LETTER: ‘Someone is altering the Indian Trail in front of their house…’


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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

It was brought to our attention that someone is altering the Indian Trail in front of his or hers house. This would be on the trail above SW 172nd Street called the “Sunrise Trail” (in Burien’s Three Tree Point neighborhood).

In checking with the City of Burien website it appears as if this activity would need a permit. So the question is why would the City of Burien give a permit to a land owner so the she or he can expand the property line further out and alter the Indian Trail? Not only that but as you can see by the pictures there has to be almost 5 to 8 yards of fresh dirt brought in. The natural balance of vegetation that holds the hillside together has been destroyed under this large amount of dirt and there appears to be no effort to replant the area. When the winter season comes it will be a large muddy mess and could spell potential hillside collapse endangering the people below and the integrity of the land owners houses above.

I have sent a form to the City of Burien asking for comment and resolution to this matter. If there is a permit then let us hope that the required vegetation planting is enforced and soon. As you will see in the pictures there is already erosion from what little water has fallen since this “alteration” of the Indian Trail has occurred.

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Here is a copy of the email to the City:

Halfway up the trail someone has dumped 5 to 8 yards of fresh dirt across his or her property and over the Indian Trail in what appears to be an attempt to expand the property line further out. This person has also covered utilities (Power, communications and Water) with dirt leaving only the minimum showing. Removing natural vegetation and not installing any form of erosion control and it already apparent by the water run off lines in the soil. Based upon the City of Burien own ordinances this is not correct.

12.20.050 General conditions.
Construction or grading activity on or to a trail, or on private property abutting the trail that affects the physical integrity of the trail or the safety of trail users, is prohibited unless a building permit and/or a right-of-way use permit, right-of-way construction permit, or street use permit is first obtained. The city may deny or condition a permit based on a finding that the proposed activity will adversely affect the physical integrity of the trail or the safety of trail users. [Ord. 143 § 1, 1995]

Does this person have a permit to alter the Indian Trail?

– Terry Haigh

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our 65-90,000+ monthly Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]

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Comments

2 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Someone is altering the Indian Trail in front of their house…’”
  1. M-on-a-bike says:

    I walk on the Indian Trail several times a week and have been walking up and over this ever-expanding hump of dirt for quite some time now. I, too, have photographed it as the dirt increasingly covers up utilities and tumbles down the hill onto the property below.

    It is my impression, though I have not asked the Soderlinds directly, that they may be digging out a basement (rather than bringing in dirt to expand their property), and are simply dumping the excavation dirt out the back, which then covers the trail and nearby trees and then onto the neighboring properties. Loose, sandy soil piled onto a steep hillside? Seems like a problem to me.

    Legal? I doubt it. Environmentally stable? Hardly. Invasive to adjacent properties? You bet. With my limited knowledge, at first glance, I would think there are problems with permits, environmental impacts, property rights, rights-of-way, and now remediation issues.

    So, who follows up on this?

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  2. annatourinsky says:

    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the city. I, too, walk this trail at least weekly and I have been concerned about the increasing damage done to the both the trail and hillside.

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