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Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Tree Code Housekeeping Amendments

City Council hearing scheduled for September 19, 2012

On Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 9:30 am, the Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the Recommended Housekeeping Amendments to Title 11, Trees & Title 33, Planning and Zoning.

The Planning and Sustainability Commission and Urban Forestry Commission reviewed the amendments in May 2012 and voted unanimously to forward the amendments to City Council for approval.  Both Commissions acknowledged the need to fix the technical glitches in the adopted regulations before the rules become effective in July 2013. In addition to forwarding the housekeeping amendments for City Council's approval, they stressed the importance of translating the rules into easy to understand information for the public, contractors, and arborists.

Following the commission hearings, staff identified a couple more minor points that required clarification. These are identified in Exhibit C, "Additional Staff Amendments".  City Council will now review the staff report and recommendations of the Planning and Sustainability Commission and Urban Forestry Commission, together with the additional amendments proposed by staff and vote on the Recommended Draft.  Staff will also provide a brief update on some of the tree code implementation activities currently underway. 

We welcome your comments and encourage you to attend the hearing. 

There are several ways to participate:
To testify in person, please attend the hearing on Wednesday September 19, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 1211 SW Fourth Avenue.

To submit written testimony, please mail your comments to:
Council Clerk
1211 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 140
Portland, OR 97204

Testimony can also be sent by FAX to 503.823.4571 or by email to  Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.If you have questions, please contact Mieke Keenan at 503.829.5779 or by email at

Time for Spring (Code) Cleaning

On April 13, 2011, the Portland City Council adopted the Citywide Tree Project, including a new Title 11, Trees, amendments to the Zoning Code and other code titles, and a package of nonregulatory action items. The project package is intended to create a clear, consistent regulatory framework for Portland’s trees, enhance the City’s urban forest and improve customer service. The Council established a phased implementation plan, with most of the code amendments going into effect in 2013.

The Bureaus of Development Services, Parks and Recreation, and Environmental Services are working closely together to ensure that the transition to the new regulations will be coordinated and seamless.

In the interim, a few code glitches have been identified as the bureaus prepare for implementation. The implementing bureaus are coordinating with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to resolve these glitches, and to ensure that the amendments are consistent with the policies adopted by Council last April. The amendments will clean up ambiguous language, close potential loopholes and reduce implementation challenges. A one page summary of the proposed amendments is available here.

The complete amendment package is available for review here.

The Urban Forestry Commission and Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold hearings in May (see details below) to get public input on the proposed amendments and will make recommendations for City Council's consideration in July.

Housekeeping Code Amendments Public Hearings

Urban Forestry Commission

Thursday, May 17, 2012

City Hall, Lovejoy room

7:30 a.m.

Call 503-823-5376 one week before the hearing for specific time.

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rigler Elementary School Auditorium

5401 NE Prescott Street

6:00 p.m.

Call 503-823-7700 one week before the hearing for specific time.

For more information contact:

Mieke Keenan, Program Coordinator

503.823.5779 or

Portland City Council unanimously approves the Citywide Tree Policy and Regulatory Improvement Project

On April, 13, 2011, Portland City Council unanimously approved the Citywide Tree Policy and Regulatory Improvement Project. The Council also approved a number of amendments to the December 2010 draft in response to input from individuals and community organizations.

Council referred to the comprehensive overhaul of the City's tree rules as "landmark legislation", and expressed their appreciation for the many Portlanders, organizations, and City bureaus that have participated in this multi-year effort.

The Citywide Tree Project will be implemented in phases, starting with development of informational materials and tree manual, permit tracking system upgrades and initial amendments to the Portland Zoning Code in July 2011. Implementation of the new consolidated code, Title 11, Trees, a second set of Zoning Code amendments, a new single point of contact, and a 24-hour tree hotline pilot project will begin in February 2013.

Thanks to all who participated in this effort!

City Council will Vote on Citywide Tree Project Wednesday April 13th

On Wednesday, April 6th, the Portland City Council approved amendments to the Citywide Tree Project Recommended Draft (December 2010), and passed the project to a second reading and potential final vote next Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.

During the April 6th hearing, Council considered a number of amendments to the proposed tree code and zoning code revisions. In addition, Commissioner Fritz introduced two clarifying amendments relating to implementation directives. Commissioner Fish also introduced three amendments addressing the private tree removal permit system. After hearing public testimony, the council voted to send the substitute ordinances as amended to second reading.

City Council hears amendments to Tree Project proposal Wednesday April 6

On Wednesday April 6, 2011 at 10:45 a.m. the Portland City Council will vote on specific amendments to the Citywide Tree Project Recommended Draft (dated December 2010)including changes to proposed code, and will decide whether to forward the revised project proposal on to a second reading.

Email your comments to the City Council at:

Testify at the City Council hearing - Council Chambers at City Hall (1221 SW Fourth Avenue). Metered and pay parking is available in the vicinity. For transit info call TriMet at 503-238-7433 or check their Internet site at for routes and schedules.

Write to City Council. Send written testimony to the Council Clerk at 1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 140, Portland, OR 97204, or FAX comments to 503-823-4571. Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.