Eco-Terrorism Against Street-of-Dreams Homes Denounced
NAHB moved swiftly last week to denounce arsonists who burned down three unoccupied luxury homes and damaged two others built as part of last year’s Seattle Street of Dreams in suburban Woodinville, Wash. Damage was initially estimated at more than $7 million.
A banner left near the homes claiming responsibility for the destruction was signed “ELF,” the Earth Liberation Front, an organization that is considered a domestic terrorism group by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The association said that it strongly condemned the criminal actions of the radical and violent group, which the FBI believes over recent years has been responsible for many millions of dollars worth of damage to new homes and communities.
“ELF’s heinous crimes do nothing to further the cause of environmentally sensitive home building, and everything to degrade ELF’s own image in the public eye as a group of violent thugs who seek to damage and destroy property and put human lives in danger,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn.
“NAHB supports the continued efforts of both local and federal law enforcement in bringing these criminals to justice and putting an end to ELF’s unlawful and violent activities,” she said.
Initiated in 1983, the Seattle Street of Dreams organizes an annual 37-day tour of homes to showcase the newest trends and most innovative ideas for luxury home building, architecture, interior design and landscaping all on one street. Those who attend vote for their favorites in a variety of categories, such as best kitchen, home technology and master suite, and the results are announced near the end of the show.
Proceeds from the tours are used to support local charities serving children in need.
“It’s sad, it’s just a shock. I don’t know what to tell you,” Greg Lundberg of CMI Homes, told a reporter from the Seattle Times, as he looked at the ruins of the Seattle Street of Dreams Best of Show award-winning home built by his company.
Lundberg told the Times that he and other developers at the site had worked hard to build homes there were as environmentally friendly as possible, filled with such features as high-efficiency insulation and recycled materials.
The "Urban Lodge" home was certified as a five-star Built Green Home under the Built Green program of King and Snohomish Counties, Wash. and the builder said it met the Gold Level of the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines. The home received a gold Best in American Living Award at last month’s International Builders' Show in Orlando.
NAHB has provided information for its members who are concerned about the potential of domestic terrorism on their own home sites.
Members should always take appropriate measures and institute precautions as necessary to ensure security at their job sites, especially after regular work hours, NAHB advises. Suggested precautions include:
- Meet with security companies, local law enforcement officials, fire departments and insurance providers to learn how to better protect sites from arson and other acts of vandalism.
- Install motion-activated lighting and security video cameras, along with prominently displayed signage that the property is monitored by cameras.
- Make sure job sites are clear of any debris that could be used to start fires and all flammable materials are locked up every night.
For more information from NAHB Public Affairs on this issue, e-mail Gwyn Donohue, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8447.