The city of Decatur is looking for feedback from residents regarding a proposed new tree ordinance that would require permits to remove any tree from a property with a “capilar” that’s 6″ or more. (It sounds like the “caliper” is the diameter of a tree’s trunk 6″ off the ground.) Currently, you only need to retain a permit if you’re demolishing and replacing a house.
Here’s the city’s introduction to the question…
The City’s current tree ordinance does not require a permit to remove trees from existing single family residential properties. When the current tree ordinance was adopted in 1989, infill development of single family homes was not an issue and additions to existing single family dwellings were relatively modest in size and scope. When a single family dwelling is demolished and replaced with a new house, the tree ordinance requirements must be met. However, there are no provisions that prohibit tree removal for additions to existing single family dwellings or for simply removing trees.
As part of a comprehensive review of the City’s development ordinances, amendments to the tree ordinance are being considered that would require a review and permit process to remove trees from single family properties. In addition, the ordinance would switch from a density based formula for tree measurement, which measures the width of a tree’s trunk, to a canopy based measurement, which measures the maximum expected size of the tree canopy. In the past ten years, scientists have been able to determine the ecological contributions that tree canopy provides including the canopy’s ability to clean air and water.
And here’s the official question…
To what extent do you support or oppose changing the City’s tree ordinance to regulate the removal of healthy trees of a minimum size (e.g., 6” caliper) on existing single family properties where such trees do not interfere with permitted building improvements?
Provide your official answer HERE. You have until February 20th to weigh in. 38 people already have!