain & see a bigger slice of waterfront horizon.

    Discussion of trees and views is a no-win situation. There is a clear line between those who live at the top of a hill with trees blocking the view and those living elsewhere.

    This irrationality is simliar to that of someone who lives underneath a tree they feel may break. Nothing can change the mind of someone who feels fearful for their safety. Not even the facts can dissuade someone from cutting down trees when powerful emotions rule.

    Not even when it is reasonable that, since the trees have stood thru many storms, that the forest is strong enough to remain standing thru many more winters.

    These base human motivations of fear, covetousness, and greed have no balance.

    What balance is there when those who seek to cut trees down say their approach has considered all the alternatives, yet the end result is still bulldozing?

    Rationalizing does not help an antique tree ordinance that requires only that deforestation be followed by replanting with saplings & groundcover plants. These minescule plantings do not reproduce more than 1/250th of the photosynthetic biomass of an existing mature tree that is removed.

    The community's environmental values must be reflected in the city's ordinances. The Shoreline City Council must protect the train tracks running along the bluff at the mouth of these creeks to prevent massive erosion damage & the resulting disruption of transportation services.

    The University of Washington tree management plan has a goal that has not yet been implemented. The plan proposes to bill the appraised value of trees to be removed to the budget of the project that is built on the site the trees used to occupy.

    While waiting to implement this plan, the UW conveniently has bulldozed thousands of campus trees during a massive construction program. Flaunting of environmental regulations by bullies like the UW and Innis Arden Club is just something that those of us peons at the bottom of the food chain must live with.

    By extension, if the trees on private property in the City of Shoreline are a community asset, then the owner that asks to remove them should pay into the city's 'ecology fund'. This type of 'fee in liu' permit would go a long way to preserve trees that could be frivoulously removed on a whim.

    Better yet, the City Council should just make it illegal to remove trees without a good reason. A tree removal permit process should do just fine. Communities with well managed urban forestry programs are perfectly willing to fund maintenance & increase the value of essential green infrastructure.

    Arboreally yours,

    Michael Oxman

  5. Janet,

    Thank you for your reply.

    First, the erosion in Innis Arden is run off from the top of the hill. I know because it comes roaring through my property from the hilltop. There should be retention ponds and
    cisterns built at the top of the hill.

    Beyond that, I wonder what you would consider a compromise. How can we keep our covenants and provide for our views as other cities do?

    Innis Arden has been sued; we have not done the suing. Furthermore, we have developed a fair and equitable process for view maintenace that the Judge requested of us in the Binns case.

    I am really interested in what you would consider a compromise. You can see my full response to your comments at

    Thank you in advance for your response.


  6. Hi June,

    Have you read the Lake Forest Park code? I think you would find it very fair and acceptable to all neighborhoods. It's short, easy to read and understand. I encourage you to check it out.

  7. I agree with your tree preservation goals but strongly disagree with the divisive "Shorelininnisarden" moniker. I'd recommend removing it from the petition that's going around. I live in RB with Innis Arden at my back door.

    1. Dear Frank, I appreciate your point, but the fact of the matter is that the reason we have this contentious tree debate is BECAUSE the Innis Arden Board wants it. They want to cut the trees for views and that's just reality. The Tree Board is being created to satisfy their litigation, which will result in more trees being cut.
      The logo was designed by a person with VERY deep roots in Shoreline, who's family is deeply connected to the founding of our community. So, I think it's appropriate and proper. Sincerely, Janet