Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Seattle tree preservation measure put off for a year so officials can "get it right" -Seattle, WA.

Seattle tree preservation measure put off for a year

Seattle City Council members will likely start working on a new tree-preservation ordinance next year - a year later than previously expected - to adequately cover legal and political issues.

"I really want us to take our time, to make sure we get this one right," Council President Richard Conlin said Tuesday during a committee session.

There'd been some expectation that the Council would consider a stronger and more detailed ordinance this year, to replace one enacted in 2009. The original ordinance, labeled an "interim" law, limits the cutting of trees on individual lots and requires protection of trees considered "exceptional" in size and type. It also allows some variations in building setbacks to avoid cutting trees.

At the same time, the interim ordinance does allow tree cutting if keeping it on a property would keep a new project from meeting its potential. The city's Department of Planning and Development has not come up with a tree-cutting permit system as it was directed to do. It has said it didn't think a permit system would work.

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