Effort to revisit tree ordinance places allies at odds:
City officials are moving forward on an effort to overhaul San Antonio's tree ordinance, but the work-in-progress has sparked a curious disagreement between traditional allies.
The current version tries to address concerns raised in a report done for the city last year by American Forests, a Washington-based environmental consulting firm, which found that the city is gradually destroying its tree canopy in ways that threaten both air and water quality.
The new plan would lower the maximum allowable destruction of trees from 90 percent to roughly 80 percent; double the fees developers pay into a city mitigation fund from $100 to $200 per diameter inch of protected tree destroyed; and impose project-by-project shade requirements of 25 percent for commercial property and 38 percent for residential after developments are complete.
Exemptions for properties larger than half an acre with a home on them — a loophole some developers have abused — would be closed.