Council Takes Steps Towards Protecting Trees With Approval Of Ordinance

August 24, 2010

West U City Council approved amendments to the city’s code of ordinance regarding trees, during last night’s regular meeting.

Council unanimously approved amendments to the tree ordinance, which include diversity of the urban forest, an updated qualified tree list and adequate planting area based on the species of the tree. Staff recommended council’s approval of the amended ordinance.

These are some of the amendments for section 82-5 replacement trees:

“Trees must be selected and planted to achieve diversity, so that no more than 30 percent of the trees on site belong to any single genus. Exception: If necessary to achieve a matched or paired planting, two trees may belong to the same genus.”

“Each replacement tree and qualified tree must be planted in a growth space which:

  1. Contains at least 200 square feet, contiguous, with no dimension smaller than 10 feet;
  2. Can absorb at least three inches of water per hour (over the whole area)
  3. Does not contain any compacted, stabilized, paved or solid material, at any level; and
  4. Otherwise supports tree establishment and growth

Grout-free stones or pavers are not prohibited in a growth space, if the space meets all such criteria. No more than one shade tree may be planted per 200 square feet of such growth space.”

To view the updated tree classification list, click here.

During public comment, a West U resident addressed council and said that the current tree ordinance does not protect trees.

“This ordinance does not truly protect our trees,” Diane Wylie, a Mercer Street resident, said.

Councilmember Steven Segal said that council hopes the proposed changes will “plug some holes.”

“Our current ordinance does not protect trees,” Segal said.

Council plans on meeting with the Building and Standards Commission to discuss tree protection in the future. Council will also add tree protection to its goals.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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