Builder ordered to restore wetland

By KATE REARDON

Herald Writer

EVERETT — The city ordered a Kirkland company on Monday to restore a wetland it destroyed last month when it cleared property in the Lowell neighborhood without city permits.

The city, at least at this point, will not fine the property owner, Dream Starter Homes.

Instead, Everett has required the company to revive the wetland and return it to the way it was before the clearing of trees and brush on Sept. 9-10.

The city learned about the clearing of the 1.3-acre slope in the 5100 block of S. Fourth Street after neighbors suspected wrongdoing and called the city. The wetland was just less than an acre.

The city halted future work at the site. But over that weekend, construction crews had cleared the property, destroyed a wetland and installed French drains and two crushed-rock driveways.

The property owner could not be reached for comment.

Dream Starter Homes has until Oct. 18 to submit to the city a list of possible biologists to develop a wetlands plan and enter into an agreement with the city saying how the company will follow through, said Jim Ilesc, assistant city attorney.

Then, Dream Starter Homes has until Dec. 5 to submit a wetland restoration plan to the city.

Dream Starter Homes can contest the violations to the city’s hearing examiner at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 on the eighth floor of the Wall Street Building, 2930 Wetmore Ave.

"If he follows through with it and doesn’t go to a hearing, he faces no fines," Iles said, adding that the city’s process is set up so folks will follow through with the city’s orders instead of paying the city money.

Meanwhile, no oil contamination was detected in water samples taken last month at the site, said Larry Crawford, director of engineering for the city.

The city scooped the samples after neighbors spotted a sheen on pooling water there. The sheen seems to be bacteria common to wet areas, Crawford said.

Water from the property drains into Bigelow Creek.

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