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Changes to Tree Preservation Requirements in Development Situations Effective April 14, 2017

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION
April 7, 2017

Contact: Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer, (503) 823-4268

Changes to Tree Preservation Requirements in Development Situations
Effective April 14, 2017

Tree in Development SituationAmendments to Title 11 (Tree Code) tree preservation requirements in development situations administered by the Bureau of Development Services were approved by the Portland City Council March 15, 2017. These changes, which help clarify language and ease implementation, will go into effect on April 14, 2017.

If you have questions about how these changes apply to a specific development situation, please call the Bureau of Development Services Planning & Zoning Hotline at 503-823-PLAN (7526) or visit the Development Services Center (DSC). See location and hours of operation for the DSC at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/37988.

For questions about trees in non-development situations or in the public right-of-way, please call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733).

Following is a summary of the amendments to Title 11 tree preservation requirements in development situations going into effect April 14, 2017: 

CHANGES TO TREE PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS  

  • The following situations will be exempt from tree preservation requirements:

    • Development activities within 10 feet of an existing primary structure, garage, or detached accessory structure permitted as living space, as long as no trees are proposed for removal and no ground disturbance will occur within the root protection zone of a healthy non-nuisance tree 12-inches or greater in diameter.

    • Fence and deck replacement, as long as the footprint or length remains the same and no trees are proposed for removal.

    • Development with no proposed ground disturbance and with a construction staging area of 100 square feet or less on unpaved portions of the site.
  • Construction staging areas will be required to be identified on site plans. Development with no proposed ground disturbance but with a construction staging area that is greater than 100 square on unpaved portions of the site will require tree preservation measures.

  • Existing encroachments into a tree’s root protection zone will not count toward the 25% allowed encroachment.

  • Existing structures and fencing, if at least 3.5 feet tall, will be allowed to be used as root protection fencing as long as this fencing meets the root protection zone distance requirements. Also, the code clarifies that root protection fencing is not required to extend beyond the development site into adjacent properties or rights of way. Protection of trees in the right of way will still be reviewed by Urban Forestry staff.

  • Landscaping required per Title 33: Portland Zoning Code may be installed within a tree’s root protection zone and will be not considered an encroachment. However, an in-ground irrigation system will be considered an encroachment.

  • If a City tree inspector determines a protected tree to be dead, dying, dangerous, or a nuisance species, the inspector may require a tree plan revision. 

CHANGES TO TREE DENSITY & TREE PLANTING REQUIREMENTS 

  • Work under septic and plumbing permits will be exempt from tree density requirements (similar to demolition, site development, and zoning permits).

  • The code has been clarified to include tree density in the list of Non-Conforming Development upgrade requirements of Portland Zoning Code 33.258.  

  • Newly planted trees must be labeled in the field for the inspector to be able to identify the species and ensure conformance with the site plan or tree plan. 

 

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