Trees vs Views: How Much Is a View Worth?

Stadium Way is finally looking like a finished, drivable street again. And everyone cheers... well, almost everyone.

Property owners on Stadium Way have one beef. They want the brand new trees planted by the City removed.

Property owners along Stadium Way were involved in the planning process for the project, including discussions about landscaping for the street.

According to The News Tribune property owners initally agreed to the placement of the trees, which were planted further apart than they typically would be as a part of City streetscaping. That was before they found out that the City was considering taking down some of the existing mature trees on the hillside below Stadium Way. 

Then, in a move to improve vegetation on the slope and improve water quality, the City project would thin the trees, replacing some of the non-native trees with shorter native species.

Residents and property owners came together to ask the City to thin the trees to improve their views.

“It was a good turnout. These were not just anybody off the street. These were condo owners, business owners, apartment managers, homeowners on North Stadium Way. Some of (the homes) are worth more than $1 million...”

The TNT quotes one property owner explaining his views on protecting his view...

“The city should be promoting an asset. An asset is not a tree. An asset is a view of the bay. The tree is a negative, period,” Peranzi said. “They have trees they could plan to grow to 8-10 feet, or they don’t need to put in trees at all. They could put in some other kind of decorative shrubbery.”

What do you think? Are you sympathetic to their desire to improve their views? Should the City bring them a shrubbery?

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Eric G

If the city went and planted trees that closed off my view then as a property owner I would ask them to pay me for the lost property value and to lower my taxes due to less of a view. They could plant some amazing low plants and bushes that would still make it look great without obstructing the view.

November 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jenny JRegistered

I would sympathize if the trees were going to block a pre-existing view, but in this case there is no view currently. From what I understand, the City is actually planning to thin the existing trees, which pretty thoroughly screen the view as it is. They aren’t losing anything here, they just might not be gaining as much of a view as they would like.

November 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Mark H

Thinning out the tree’s on that hill is a good idea, however you cannot remove all of the trees without jeopardizing the hillside sliding away. There should be a compromise between the removal, thinning and planting of new native trees on the hillside. By the way, it is not the city’s job to remove trees to improve people’s views.

November 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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As a resident of Stadium Way, I am having a hard time understanding how the new trees (even at full height) will compromise a view. Most, if not all, of the real estate on Stadium Way is on the opposite side of the street from where the trees were planted. Again most, if not all, are also higher than street level, as the vast majority of these properties are multiplexes that sit on top of garages.
The idea that the tree is a negative is ridiculous.

November 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Sometimes a view is more attractive with trees interspersed.  And I believe you would find having a street more important than a tree if it meant they were keeping the hill from sliding.  If you can’t reach your property because the road slides, well that would make your property value decrease.  Look at West Seattle and other neighborhoods up north.  Letting ivy grow and not have a variety of species that are native to the area will in the end impact the ability for the soil to remain intact, and jeopardize the improved Stadium Way project.

November 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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If they cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring, they can have their view.

November 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Where is the rec button on this thing?

November 6, 2013 at 9:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jenny JRegistered


November 6, 2013 at 9:28 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Gordon Naccarato

I have to admit driving up Stadium Way I looked at the park bench pictured, and saw the height of the trees and thought why would anyone stop to sit there and look at that totally blocked “view”. If anything it was a waste of a bench. I also know closer to to Stadium HS there are paths into the woods that the homeless have used making camps and creating lots of garbage

November 6, 2013 at 12:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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I believe the trees in front of the benches will be thinned to allow for some view without compromising the stability of the hillside.  The little street trees planted don’t seem much of a threat to the already patchy view.  I think the street trees plus thinned forest approach the city is pursuing makes sense.

November 6, 2013 at 9:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Aren’t a lot of the trees on the hillside alders which have a limited lifespan (40-60 years according to one website) and these same trees are compromised by extensive English ivy growth. It seems that they need to be thinned quickly before one or two fall and cause damage to the road below or even worse, fall on a person or two.

November 6, 2013 at 10:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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