Seattle Sues Skate Shop for Illegal Skatepark on Green Lake’s Duck Island

November 2, 2017|Posted in: Green Lake News

A lawsuit is the latest event following the dismantling of the illegal skatepark that was built on Duck Island this summer. The island is a small bird habitat on Green Lake, and the skatepark’s construction and subsequent removal caused damage that now needs rehabilitation.

The lawsuit is against 35th North (a local skate shop) and 20 yet-to-be identified people who built the illegal skatepark. Seattle’s Attorney’s Office alleges that 35th North was the only skate shop involved in the project, and that neither representatives from the shop, nor any of the 20 individuals involved had requested permission to built the park. According to court documents, at least one tree was cut down and vegetation was destroyed by the defendants as they built the illegal skatepark.

Back in September, the City of Seattle announced that the total cost to remove and repair the site would be about $33,000. But now, after removing the park and assessing the actual damage to the habitat on Duck Island, the attorney’s office claims that damages and penalties could amount to as much as six figures. The site needs trash and weed removal, planting of new vegetation, and stormwater and erosion control.

According to a report from the Capitol Hill Times, “The attorney’s office reports it is invoking the state’s timber trespass law to seek treble damages, or roughly triple the compensatory damages, which is somewhere in the low six figures.”

Seattle Parks and Recreation manages Green Lake Park and Duck Island, and will handle the restoration efforts. “As stewards of Seattle’s public parkland, we were saddened to see the misuse and destruction of Duck Island,” said SPR superintendent Jesús Aguirre in a news release. “We are thankful to our partners in the City Attorney’s Office for seeking to hold those responsible accountable for damage created.”

The 20 defendants in the lawsuit have been classified for the time being as “John and Jane Does”, but the city expects to identify them by name soon.

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