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Amendments to Title 11, Trees, Tree Preservation in Development Situations, Become Effective May 13, 2016

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

April 18, 2016

Due to recent public concern about large trees being removed in development situations in Portland neighborhoods, amendments to Title 11, Trees, were developed to strengthen regulations pertaining to tree preservation, especially preservation of large sized trees, in development situations on private property. The project began in November 2015 and was jointly staffed by the Bureau of Parks and Recreation-Urban Forestry and the Bureau of Development Services, the two bureaus responsible for implementing Title 11.

On April 13, 2016 City Council approved the amendments to Title 11, Trees. The amendments become effective on May 13, 2016.

The amendments to Title 11 are summarized as follows:

  1. Continue to require that at least 1/3 of non-exempt trees must be preserved or pay a fee in-lieu of preservation, regardless of tree size. Now require that all non-exempt trees with a diameter of 36 inches or larger be preserved or pay a fee in-lieu of preservation.

  2. Amend the fee in-lieu of preservation as follows:
    • For removal of non-exempt trees with a diameter of 12 inches or larger, but less than 36 inches, a graduated scale is used to determine the payment amount. Based on the current fee schedule, the fees are $1,200-$2,400 per tree removed.
    • For removal of non-exempt trees with a diameter of 36 inches or larger, an “inch-per-inch mitigation” payment is required. Based on the current fee schedule, fees start at $10,800 for removal of a 36-inch diameter tree and increase at $300 per additional diameter inch of tree removed.
  3. Require applicants to post a notice on-site and send a notice to the neighborhood association and district coalition 45 days prior to development permit issuance for removal of non-exempt trees with a diameter of 36 inches or larger.

  4. Certain affordable housing projects, as defined by the Portland Housing Bureau, are exempt from the fee in-lieu of preservation for removal of non-exempt trees with a diameter of 36 inches or larger.

  5. A sunset date of December 31, 2019 is included.

View the amended code language.

The following new forms relate to the notification requirement for removal of non-exempt trees 36 inches or greater in diameter. Applicants will be required to submit a certification form verifying notification requirements have been met. This certification must be submitted prior to development permit issuance.

  1. On-site posted notice
  2. Suggested language for e-mailed or mailed notice to neighborhood association and district coalition.
  3. Self certification verifying notification requirements are met

Questions about the project history may be directed to Emily Sandy at the Bureau of Development Services (503) 823-7828 or Questions about how the regulations may apply to specific development projects may be directed to Bureau of Development Services Planning and Zoning staff at(503) 823-7526 or Parks Tree Technician staff at 503) 823-TREE(8733). Staff is also available in the Development Services Center during its regular business hours.