A week ago Monday, the City Council undertook a very short re-write of the existing tree ordinance. Under the previous tree ordinance, if a property owner had 10 acres and wanted to develop 1 acre, the tree ordinance was applied to all 10 acres. The tree ordinance is calculated as 30 tree units (not trees) per acre.
Under this scenario for the 1 acre development, the property owner would have been responsible for some combination of 300 tree units (existing saved trees, new trees, and/or contribution to the tree bank fund).
Under the revision, the tree ordinance is modified so that if the development is less than or equal to 10% of the total property, the tree ordinance is applied only to the area being disturbed/developed.
Using the above scenario, 1 acre is 10% of the total property so the tree ordinance would be applied to the 1 acre development, meaning the property owner is responsible for 30 tree units on that acre, either existing trees, new trees and/or contribution to the tree bank.
If the area being develope is greater than 10% of the total property, the entire property is used to calculate the tree units needed.
This was not a decimation of the tree ordinance it was a minor modification that will allow property to have outparcel redevelopment and apply the tree ordinance, sensibly, to only the area being developed.
The city will continue to require tree replacement, tree save, and contributions to the tree bank fund. Where there are large developments, the entire property will be subject to the tree ordinance.
So if you hear people make statements that we no longer want trees, have destroyed the tree ordinance, etc. it just simply isn't true.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.