SDCI Code Compliance enforces violations of the Tree Protection Code and the Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas related to tree-cutting. Trees serve an important environmental function as well as adding beauty to our city. Our trees may be unnecessarily and unlawfully cut, sometimes at the instruction of a real estate agent or a tree company, because people are unaware of the rules about tree-cutting. There are several factors you should consider before deciding to remove a tree.
DPD has released a revised proposal to update regulations governing trees on private property, which is now available at www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/trees. The intent of this update is to better implement the goals of the Urban Forest Management Plan by improving existing tree regulations and adding a number of new measures that would expand or improve development standards to better mitigate the impacts of development.
In July 2010, DPD proposed a comprehensive revision of Seattle’s tree regulations. Responding to Council Resolution 31138, DPD evaluated the effectiveness of existing regulations and made recommendations on how they could be improved. The proposal is intended to meet the goals of the Urban Forest Management Plan while balancing competing needs.
The City of Seattle invites the public to an open house to learn how the City is increasing Seattle’s tree canopy. The City has proposed regulations that will increase tree canopy, provide flexibility for homeowners, and help preserve Seattle’s trees. A tree credit requirement in single-family zones will help preserve existing trees and encourage planting new trees. Expanding Seattle Green Factor landscape standards and simplifying the process for departures to some rules will provide incentives to protect trees during development.
An Urban Forestry Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21st at City Hall. The open house will provide an opportunity for people to hear about the many City efforts underway to expand and enhance Seattle’s urban forest, including proposals that would revise regulations for cutting and planting trees on private property.
Seattle residents can get free trees for their neighborhood through two City-sponsored programs offered this summer. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Office of Sustainability and Environment are working together to help residents beautify their neighborhood and help the environment.
The Department of Planning and Development’s proposal to revise Seattle’s Tree Regulations is now available. 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.