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Council to Vote on Tree Ordinance this Week

After many months of discussion, the City Council will vote on the proposed Tree Ordinance at this week’s Council meeting.

City’s tree canopy has been decreasing over the years, especially in the residential areas, and the ordinance is expected to help preserve the canopy in the coming years.

The ordinance will require residents to get permits to remove or prune (more than 20%) trees with a circumference between 36 inches and 80 inches. Permits will only be issued in certain circumstances (such as a dead tree, etc.).

If healthy trees are removed without a good reason, a resident will be required to replace the tree or pay a $250-$500 fee, depending on the size of the tree. Fees may be waived due to financial hardship.

Owners will be subjected to a $1,000 fine for removing or pruning (more than 20%) trees without a permit or failing to install replacement tree(s). There is an appeals process.

If approved, the ordinance will take into effect from July 1st, 2022.

Staff is requesting funding for a new City Arborist FTE to manage the new permit application process and urban tree program.

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