Seattle City Council Delays Action on Draft Tree Ordinance

Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance

Great news. The Seattle City Council has decided to slow down passage of an update to Seattle’s existing Tree Protection Ordinance. The Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee was rushing to get something passed before the Seattle City Council started their yearly October/November Budget Process. They will now next meet in December with possible action the first of next year. This is a positive step to allow more review and changes before a final decision is made

Your support and efforts have helped to make this possible. We need your help now to help fund our containing efforts. Contributions made to TreePAC will go to support our efforts. Click on the link below to help:

Click here to Donate

Thanks

TreePAC and neighborhood groups urged the Seattle City Council to slow down. One key issue was that the Council’s latest draft removed existing protections for exceptional trees including Heritage Trees and tree groves, undeveloped lots,and limits on the number of trees that could be removed per year. This represented a step backwards in protecting Seattle’s trees. These protections need to be put back in the proposed ordinance.

The Seattle City Council had completed an Environmental Checklist as required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The Seattle Department of Construction and and Inspections (SDCI) then issued a Determination of Non-Significance( DNS) regarding the draft Tree Ordinance.

The Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance, along with TreePAC and other environmental and neighborhood groups, filed an appeal to the City Hearing Examiner regarding the city’s DNS. We believed that the draft tree ordinance as written would have had a significant negative impact on the city’s trees and urban forest.

As we were gearing up to start the appeal process, SDCI decided last week to withdrew the DNS. This successful challenge by us means that the city will now have to do a new SEPA Analysis based on a revised draft ordinance.

Our goal now is to work with the City Council and the Urban Forestry Commission and Coalition supporters and others to push for stronger tree protections in the proposed bill.

The Seattle Urban Forestry Commission outlined their concerns in an August 31, 2018 letter to the City Council:
UFC letter – Recommendations regarding Draft Tree Protection Ordinance D7

The Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee Sept 19, 2018 memo:
Policy considerations regarding proposed tree regulation bill

Please urge the Seattle City Council to support the recommendations of the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission. Send your comments to jenny.durkan@seattle.gov and council@seattle,gov.

As more specific language and amendments to the draft are developed we will keep you informed.

Again thanks for your continued support. Your efforts have helped to make possible all that we have done. Contributions made now to TreePAC will go to support our ongoing efforts. Click on the link below to help:

Click here to Donate now

Thank you!

Steve Zemke – Chair
Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance – a joint Project of TreePAC and Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest


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