At their March 9, 2021, meeting the Council directed staff to research two additional topics for consideration as UDC Amendments:
  • Consideration of trees smaller than 6-inches in diameter as credit trees for tree mitigation.
  • Consideration of trees planted in residential lots as credit trees for the purposes of tree mitigation.
Currently, developers of non-residential projects (commercial, industrial, multi-family, etc.) are required to mitigate for the removal of Protected trees. If the developer saves trees of a certain size on the site, these trees can be used as credit to offset their mitigation requirements. Today, the UDC requires that these trees be between 6-11 inches in diameter at breast height (BDH).

The proposed changes to the ordinance would allow a developer to receive credit for trees they save that are smaller than 6 inches, but no smaller than 3 inches DBH, provided the following standards are met:​
  • The trees are a variety of shade tree;
  • Trees shall meet the locational requirements (i.e. undisturbed areas, not in areas planned for future development or utility extension, etc.); ​
  • Trees shall be in good health and part of a larger tree stand;
  • Trees full Critical Root Zone shall not be impacted from construction; and​
  • Trees may be counted at a reduced mitigation ratio of 0.5:1 inch ratio.

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* 1. Do you have any comments or concerns on the proposed changes to the UDC requirements for credit trees?

Under the current standards for tree mitigation residential (single-family and two-family) subdivisions are required to mitigate for any Heritage Trees that are removed. There is no mitigation required for Protected Trees. These residential subdivisions can mitigate for the removed Heritage Trees by:
  • Planting on-site in common areas (open space lots, HOA facilities, public parks, right-of-way, etc.)
  • Aeration/Fertilization treatment on existing Heritage Trees
  • Fee-in-lieu payments into the Tree Fund
  • Off-site planting in a City park or GISD site.
The proposed changes would allow developers to receive mitigation credit for their removed Heritage Trees under the following terms:
  • The trees planted are at least 3-inches in diameter and planted to all installation requirements of UDC 8.06
  • Common areas are planted to their fullest extent before credit is given for plantings on residential lots
  • Credit will only be given for plantings above minimum landscaping requirements
  • Trees must be spaced a minimum of 15-feet on center from other trees and/or out of the ½ critical root zone of another tree
  • Credit may only be given at a 0.5 to 1.0 ratio
  • Credit will only be given for trees planted on lots that are subject to Residential Building Permits

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* 2. Do you have any comments or concerns on the proposed changes to the UDC requirements for on-site mitigation plantings in residential streetyards?

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* 3. Do you need more information to understand the proposed changes?

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* 4. If you would like staff to follow up with you about your questions, please provide your contact information below:

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* 5. Please provide any additional comments below.

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