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Thread: Tree Cutting Regulation

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Tree Cutting Regulation

    How are your communties handling non-industrial / non-agricultural tree cutting, and specifically property owners clear cutting wooded lands either:

    1) Just cuz, with no plan for development and no sale of the harvested timber crop

    2) In anticipation of development, but prior to the start of the application process.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    How are your communties handling non-industrial / non-agricultural tree cutting, and specifically property owners clear cutting wooded lands either:

    1) Just cuz, with no plan for development and no sale of the harvested timber crop

    2) In anticipation of development, but prior to the start of the application process.
    They can clear cut anything that isn't within 100 ft of a stream, creek, brooke, river, ditch, run, body of water, etc. Just submit the permit to PW. - I personally have lots of issues with this. Wish I had some before and afters of a property that this just happened to.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    We have controls in our primary local instrument (called a Local Environmental Plan in NSW) which prohibits native and significant tree removal, viz.

    34 Trees and native vegetation
    (1) This clause applies to all land except:
    (a) State forest or other Crown-timber lands within the meaning of the Forestry Act 1916, or
    (b) land within Zone 8.
    (2) Except as provided by subclause (3), a person must not clear any tree or any native vegetation unless in accordance with a development consent.
    (3) Consent is not required for:
    (a) the clearing or trimming of trees in accordance with Part 11 of the Electricity Supply (General) Regulation 2001, or
    (b) the clearing or trimming of trees in accordance with section 88, 107, 138 or 139 of the Roads Act 1993, or
    (c) the clearing or harvesting of trees grown commercially or
    domestically for their edible fruit, or
    (d) the control of noxious weeds within the meaning of the
    Noxious Weeds Act 1993, or
    (e) the clearing of commercially grown plantation trees in
    accordance with the Plantations and Reafforestation
    Act 1999, or
    (f) the clearing of native vegetation without consent if authorised
    under the Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997, any other
    Act or another environmental planning instrument, or
    (g) the removal of hazardous dead trees within Zone 2 (1), 2 (2),
    3 (1), 3 (2), 4 (1), 4 (2), 4 (3), 5, 6 (1) or 6 (2), except where
    the trees provide habitat for species listed in Schedule 1 or 2
    to the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, or
    (h) the removal of native vegetation on land, other than in Zone
    7 (1), for the purpose of creating or maintaining landscaped
    and lawn areas where:
    (i) the removal, injury or destruction of trees is not
    involved, and
    (ii) the area to be cleared is less than 600 square metres in
    total and is on the same allotment as, and within the
    curtilage of, a dwelling for which development consent
    has been granted, and
    (iii) the soil surface exposed in any period of 90 consecutive
    days will not exceed 250 square metres, and
    (iv) the slope of the land does not exceed 15 degrees, and
    (v) the work does not involve the disturbance of native
    vegetation which is habitat for species listed in
    Schedule 1 or 2 to the Threatened Species Conservation
    Act 1995, and
    (vi) the area is not subject to a development consent that
    requires the trees or native vegetation to be retained, or
    (i) bushfire hazard reduction work exempted by section 100C of
    the Rural Fires Act 1997, or
    Page 45
    Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2004 Clause 35
    Part 5 Special controls for protection of the environment or for particular land
    P:\ep\03\e03-270-03\p01\e03-270-03-p01BOD.fm 11/3/04, 03:01 pm
    (j) clearing of a tree or native vegetation that is within 3 metres of a building for which consent has been granted and that is on the same allotment as that building.
    (4) Consent must not be granted for the clearing of any tree or native vegetation unless the consent authority has considered a statement of environmental effects that assesses in respect of the vicinity of the proposed clearing:
    (a) soil stability and prevention of land degradation, and
    (b) water quality and associated ecosystems such as streams, rivers, waterbodies or waterways, and
    (c) scenic or environmental amenity, and
    (d) vegetation species, communities and natural wildlife habitats.
    (5) Nothing in this clause affects any requirement made by or under the
    Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997.

  4. #4

    Registered
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    Williston, VT
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    There is an excellent PAS report on this topic, written by Chris Duerksen. I don't have my copy where I can find the number, but it should be easy enough to find in the APA bookstore. You can probably also get some examples from the Tree City program.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Georgia
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    I worked at a community in FL which has had success with this:

    1. Place restrictions on removing specific trees to the area for reasons of protecting the areas natrual resource. Most comp. plans will have an objective to support this. Or to be more flexible give caliper restrictions that protect trees above a certian size.

    2. Allow a mitigation strategy -- so that if you really want to remove a tree you can but you need to replace it. IF you remve a 24' tree you need to replace it with several trees as long as the trade off is inch for inch. IF there is no room on the property for a replacement allow the replacement tree to be located on public property (parks, schools, etc.. ).

    3. Require a permit to remove the tree -- based on species or caliper size -- which includes a replacement strategy. Big box developers are especially accomodating to this idea -- if they can throw money at a problem and make it go away they will.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Landon,

    The ordinance you describe sounds very much like Jacksonville's tree protection ordinance. Single-family homes are exempt, but anyone else who wishes to remove protected trees (defined by species and/or caliper size) must obtain a permit and either replace the tree or pay into a mitigation fund that pays for new trees throughout the city. Interestingly, the strongest opposition has come from the state DOT who have argued that the mitigation requirement makes new road projects cost prohibitive.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Thanks for the comments and suggestions- a little more background:

    The community in question is a 36 square mile unincorporated township. The terrain is dominated by rolling wooded hills. Tree-specific ordinances probably arent realistic here, since the town isnt staffed to enforce them.

    They are worried about mass-cutting not related to development proposals. They are not concerned with individual owners selectively removing trees. Anything related to post-application for development, they have under control.

  8. #8
    We're wide open for trouble on this issue, except if the property has steep slopes (which we define as 18% or greater), in whcih case we can compel a Special Exception. We have also required PUDDs and Subdivisions that have "environmentally sensitive" features to reserve the grounds as "no build" areas that will be subject to "sound forestry management practices".
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  9. #9
    Member
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    Georgia
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    Another option:

    Develop a land clearing permit ---
    The clearing of any land 1 acre or greater in size will require a permit on the grounds of sedementation and drainage control. By making it an acre in size it will exculde your typical single family home. The Land Clearing Permit must be submitted with a site plan --- and cannot be issued until the site plan is approved. This will limmit clearing to those lands which have approved site plans (greater than an acre in size of course).

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