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Thread: Landscaping and tree protection questions

  1. #1
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    Landscaping and tree protection questions

    Can anyone recommend any land use codes that, in your perspective, do a good job in the area of landscaping and tree protection? This is for a rural community that has little to no language in their existing land development regulations either for landscaping or tree protection/replanting.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Sec. 30-1615. Transplantation and restoration standards.
    (a) When existing non-invasive vegetation is removed or when vegetation that was to be preserved or relocated is damaged or destroyed during development activities, such vegetation shall be replaced, mitigated or restored in accordance with this section.
    (b) Each application for development approval shall include a transplantation or restoration plan containing the following:
    (1) An approved site plan or as-built plan indicating the location, size and species to be transplanted or restored; and
    (2) For transplantation plans, the method or transplantation to be employed, including:
    a. A schedule, by week, of each step of the transplantation process and a specific completion date;
    b. The means of excavating the plant materials;
    c. Preparation of the site to which the plant material will be transplanted;
    d. A schedule of maintenance of the plant material after it has been transplanted; and
    e. A written narrative description of the likelihood of the success of transplantation including a description of other successful transplantations of the species proposed to be transplanted. If the director of planning and development services determines, upon site evaluations and review of the narrative required in subsection (b)(2)d of this section, the proposed transplantation is deemed not feasible and preservation is not possible, replacement with nursery stock may be permitted pursuant to the standardscontained in this section.
    (3) When unapproved grading occurs, the existing elevations and the finished elevations must be shown on the restoration plan.
    (4) Vegetation required to be restored or replaced shall meet the following replacement standards:
    TABLE 30-1615. TREE REPLACEMENT TABLE
    TABLE INSET:

    Canopy Spread of Tree
    (feet) OR Diameter of Trunk at 4 Feet Above Grade
    (inches) Replacements Required
    90 or greater 37 or more 8
    60--89 32--36 7
    50--59 27--31 6
    40--49 22--26 5
    30--39 17--21 4
    20--29 12--16 3
    10--19 7--11 2
    5--9 2--6 1
    Less than 5 feet* Less than 2 inches 0
    *Species listed as endangered, threatened or regionally important must be replaced at a minimum ratio of 1:1 of similar size and maturity.
    a. Replacement trees shall be at least eight feet in height, three inches dbh, and consist of non-invasive species pursuant to the standards contained in this division. The director of planning and development services may reduce the height requirement up to 50 percent for rare native plant species.
    b. All native palms and shrubs replaced shall be of the same size and species, or similar species, as the plants removed.
    c. Nursery stock of 24 inches in height may be substituted at the ratio of three plants for every one plant proposed for removal as may be approved by the director of planning and development services.
    d. Nursery stock shall be of the same species whenever possible, or equally rare species as approved by the director of planning and development services.
    e. Restoration sites within the range of the Schaus' Swallowtail Butterfly shall incorporate Torchwood (Amyris elemifera) into the restoration plan.
    f. All transplantation or restoration shall be on the development site unless there is no suitable planting area available.
    g. Transplantation and restoration plans shall be approved by the director of planning and development services prior to issuance of a permit and shall be attached as a condition on the permit.
    h. All transplantation and restoration shall be completed prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy (C.O.) for the site, or, where a C.O. is not applicable, within the timeframe outlined in the transplantation plan.
    i. All transplantation and restoration shall meet a survival rate of 100 percent after two years.
    j. Off-site transplantation and restoration. Where the survivability of transplanted plants is low, as determined by the director of planning and development services, the applicant shall be required to donate nursery stock or pay into the village restoration fund. The restoration fund shall be maintained by the village and shall be for the specific purpose of land acquisition and restoration within the village.
    k. Donated nursery stock shall be identical in species composition to that which is lost due to development. In situations where replacement stock is not available, then a replacement schedule utilizing alternative species shall be approved in writing by the director of planning and development services. This alternative shall be utilized only after all possible sources of replacement species have been exhausted.
    l. Donated stock shall be donated at a ratio of 3:2 of that required in this section for on-site transplantation.
    m. Where payments are made in lieu of donations of stock, such payments shall be sufficient to purchase stock in numbers corresponding to the above replacement schedule. The applicant shall submit no less than three estimates from licensed nurseries and pay the average of the three estimates.
    n. Eligible receiver sites shall be approved by the director of planning and development services and shall be:
    1. Located within an area of publicly owned (local, federal, or state) land which is designated for the purpose of conservation, restoration and/or for open space; or
    2. Located within a site owned by a private nonprofit conservation organization where the site is designated for the sole purpose of conservation, restoration and/or for open space.
    3. Additionally, the off-site transplantation area shall be either:
    i. Suitable for restoration to the same habitat type as the applicant's property; or
    ii. Suitable for establishing new habitat, provided that it can reasonably be expected to support the applicable habitat type based upon site history and characteristics and is approved by the director.
    o. Ineligible receiver sites for off-site transplantation are areas:
    1. Designated for landscaping that serve an architectural or aesthetic purpose only;
    2. Required landscape or buffer area by this chapter. An exception to these sites shall be made for scenic corridors;
    3. Which would require clearing of native trees or habitat to make room for plants; and
    4. Required for planting, restoration, or mitigation by this chapter or due to a code violation.
    p. Off-site transplantation methods:
    1. The transplantation or restoration plan shall be part of a written tri-party agreement or memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the applicant, the receiving site owner, and the village. The agreement or MOU shall be prepared by the applicant in a form acceptable to the village attorney and should state responsibilities and include a copy of the plan.
    2. The applicant shall pay the initial costs of restoration, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, to the owner of the receiver site including the cost of transport and delivery of the plants plus 25 percent of the cost of the plant material to cover labor, installation and maintenance for one year.
    3. All physical maintenance and guarantees required by the transplantation plan after installation and establishment of plants shall be the responsibility of the owner of the receiver site.
    4. As part of the guaranteed maintenance, the owner of the receiver site shall agree to keep it free of invasive exotic vegetation in perpetuity.
    q. If none of the above alternatives are available, then the applicant shall provide a fee equal to the cost of the replacement plants plus installation and maintenance, calculated in accordance with this section. This fee shall be held in an escrow account used by the village, willing government agency or conservation group to restore public lands so there is no net loss of tropical hardwood hammock within the village.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Tree Ordinances are offensive !

    Quote Originally posted by ttrsplanner View post
    Can anyone recommend any land use codes that, in your perspective, do a good job in the area of landscaping and tree protection? This is for a rural community that has little to no language in their existing land development regulations either for landscaping or tree protection/replanting.

    Thanks!
    It cost $ 10,000 plus to clear and dispose of the trees on an acre of wooded land in
    Florida. No one in his right mind will do this without good reasons. These type of ordinances are a club used by power drunk bureaucrats to abuse landowners and destroy property rights. If you are in a rural community you will likely (and deservedly) incur the wrath of the landowners.

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The state legislature, in special session, is passing a bill to subsidize Mass developers that want to remove old growth vegetation. Yanking your chain.

    One of my FL friends would have to spend $30K to remove dangerous trees on her lot and she wouldn't be making a profit like you developers. The cost of doing business, Bubba.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Glad Someone is listening

    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    The state legislature, in special session, is passing a bill to subsidize Mass developers that want to remove old growth vegetation. Yanking your chain.

    One of my FL friends would have to spend $30K to remove dangerous trees on her lot and she wouldn't be making a profit like you developers. The cost of doing business, Bubba.
    I just joined this thing and am still groping with the website. I may not be able to do much posting as most of my time is spent fighting bureaucrats ( when I am not busy counting my profits). Actually I am a Florida developer. I have to return to Mass now and then to regain my sanity.

    Moderator note:
    Tone it down. If you want to argue points, have at it.... But use terms like "power drunk" and it's more like trolling. - Mastiff
    Last edited by Mastiff; 17 Jun 2007 at 12:37 AM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Its funny...the language used reminds me a lot of the slumlords who I have fined in the past.

    Moderator note:
    C'mon now... I just warned him. Tossing out a word like "slumlord" doesn't help anything. If you want to debate, please do so, but otherwise, it's just an insult. - Mastiff
    Last edited by Mastiff; 17 Jun 2007 at 10:57 AM.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Just callin it as I see it....

    Moderator note:
    Suburb Repairman



    and that's a yellow card. The statement "just callin it as I see it..." is essentially repeating the same insult that got you the previous warning.

    Rule reference:
    2.10 Heated discussion and flaming

    2.10.1 Threads regarding sensitive topics sometimes get heated. Users are free to express their views in a forceful manner, provided they remain composed, civil and respectful, even with topics they are passionate about.

    2.10.2 Flaming other users, or making ad hominem attacks against them, is not permitted; unless the subjected poster is being a true jerk. Criticize ideas, not people. Sarcasm is acceptable, but not when it's directed at someone; that is, unless they deserve it.

    2.10.3 Constructive criticism is acceptable as long as it is tactful and sincere. Belittling or condescending attitudes are unacceptable.
    We provided a warning to the other poster regarding trolling, so we already addressed the jerky aspect of the discussion. Consider this the warning about flaming.

    Now let's get this back on-topic... tree preservation codes suited for a rural context.
    Last edited by Suburb Repairman; 18 Jun 2007 at 2:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    I'm really glad to finally see a developer on here to get some feedback from the "other side" But Mr. MacKeil, have you ever done a cost/benefit analysis to see what retaining treed areas might save you in drainage structure costs? How about future cooling costs for the homeowners? Of course that doesn't benefit you at all, but it could influence the initial sales price. BTW, what is your typical profit margin for a development? 24-25%? Please be honest.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by boilerplater View post
    I'm really glad to finally see a developer on here to get some feedback from the "other side" But Mr. MacKeil, have you ever done a cost/benefit analysis to see what retaining treed areas might save you in drainage structure costs? How about future cooling costs for the homeowners? Of course that doesn't benefit you at all, but it could influence the initial sales price. BTW, what is your typical profit margin for a development? 24-25%? Please be honest.
    Hello Boilerplate,

    Developers have a much better grasp on the value of trees than planners. We pay the costs to remove or plant them. We know the value to customers. We don't remove them unless needed because it would be a waste of money.
    I am presently precluded from removing any tree over 4 inches on a vacant lot if I don't have a building going up. The result is that the homeowner will have to pay about $4500 to clear a spot for his house, yard, and driveway. I could do the job, before the area is built up, for $2000 because I can burn on site and do several lots. We know where the houses are going because of the setbacks.
    There is no "drainage" savings for having trees on the property because the code does not address that. I have so many trees that they are choking each other. I could remove 90 % of them and in a few years I would again have too many. Don't you guys know how fast these things grow.
    As you correctly imply, trees soak up a lot of water. The same people that are complaining about tree removal are also complaining about a water shortage. As you are probably aware trees use so much water that they are somtimes used to lower water tables. People just want to complain because they don't like growth.
    I have been subdividing land, off and on part time, for over 35 years, and 28 years in Florida. In 1980 I was selling lots on paved roads for $ 4500 and showing a modest profit. Now it cost about $20,000 a lot just for the costs not including the land. You should divest yourself of the notion that regulation is a big benefit to the homeowner. It is simply way out of hand. It is giving the "no -growth" advocates the tools they need to obstruct growth.

    Inventor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian plnrgrl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    I am presently precluded from removing any tree over 4 inches on a vacant lot if I don't have a building going up. The result is that the homeowner will have to pay about $4500 to clear a spot for his house, yard, and driveway. I could do the job, before the area is built up, for $2000 because I can burn on site and do several lots. We know where the houses are going because of the setbacks.
    I cleared my lot to build my house a little over two years ago, in an already built out area. It didn't cost me 2K, not even close. I live in Florida. I called a guy to come harvest my pine trees, which are no longer protected in my area. Didn't cost me a thing for that. That guy is turning around and selling them to the paper mill. The rest was easily cleared. Alright, I didn't totally have the half acre lot gleaned of all the trees, but had to clear enough for the footprint, a detached garage, and an oversized septic tank.

    I postulate, however, that you are not losing money, or you wouldn't be developing in Florida.

    Quote Originally posted by ttrsplanner View post
    Can anyone recommend any land use codes that, in your perspective, do a good job in the area of landscaping and tree protection? This is for a rural community that has little to no language in their existing land development regulations either for landscaping or tree protection/replanting.

    Thanks!
    I actually thought Tallahassee had some pretty good tree protection/ landscaping requirements. Have you looked there?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Jun 2007 at 10:40 AM. Reason: double reply

  11. #11
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    Hello Boilerplate,

    Developers have a much better grasp on the value of trees than planners. We pay the costs to remove or plant them. We know the value to customers. We don't remove them unless needed because it would be a waste of money.
    I am presently precluded from removing any tree over 4 inches on a vacant lot if I don't have a building going up. The result is that the homeowner will have to pay about $4500 to clear a spot for his house, yard, and driveway. I could do the job, before the area is built up, for $2000 because I can burn on site and do several lots. We know where the houses are going because of the setbacks.
    There is no "drainage" savings for having trees on the property because the code does not address that. I have so many trees that they are choking each other. I could remove 90 % of them and in a few years I would again have too many. Don't you guys know how fast these things grow.
    As you correctly imply, trees soak up a lot of water. The same people that are complaining about tree removal are also complaining about a water shortage. As you are probably aware trees use so much water that they are somtimes used to lower water tables. People just want to complain because they don't like growth.
    I have been subdividing land, off and on part time, for over 35 years, and 28 years in Florida. In 1980 I was selling lots on paved roads for $ 4500 and showing a modest profit. Now it cost about $20,000 a lot just for the costs not including the land. You should divest yourself of the notion that regulation is a big benefit to the homeowner. It is simply way out of hand. It is giving the "no -growth" advocates the tools they need to obstruct growth.

    Inventor
    First, you ought not make blanket statements... I, for one, know quite a bit more about trees and costs that the average developer, since I am a landscape architect as well as a planner. I agree with your second paragraph though, that you should be allowed to clear the pads for lots, at least to a certain extent. The notion that planners love trees and developers hate them is false. However, not all trees are fast growing, and many of the species that do grow quickly (in tree terms), die quickly as well. The wise planner knows the difference, and can work with a developer to save particular trees. I have, in more than one instance, worked to get variances for a developer to save a tree or a stand of quality.

    Some people don't like growth, I'm not one of them. However, I need to be prepared for it, and it needs to be done in an orderly fashion. Many people want to be the "last one in" and then slam the door. Not practical... But, that doesn't really mean certain regulations are meant to slow or stop growth. I would imagine the regulation you cite is based more in a desire to save trees by cutting them only when the pad site is certain.

    Also, realize two things about the prices you noted. First, there has been a fair amount of inflation since 1980, and everything costs more. But secondly, and even more to the point, is that (pardon the pun) land doesn't grow on trees. It is finite. Therefore, the value is sure to rise with demand, and the costs of doing your type of business grows with it.

    You are right, regulations are commonly not for "the homeowner", but more for the good of the entire community. That I do find important.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Well....

    As for the cost of doing business as a developer:

    While working for one of the biggest homebuilders in the country, I was constantly AMAZED at the tax breaks, reimbursement agreements, tax incentives and exemptions realised by big developers in nearly every area of the development process! The kind of things they REALLY don't want people to know about. Incorporating in Delaware or Nevada or off shore someplace....you get the picture.... The financing structure alone and the way land is held or purchased adds to the wallet. None of which I have a problem with because they are all "most likely" legal methods to take advantage of the taxing, bonding, financing schemes.......you guessed it.....all put into place by bureaucrats
    It's just that these bureaucrats work at a slightly higher (lower?) level of government and provide $$ to developers.....its funny that we NEVER hear developers complain about them, but then again, that would draw attention to the deals they've been getting.....I've heard all this before.......
    Skilled Adoxographer

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Who owns the trees ?

    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    First, you ought not make blanket statements... I, for one, know quite a bit more about trees and costs that the average developer, since I am a landscape architect as well as a planner. I agree with your second paragraph though, that you should be allowed to clear the pads for lots, at least to a certain extent. The notion that planners love trees and developers hate them is false. However, not all trees are fast growing, and many of the species that do grow quickly (in tree terms), die quickly as well. The wise planner knows the difference, and can work with a developer to save particular trees. I have, in more than one instance, worked to get variances for a developer to save a tree or a stand of quality.

    Some people don't like growth, I'm not one of them. However, I need to be prepared for it, and it needs to be done in an orderly fashion. Many people want to be the "last one in" and then slam the door. Not practical... But, that doesn't really mean certain regulations are meant to slow or stop growth. I would imagine the regulation you cite is based more in a desire to save trees by cutting them only when the pad site is certain.

    Also, realize two things about the prices you noted. First, there has been a fair amount of inflation since 1980, and everything costs more. But secondly, and even more to the point, is that (pardon the pun) land doesn't grow on trees. It is finite. Therefore, the value is sure to rise with demand, and the costs of doing your type of business grows with it.

    You are right, regulations are commonly not for "the homeowner", but more for the good of the entire community. That I do find important.
    Who owns the trees on private property ? The County didn't pay me when they claimed a property right in my trees, but they will charge me for $125 minimum for any tree I remove without permission. Do planners misunderstand the concept of "property rights" or do they just think it is OK to steal for the "good of the entire community"?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Yeah, and the "good of the community" is an often nebulous concept that is subject to constant debate and revision. I can empathize with the tree removal/stealing analogy. Years ago I bought a two-family house. Not long after, I found that the city would require me to either install a fire escape at a cost of 12-15% of what I paid for the property, or remove the staircase to the 3rd floor and close of access to it, rendering my property with less habitable area. It turned out that this was an ordinance quickly drafted in response to a fire where a child died. It is arguable as to what could have prevented it. Anyway, I decided to call their bluff. Within a year or two, new building codes where approved for older homes to make it more cost-effective to rehab homes in NJ's older towns. A fire escape would no longer be required.

    OK, this is a thread about tree preservation. I hate to say it, but in my experiences as a landscape architect working in NJ and southerastern PA, tree preservation is largely a failure. You can't just regrade all around trees that were standing in a forest and leave them exposed and alone and expect them to survive. they grew with a specific hydrology in place, and when you regrade and dig foundations you change all that. They can't adjust. They might look good for a few years, but they are stressed and then go into decline and then one day they fall on the house or need to be removed. Trees that were formerly in forest are also more suceptible to widthrow when they no longer have their mates around sharing the brunt of the wind. You can't put in a house without regrading unless you have a very flat lot with soil that drains perfectly. And for habitat value, isolated trees aren't as valuable as intact stands of forest. I have seen some success when old farm hedgerows are preserved and the grading steers clear of them. The trees in hedgerows have developed with a wind load and can take the exposure. From what I've seen in sunbelt states, large palms can take transplanting very well. Maybe ordinances in the sunbelt would get better results if transplanting was more encouraged.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  15. #15
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    Who owns the trees on private property ? The County didn't pay me when they claimed a property right in my trees, but they will charge me for $125 minimum for any tree I remove without permission. Do planners misunderstand the concept of "property rights" or do they just think it is OK to steal for the "good of the entire community"?
    Do you own your car? If so, why do you stop at red lights? Because you have to follow rules so everyone can use the roads. Property rights aren't all-inclusive... You don't have unfettered discretion on what you can do because you own land. I suggest you take a few courses in land use law before before you try and explain the concepts of property rights to me.

    I don't argue much on residential tree ordinances. It's very close to the edge. However, development ordninaces that address trees have some merit, but have to make a clear nexus to a tangible problem or opportinuty. If it relates to soil issues, slopes, critical drainage areas, or even some unique tree or species, I'd be more inclined to be happy with it. Just wanting to save trees doesn't meet the test, IMO. And, as Boilerplate mentions, the remaining trees often die off for many reasons. Residential areas tend to be re-planted by owners quickly, too.
    Last edited by Mastiff; 26 Jun 2007 at 6:51 PM.
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    As someone from the dark side" (commerical enterprise ), I have some simpathy for Inventor's cri de coeur (though perhaps not the tendnetious delivery...).

    I am genuinely curious, though. With your considerable experience as a developer, whi is it taht all the new builds I've ver seen in the US (ok, make taht 99%), look like thundra-like blasted barrens?? I eman they relly, objectively suck, Florida not excepted. Hosuese surrounded by old-growth trees, OTOH, looks a million times better, ceteris paribus. What gives? Are your customers just unable to spot the difference? Is it impossible to build 'around' the trees?

    You refer to "no growth". Would you not agree that Florida shoudl at the very least fdreeze its human footprints to current levels? With any (I mean ANY) density beyond hilbilly levels, it could house more people than are ever likely to live there...

    BTW, agree totally on the compensation issue.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  17. #17
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    I think the discussion here is not making a clear distinction between requirements of a simple landowners, versus requirements during a development process. The two aren't exactly the same.

    In the first case, a person may have purchased property that had reasonable restrictions with a rational need, such as a critical drainage or slope area. I've written a few. Now, if that is put in place after the purchase, you've added additional restrictions, and compensation may well be in order.

    In the second case, development of land, the courts have generally held that the compensation for following the subdivision regulations is the city or county approval of the development. In fact, if the developer follows all the regulations, and the infrastructure can handle the growth, there should be no reason for denial.

    On the subject of trees, I think we're getting a mix of the two together. In one town where I worked, developers avoided such regs by clearing the entire property before filing any plans... and the town responded by regulating trees on all land over a certain size. That's a bad move in my estimation, and they then hired someone to enforce the rule, who became known as the "tree nazi." Meanwhile, had they met with the major players and developed something that saved trees where possible (mostly stands of older trees), and a replanting schedule where they could not be saved, everyone could have been happy.

    Since I was doing LA work for an engineering firm, I was with the "darkside" at the time. But it's still the way I feel. I know that well planted trees of the right species will do better than a "saved" tree in the wrong place.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    My county is in the process of updating it's buffer area ordinance to include a section on protection of "specimine" and "protected" trees. That is to say those trees that are of significant size (over 8" round and 24" round). Too many times we have developers tear out all the trees and leave nothing within the buffer area (anywhere from 20-100 feet depending on uses). This should help with the preservation of existing native foliage at a fine of 500 per tree that is clear cut prior to approval.

    If anyone is interested in a copy of said ordinance it should be approved in July, let me know.
    @GigCityPlanner

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Tree Nazi

    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff
    On the subject of trees, I think we're getting a mix of the two together. In one town where I worked, developers avoided such regs by clearing the entire property before filing any plans... and the town responded by regulating trees on all land over a certain size. That's a bad move in my estimation, and they then hired someone to enforce the rule, who became known as the "tree nazi." Meanwhile, had they met with the major players and developed something that saved trees where possible (mostly stands of older trees), and a replanting schedule where they could not be saved, everyone could have been happy.

    Since I was doing LA work for an engineering firm, I was with the "darkside" at the time. But it's still the way I feel. I know that well planted trees of the right species will do better than a "saved" tree in the wrong place.
    All land in Citrus County Florida is subject to the "tree nazi" except the land where development is taking place. A landowner may not remove a dead tree without permission of the Director of Development Services.
    The regulation of land being developed under permit has a structure that seems not too oppresive. I suspect that these same rules probably apply to other jurisdictions because the planners work off model codes.
    Your reference to the "dark side" tells me where your head is at.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 25 Jun 2007 at 9:45 PM. Reason: fixed quote tag

  20. #20
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    All land in Citrus County Florida is subject to the "tree nazi" except the land where development is taking place. A landowner may not remove a dead tree without permission of the Director of Development Services.
    The regulation of land being developed under permit has a structure that seems not too oppresive. I suspect that these same rules probably apply to other jurisdictions because the planners work off model codes.
    Your reference to the "dark side" tells me where your head is at.
    Well, I'm not one who follows that line of thinking. Unless it's with the city ROW, or as I've stated, trees saved for certain reasons, I don't need to be involved. Just my opinion.

    My reference to the "darkside" is one that is well known here, and it is used in jest regarding planners and others who work in private practice. So no, you have no idea where my "head is at." You don't know me at all.
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Florida terrain

    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    As someone from the dark side" (commerical enterprise ), I have some simpathy for Inventor's cri de coeur (though perhaps not the tendnetious delivery...).

    I am genuinely curious, though. With your considerable experience as a developer, whi is it taht all the new builds I've ver seen in the US (ok, make taht 99&#37, look like thundra-like blasted barrens?? I eman they relly, objectively suck, Florida not excepted. Hosuese surrounded by old-growth trees, OTOH, looks a million times better, ceteris paribus. What gives? Are your customers just unable to spot the difference? Is it impossible to build 'around' the trees?
    Florida roads sometimes look barren because the terrain may have been somewhat barren to begin with. I don't clear trees unless I need to. Why would I waste money clearing when the customers all want trees ? The builders sometimes don't want too many trees bacause they are looking at clearing costs and some of these guys are really tight with the money. The customers want more trees than they need and tend to leave too many trees standing which causes problems down the road when the trees kill the lawn, stain the roof and don't grow properly because they are crowded.
    It is not necessary to "build around trees" because the trees grow very fast in an area where they get sunlight and water. It is just not practical but I have had customers do it. It's their land so I don't try to hard to talk them out of it.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 26 Jun 2007 at 9:24 AM. Reason: fixed quote tag

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hawkeye66 View post
    Just callin it as I see it....

    Moderator note:
    Suburb Repairman



    and that's a yellow card. The statement "just callin it as I see it..." is essentially repeating the same insult that got you the previous warning.

    Rule reference:


    We provided a warning to the other poster regarding trolling, so we already addressed the jerky aspect of the discussion. Consider this the warning about flaming.

    Now let's get this back on-topic... tree preservation codes suited for a rural context.
    Consider this...I quit.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    You guys do realize, that a 1 acre lot with a large portion of the lot wooded (unerbrush cleared), generally sells for more than the same lot that is free and clear?

    Were any trees sacrificed in the name of the home you own? The street you drive on?

  24. #24
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    I am genuinely curious, though. With your considerable experience as a developer, whi is it taht all the new builds I've ver seen in the US (ok, make taht 99&#37, look like thundra-like blasted barrens?? I eman they relly, objectively suck, Florida not excepted. Hosuese surrounded by old-growth trees, OTOH, looks a million times better, ceteris paribus. What gives? Are your customers just unable to spot the difference? Is it impossible to build 'around' the trees?
    Good question.

    Many new subdivisions are built on former farm sites, where there have been no trees since the land was first tilled in the 1700s and 1800s. Some wooded areas are former farm sites that have recently reverted to forest, but very few trees are mature; most will have small calipers and/or be undesirable sucker growth trees. In some cases small stands of immature trees are preserved, but more often than not they're in the rear yard, Many tract mansion owners want to show off the front of the house, and a cluster of scruffy 1" maples is seen as a hindrance.

    In many parts of the country, wooded parcels are cleared before development, so topsoil can be scraped and sold. Think about it - somene can scrape the topsoil, and later sell it back to the new homeowner at the local DIY store.

    Many communities have tree preservation regulations, and require tree inventories and preservation plans before a property is developed. If there are no trees worth saving, though - nothing with a caliper width above the minimum that must be preserved or replaced -- the drag chains are brought out, and the result is the textbook American subdivision you're familiar with.




  25. #25
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post

    In many parts of the country, wooded parcels are cleared before development, so topsoil can be scraped and sold. Think about it - somene can scrape the topsoil, and later sell it back to the new homeowner at the local DIY store.
    Your job as a planner is to cut/paste the boilerplate SALDO language that says "No topsoil may be sold or removed from the site, unless approved by the township."

    Dont fault anyone for doing what they are allowed to do. And the developer/owner owns this dirt.

    FWIW, topsoil is useless in construction, and is stripped prior to building anyway. Then it is stockpiled, and typically spread on the lawns.

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