BSC To Meet Tonight, Discuss Urban Forest
The West U. Building and Standards Commission will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the conference room of the Municipal Building, 3800 University Blvd. and will discuss trees – an item that has been on the 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.