Builder agrees to restore wetland


Herald Writer

EVERETT — A Kirkland company agreed Thursday to restore wetlands it demolished two months ago when it cleared property in Lowell without any city permits.

After several meetings with city staff, Brian Thaete of Dream Starter Homes agreed to restore the property, said Bud Wessman, director of Everett’s code compliance office.

As part of the agreement, Dream Starter Homes must submit a wetlands analysis and restoration plan to the city by the end of next month, Wessman said. However, Thaete also has the right to pursue permits to build a home on the property, he said.

Thaete does not face any fines for clearing the 1.3-acre slope in the 5100 block of S. Fourth Street on the weekend of Sept. 9-10. The wetland was just less than an acre.

Water from the property drains into Bigelow Creek.

Thaete could not be reached Thursday for comment.

"What he said to us is that he saw some wild growing blackberry vines … and initially wanted to clear those out," Wessman said. "In this particular case, I think he started out wanting to start a path, and (that) escalated into clearing the property."

Wessman said that unlike some cases, Thaete is willing to correct the violation.

The city learned of the violation after neighbors suspected wrongdoing when they spotted earthmovers on the property over a weekend.

The city later halted any future work, but construction crews had already cleared the property, destroyed a wetland and installed French drains and two crushed-rock driveways.

The city will be required to sign off on Thaete’s wetlands restoration plan, Wessman said. No public comment periods will be held.

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