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City Council Considering Extension of Sunset Date for Tree Preservation of Private Trees in Development Situations

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE UPDATE
October 28, 2019

City Council Considering Extension of Sunset Date for
Tree Preservation of Private Trees in Development Situations

Background

City Council adopted amendments to Title 11, Trees, in 2016 to strengthen regulations pertaining to tree preservation (especially preservation of large sized trees) in development situations on private property. The amendments were adopted with a scheduled sunset date of December 31, 2019.

Council took this action in response to concern about large trees being removed in development situations in Portland neighborhoods. The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) has recommended, in part, that the amended regulations should be extended 2 years until December 31, 2021. The Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) has recommended, in part, that the amended regulations should be extended 2 years until December 31, 2021 or for the duration of any future Climate Emergency declared by City Council. The recommendations from PSC and UFC will be heard by City Council on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

Note: Additional components of the PSC and UFC recommendations will be heard by City Council separately, on December 5, 2019.

The recommendations to be discussed on December 5, 2019 include:

  • Removal of an exemption from tree preservation in development situations on portions of sites zoned CX, EX, IG1 and IH until December 31, 2021.
  • Reduction of the tree size threshold for trees subject to required tree preservation or fee in lieu of preservation and “inch-per-inch” mitigation fee in-lieu of preservation to from 36” to 20”, for the duration of any future Climate Emergency declared by City Council.

We’ll post more information regarding that hearing when it becomes available.

City Council Hearing

City Council will hear the proposal to extend the date of 2016 amendments:

          Wednesday, November 13, 2019
          Council Chambers
          
1221 SW 4th Avenue, City Hall
          
4:20 p.m. Time Certain
          
(Time Certain means the agenda item will not begin before the scheduled time)

For information on how to testify before City Council in person or in writing, see the Council Clerk’s website.

Summary of 2016 Amendments

The amendments adopted in 2016 and now recommended for extension until December 31, 2021 are summarized as follows:

  1. Continued to require that at least 1/3 of non-exempt trees be preserved or pay a fee in-lieu of preservation, regardless of tree size. Added requirement that all non-exempt trees 36 inches or larger in diameter be preserved or pay a fee in-lieu of preservation.
  2. Amended the fee in-lieu of preservation as follows:
    a. 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 $1,800-$3,600 per tree removed.
    b. 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 $16,220 for removal of a 36-inch diameter tree and increase at $450 per additional diameter inch of tree removed.
  3. Required 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 36 inches in diameter or larger.
  4. Exempted certain affordable housing projects, as defined by the Portland Housing Bureau, from the fee in-lieu of preservation for removal of non-exempt trees 36” in diameter or larger.
  5. Included an end date of December 31, 2019.

The staff proposal can be found here.

Read the Planning and Sustainability Commission recommendations here.

Read the Urban Forestry Commission recommendation here.

Contact: Emily Sandy, Emily.Sandy@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-7828  


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