BSC And Council Members To Meet Next Week
The West University Place Building & Standards Commission and members of city council will meet at 6 p.m. July 9 in the Bill Watson Conference Room at the Municipal Building, 3800 University Blvd.
On the agenda for discussion are Urban Forest Code amendment and discussion on excavations and underground structures. Possible amendments to the Urban Forest Code have been on the BSC agenda for more than a year.
“It’s a complicated issue,” said West U.’s Urban Forester Craig Koehl. “It is something they are thinking through every aspect of to try and avoid unintended consequences.”
The 1992 tree ordinance focuses on individual trees and tree diameter. In discussion is moving towards a tree canopy coverage percentage system, which Koehl says gives homeowners more flexibility and has been successful in other cities.
“What we are shooting for is an overall healthy urban forest, rather than focusing on each individual tree,” said Koehl. “If you have one tree and it is really big, or you have 15 really small trees, you have the same bio-mass. If you leave all 15, none of them are going to get really big. Sometimes it is better to remove one tree for the benefit of others.”
Eventually, the commission will present ordinance revisions to council for discussion, but Koehl says there is no timeline on when that will happen.