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Tree Canopy Legislation

Recent Tree Canopy Legislation

In fall 2011, Councilmember Phil Mendelson introduced the Urban Forestry Administration Reorganization Act of 2011 to address shortcomings of the Urban Forest Preservation Act (UFPA) of 2002. Our Executive Director Mark Buscaino and supporters from the community gave testimony on our recommendations at a hearing held by the District Council’s Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation.

These Were Our Recommendations

  1. Reduce the size limit for trees covered by the UFPA from 55 inches to 29 inches in circumference.
  2. Modify the mitigation alternatives for trees removed under the UFPA to an exclusive fee-based system and allow these fees to support proven tree planting programs and contractors.
  3. Increase the removal fee from $35 per circumference inch to $40 per circumference inch to account for tree planting cost increases from the time the UFPA was passed.
  4. Specify within the UFPA where replacement trees must be planted — on private lots when trees are removed from private lots; on public space when trees are removed from public space.
  5. Allow city inspectors to deny permits for individuals seeking to remove a tree if the reason given is arbitrary. Establish guidelines for allowable and non-allowable reasons for healthy Special Tree removal.
  6. Streamline the inspection procedure to reduce burdens on city staff by relying on third party inspectors as the city currently does for building review and inspection.
  7. Create a division within the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to monitor, enforce and administer the UFPA and Tree Fund.

Read the full brief explaining our recommendations.

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