Want to toss that tree? Get a permit first, Seattle tree group proposes
Let's say you want to get rid of an old tree on your property. You want more light in your yard, sun on your solar panels, view to the mountains. You'd simply hire an arborist or chop it down yourself, right?
Not so fast, says a city advisory panel. Under a proposal to be discussed this week, the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission wants the city to set up a permit system that would track and regulate tree removals on private properties.
The issue is sure to trigger more hot air in the city, which has long been wrestling with how to balance individual property rights and the common good of trees. Seattle has been revising its tree-protection code for the last three years -- taking note of sparring tree lovers, homeowners and developers -- all in the name of significantly growing its tree canopy.