Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Elk Grove's new tree ordinance takes root - Elk Grove, CA

Elk Grove's new tree ordinance takes root - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee When Elk Grove incorporated in 2000, the city inherited Sacramento County's tree ordinance, which was vague, said Christopher Jordan, the city's planning manager. After three years of public wrangling, the City Council unanimously voted for the revised tree ordinance in February, and the city started implementing the rules this month. The ordinance adds more local species to the list of protected trees, provides a landmark tree designation to protect trees of interest, and offers more alternatives to mitigating the loss of trees. Cindy Blain, operations director for the Sacramento Tree Foundation, said Elk Grove's rules are innovative in some key areas, including giving credits for protection of smaller trees. "Typically, when someone takes out a tree 6 inches or more in diameter, they have to replace them or pay a fee," Blain said. "But with this ordinance, the city gives credit for preserving smaller trees of certain species. Since the trees already exist on the site, it makes the likelihood of their surviving much better." Blain also lauded the city for discouraging efforts to relocate trees, especially larger oaks, as a mitigation measure. Often, she said, relocating a tree means "slow death."

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