Owner of Eden Prairie mansion fined $25K for cutting down protected trees

  • Article by: Kelly Smith , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 13, 2013 - 11:40 AM

The owner of a $2.6 million mansion in Eden Prairie has been slapped with a nearly $25,000 fine after the city said he illegally cut down more than a dozen protected, towering trees in his back yard, which overlooks the scenic Minnesota River.

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redkayakJun. 12, 1310:30 PM

So will the city then refund this property owners' property taxes? It sounds as though the city has claimed ownership of this property?

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ruphinaJun. 12, 1310:38 PM

Plant the replacements and tether an elk to keep them from growing too big. Elk need habitat too. Bill G.

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spruce1Jun. 12, 1311:07 PM

RK, conservation easements are sometimes put on land to protect sensitive wildlife areas and to keep development from taking free rein. It has nothing to do with ownership as it's been a part of the land since these homes was built. Cuttin' Coopet knew the rules but chose to act otherwise.

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raleighmamaJun. 12, 1311:12 PM

The guy lives in a 3 million dollar home. $25k to him is lunch money. I bet the bill for his attorney to settle this matter is $100k, and he still sleeps well at night.

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lordhawhaw1Jun. 12, 1311:18 PM

Do any of you think you live in a free country?

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QbikerJun. 12, 1311:33 PM

Interesting how the rich are able to afford the best lawyers! Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger was Coppet's lawyer and I'm sure Heffelfinger's experience played a role in this settlement. Who says you can't buy justice? Or in this case, Coppet's form of justice.

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ruggedrickJun. 12, 1311:34 PM

Don't kid yourself folks, that fine was probably factored into the bid. It's much easier to beg for forgiveness than as for permission. The big wigs do this crap all the time.

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camb24Jun. 12, 1311:37 PM

Why is the city telling everyone what their landscaping may be? So he cut down some trees......WHO CARES! I am sure he made the lot look better, not worse!

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justanother1Jun. 13, 1312:10 AM

Get small government out of private business.

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justanother1Jun. 13, 1312:12 AM

Ironically, if they were diseased Elms, the city would charge him $25K if he didn't cut them down.

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