Gresham homeowners reach settlement in cut trees case

Two couples reportedly cut down 44 trees in a 400-foot swatch of land

Gresham residents are being sued for allegedly cutting down protected trees to improve their views. (KOIN)
Gresham residents are being sued for allegedly cutting down protected trees to improve their views. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Two Gresham couples have agreed to pay $135,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing them of cutting down or damaging dozens of protected trees to improve the views from their homes.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports court documents released Monday show insurance companies for David and Alyce Hadeed El-Khal are paying $125,000 of the settlement. The remaining $10,000 is being covered by the El-Khal’s neighbors, Stephen and Judith Brugh.

Oregon’s regional planning agency Metro sued the couples in March. Metro claimed they cut down 44 trees in a protected nature area near their homes perched atop Gresham Butte to enhance their views of the city below.

The El-Khals previously said they only cut two or three trees that were “worthless, dead and decayed.” The Brughs had only admitted to de-limbing four trees.