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)

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.