The Department of Planning and Development’s proposal to revise Seattle’s Tree Regulations is now available at: www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/SeattlesTreeRegulationUpdate/
These revisions are intended to advance the goals of the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP), established in April 2007 to maintain and enhance a thriving and diverse urban forest. The UFMP established a goal of increasing Seattle’s tree canopy to 30% by 2037 and established general strategies for accomplishing this goal. Canopy cover analysis commissioned by the City found that Seattle’s tree canopy was approximately 23% in 2007. While canopy cover appeared to increase slightly between 2003 and 2007 across all zones, this analysis also demonstrated that canopy cover is not increasing at a rate sufficient to meet our overall goals. This proposal is a key element of the City’s overall strategy to implement the UFMP through a comprehensive strategy of regulations, education, incentives, and proper management of City-maintained trees.
DPD’s proposed amendments seek to enhance the health of the city’s urban forest by applying more rigorous landscaping standards and expanding the scope of existing regulations to address institutions and street trees in single family zones as well as larger retail and commercial uses in industrial zones. Key aspects of the proposal are as follows:
- Implement a tree credit requirement in single-family zones and utilize Green Factor in multifamily and commercial zones as an alternative to current exceptional tree requirements.
- Implement tree requirements for institutions in single-family zones.
- Require street trees of new or replaced homes in single-family zones.
- Add Green Factor requirement for principal commercial and retail uses over 4,000 sq. ft. in size in Industrial areas.
- Simplify the process for allowing departures to height, setbacks, and parking to preserve large trees during development.
- Integrate tree regulations into SMC Title 23, Land Use Code.
- Repeal interim tree regulations.
- Seek additional input on requiring maintenance bonds to ensure establishment of new plantings in multifamily and commercial zones and allowing payment in lieu of planting in single-family zones.
Public comment on this proposal will be accepted until October 31, 2010, prior to the Mayor submitting his recommendations to the City Council in 2011. DPD will be presenting the proposal to stakeholder and community groups through August and September. Groups interested in hosting presentations and discussions are encouraged to contact Moon Callison at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 615-1486.
For more information about this Tree Regulations Update process, go to: www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/SeattlesTreeRegulationUpdate/ or contact Brennon Staley at email@example.com or (206) 684-4625.
For more information on city-wide tree efforts and the Urban Forest Management Plan, go to: www.seattle.gov/trees/.