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Thread: Good examples of Tree Preservation Ordinances?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Good examples of Tree Preservation Ordinances?

    Well, now that I'm starting to wrap up our Land Use Bylaw (Zoning Ordinance) update, it's time to start working on new special ordinances. The first one we will probably be tackling is a Tree Preservation Bylaw. It has been awhile since I've seen a really good preservation ordinance or management policy document, so I thought I'd come here to see if anyone has some example ordinances/policies or could think of communities that have particularly outstanding preservation programs. Ideas anyone?

    (Oh yeah: Please only post the language from your local code/policy handbook if you feel that it works well in your community.)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I've heard that Atlanta has strong tree ordinaces. They initiated them years ago to try to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act. I guess they have very specific rules on what can and cannot be removed on private property.

    Davis, CA and Montgomery County, MD also came up in some research I did for a grad school project.

  3. #3
    spokanite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist
    I've heard that Atlanta has strong tree ordinaces. They initiated them years ago to try to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act. I guess they have very specific rules on what can and cannot be removed on private property.

    Davis, CA and Montgomery County, MD also came up in some research I did for a grad school project.

    I've read through Walla Walla, Washington's and they looked quite good. One part I specifically liked was a process for nominating a tree with some historical significance as a "Heritage Tree".

    Try HERE

    and here.

    Good luck. It sounds like a great thing for a city to have.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I worked with Prudence to draft this one a few years back. See sections 18.26 and 18.31(3)(i) in particular.

    I also wrote a more generic tree ordinance for that community.

    Hope they help.

  5. #5
    maudit anglais
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    Here is a link to the tree preservation policies/by-laws in Toronto:

    http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/trees/bylaws_policies.htm

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    You might want to try our's on for size:

    Caution! I am a PDF

    The link is to an amendment to our Zoning Ordinance. We have not had an opportunity to codify it yet, so the format probably looks a little strange.

    It sets up the exact specifications for the tree surveys/tree replacement plans, has standards for pruning, has three levels of tree protection, standards for for root protection, replacement standards, maximum amount of tree removal, penalties for unauthorized removal, etc. It is geared toward individual lots rather than entire developments in an effort to prevent mass grading and our limitations as a general law city for the types of things we can place in our subdivision regulations.

    I wrote it, so if you have any questions about the specifics of enforcement, etc, shoot me an email. Even though it's pretty strict, it was well received. It was done in response to an irresponsible dark-sider that felt it necessary to remove every tree from a site (old ordinance did not have good teeth). I did a Saturday morning seminar with area nurserymen, arborists, landscapers and surveyors to give them a crash course in complying with the ordinance.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian brian_w's avatar
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    Here's a link to our City Forestry ordinance which includes our tree protection standards (about 5 pages in):

    http://www.kenosha.org/departments/c.../chapter34.pdf

    The ordinance may be good, but any ordinance is only as good as the people enforcing it, and that's where our problem has lied.

    But enough about that. Best of luck to you!
    You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dbarch's avatar
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    The Georgia Forestry Commission has a sample tree ordinance that can be found here:

    http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/Publicati...nances2004.pdf

    The City of Atlanta does indeed have a tough tree ordinance. Removal of any tree over 6" caliper at chest height, even on private property, requires a permit from the City Arborist. The process is described in detail here:

    http://www.nbca.org/Newsletters/00-09/page10.html

    Fulton County (the county in which most of the City of Atlanta lies) has their tree ordinance posted here:

    http://www.fultonecd.org/develop/treeord/tree-04.pdf

    WARNING: this last link is a .pdf of a 103 page document!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    The City of Jacksonville, Florida has a good tree ordinance as well. I don't have a direct reference to it off hand, but it is tough enough that FDOT sued the city over it The mitigation portion of this ordinance has worked pretty well. Basically, developers must either replace the "protected" trees (determined by caliper size and species) that are removed or pay into a fund that is used for planting of trees in public areas (right-of-way, parks, etc.).

  10. #10
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Tallahassee

    Tally is known for its trees...

    http://talgov.com/citytlh/planning/complan/conserv.pdf

    See IV-19 to 23
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  11. #11
    Nice Spokanite, Jim West? Do I know you? I worked for the City when the Mayor was elected. Glad to see things are finally coming around for the man.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Thanks for the help guys! It's been awhile since I've written one of these and I'm sure best practices are probably changing on a regular basis. I'll repost to this thread if I find any other good ones so we can keep a little library going.

  13. #13
    BWharrie's avatar
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    Tpo

    We have a Tree Preservation Order which each tree taller than 4.5metres requires an evaluation by our municipal arborist to permit removal. I think the TPO should be called a Tree Removal Permit but we keep trying to confuse the public with paperwork made from the vegetation we are trying to preserve.

  14. #14

    Every county in Maryland has one

    State law requires that every county in Maryland must have a strict tree conservation ordinance. Most of their ordinances are on the web. They usually are a free-standing ordinance, that is not part of zoning or subdivison. Some are quite complex.

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