The owner of a $2.6 million Eden Prairie mansion has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine for cutting down 17 giant protected trees in his backyard overlooking the Minnesota River, the Star Tribune reports.
The fine was the largest the city had ever issued for a conservation easement violation, the newspaper reports. “We take it very seriously,” City Manager Rick Getschow told the Star Tribune.
Homeowner Mitchell Coopet, 39, plans to pay the fine and plant 27 trees by Sept. 2 in the expansive back yard behind his five-bedroom, 13,000-square-foot home, the newspaper reports. Coopet declined comment but his lawyer said his client was happy to resolve the matter quickly.
As metro cities have set aside more land before before developers move in, conservation easement violations have surfaced occasionally, but citations for violations have been rare, the Star Tribune reports.