Lake Oswego Municipal Court Judge fines him $3,800 for not protecting trees

Jeff Parker, whose lakefront home has been a source of tree-conservation controversy, has been fined $3,800 by the city of Lake Oswego for not protecting trees on his property.

Municipal Court Judge Wm. Bruce Shepley found Parker guilty on eight counts of not protecting trees and not guilty on seven counts.

Parker is building the home at 1500 North Shore Road. He was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

'The evidence in this matter suggests that Parker Development and its general contractor, Kelly Scott, have generally sought to protect the trees that remain on the property,' said Shepley. 'While it is not possible to predict the future health of all of the trees, there were no signs of wanton disregard for their current well being.'

Still, the judge found Parker guilty of failing to place proper warning signs on individual tree protection zones and for allowing building materials within the areas surrounding the trees and leaning on the trees. Additionally, Parker was found guilty on two counts of allowing contractors to work on the home without having adequate tree protection.

Parker was found not guilty on seven counts, including allowing chemically injurious materials in a tree protection zone. He was also not guilty on one count of allowing building materials near one of the trees.

Shepley issued his ruling on March 12, after a several-day trail in February. Parker's general contractor Kelly Scott attended the trial along with Parker, and the city code enforcement officer, Brandon Buck, served as prosecution.

City attorney David Powell said the case against Parker shows that the city is intent on upholding its tree code.

'The city wanted to take a strong stance on this because it's important to let the community know the code needs to be taken seriously,' said Powell.

Shepley said it is especially important that large projects with many subcontractors, as is the case with Parker's home, make placement of tree protection signs a priority.

Parker already had accumulated $28,000 in fines in August 2006 for unpermitted tree removal and failure to protect trees.

In addition, the city has issued a temporary restraining order against Parker. The restraining order prohibits Parker from removing any of the 16 trees that he has requested be removed from the property. He was denied a permit to remove those trees last year.

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