Better late than never.

That seems to be the motto of Peter Stott, who, in addition to being part of a group that owes the City of Portland nearly a million bucks in back rent for PGE Park, seems to have some problems with permits.

The good news is that Stott got a permit to cut down the trees on his new home site on Southwest Davenport Street last month. The not-so-good news is that Stott had already cut down many of the trees on the hillside lot last November, or perhaps earlier.

There's some irony here: Stott is the founder and CEO of Crown Pacific Partners, one of the state's largest timber companies. Once a high-flier, the company now teeters on the edge of bankruptcy despite owning 524,000 acres of timberland. Part of Crown's problems, analysts say, is that during the '90s Stott cut trees too rapidly.

City officials say Stott did the same thing on his Davenport property, which was assessed last year at $630,000. After buying the property in 2002, Stott razed the house and cleared the 25,000-square-foot lot.

That's when he fell afoul of two separate city regulations--and a neighbor, who reported him.

According to city tree inspector Frank Krawczyk, Stott's minions cut nine trees, mostly big-leaf maples with circumference greater than 12 inches, without a permit. He also violated a prohibition against cutting trees on a slope steeper than 25 degrees.

Stott faced potential fines of $26,000, Krawczyk says, but avoided opening his checkbook by filing a mitigation plan last month.

Although Stott is crying poor on the $864,000 debt he and his partners at Portland Family Entertainment owe the city, the tycoon reportedly plans to build a house only slightly smaller than PGE Park on the Davenport lot.

Stott's spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.

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