Letters to the editor for the week of Feb. 20

Reader is wary of possible new tree code

Dear editor,

The Covington Planning Commission just approved a modified tree code which will be sent to the City Council for approval. There is concern that the Covington tree canopy is being lost. Almost all of the loss of the canopy has been the work of developers. The developers should be brought under control. The homeowners have never been a significant part of the problem.

Under the old code developers were able to remove trees and then replant. They certainly did remove trees. The homeowners being a small part of tree removal were exempt from permits if their lot was less than one acre. This part of the code should remain since the trees belong to the homeowner not the city. I enjoy the trees very much and understand the benefits of having them around. The rights of the homeowner should be more important than the need for the city to control every last tree.

The new modified code puts the city at odds with the homeowners. Every homeowner would be required to get an exemption or permit anytime they want to remove a tree. Also depending on the size of the tree, trees have to be replanted. The permit has a fee and the exemption could require the services of an arborist. If a tree is removed without the proper paperwork, the homeowner could be fined or prosecuted. A lien can be put on the property by the city to collect the fine.

If the homeowners with less than an acre lot can’t be insulated from the demands of the new modified code, I hope that the city can allow a reasonable grace period so that the residents of covington can learn about their new obligations.

If any resident is concerned about the upcoming changes to the tree code, please call the city to make known your opinion.


Philip Jones


Would you support a fire levy?

Dear editor,

Mountain View Fire and Rescue is proud to provide fire and life safety services to 20,000 people over 77 square miles of unincorporated King County near Auburn, Kent and Enumclaw. Our emergency personnel respond to approximately 2,200 incidents each year. In 2019, call volumes increased six percent.

Daily operations are funded through a regular Fire Levy paid through property taxes. From time to time, we ask voters for temporary funding through a Maintenance and Operations Levy (M&O). The last M&O Levy was for $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed property value and expired in 2017.

Mountain View Fire and Rescue is considering asking voters to approve a similar, temporary 30-cent M&O Levy this year. Funding would be used to replace an aging fire engine and water tender, purchase protective gear to keep our firefighters safe, and repair our facilities to extend their usable lives.

We have more information on our website at www.mvfire.org. In the meantime, we welcome you at any of our board meetings. They are held at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Station 95, 32316 148th Ave. SE, Auburn.


Fire Chief Greg Smith