Tree Code Updates

Introduction

The City of Edmonds adopted an Urban Forest Managment Plan (UFMP) in July 2019 which included goals and policy guidance for tree retention within the City of Edmonds.  Below are some goals and actions from the UFMP related to updating the City's tree regulations.

Goal 1 - Maintian or enhance citywide canopy coverage

A.    Update tree regulations to reduced cleacutting or other development impacts on the urban forest and consider changes to tree replacement requirements and penalties for code violations. 
B.    Adopt policy goal of no net loss to overall tree canopy and continue to enhance canopy in parks according to the PROS Plan
C.    Ensure protection of tree resources in environmentally critical areas.
F.   Establish a tree bank or fund to which donations can be made for tree planting and other tree programs.

Goal 3 - Incentivize protecting & planting trees on private property

A.    Have a program of giving away trees and/or tree vouchers for use in Edmonds.  

 

A code update process has started to begin implementing these portions of the UFMP.  An outline of topics and concepts being considered in updating the tree codes is included in this 2020 Edmonds Tree Regulations Topic Matrix.  These broad topics include:

    • Tree retention during development including exploring low impact development principles that may provide more flexibility in development to retain trees, specific tree retention standards during development, and providing incentives for tree retention.
    • Establishing a tree fund into which development contributions or tree penalties can be tracked and the proceeds spent on tree planting and preservation
    • Reviewing penalties for illegal tree cutting
    • Moving the main tree regulations for private development into the Natural Resources title of the City's development code
    • Reviewing the existing permitting structure and exemptions for tree removal on currently developed property.

 

Planning Board Review

The Planning Board reviewed the draft tree code regulations throughout the final quarter of 2020, holding a public hearing on the draft regulations December 9, 2020 and fowarding a recommendation to the City Council following the January 13, 2021 Planning Board meeting.  Links to the Planning Board agendas where the tree code was discussed are provided below.  Planning Board meetings were held remotely via Zoom and a video recording of the Zoom meetings are provided in the video links below.  The Planning Board's recommended version of the draft tree regualtion are avaiable at this link.    

Planning Board Meeting Date    Planning Board Agenda Link    Approved Minutes    Video
September 9, 2020   Agenda   Minutes   Video
October 14, 2020   Agenda   Minutes    Video
October 28, 2020   Agenda   Minutes    Video 
November 12, 2020   Agenda    Minutes     Video 
November 18, 2020   Agenda    Minutes     Video 
December 9, 2020 Public Hearing   Agenda    Minutes     Video 
January 13, 2020   Agenda    Draft Minutes     

 

City Council Review

The City Council will begin reviewing the Planning Board's recommendation at the January 26, 2021 Council meeting and a public hearing is scheduled for February 2, 2021.  City Council agendas are published the Friday before the Council meeting.  Links to the tree code agenda, Council minutes and a video link will be provided below when they become available.

City Council Meeting Date      City Council Agenda Link     Approved Minutes     Video 
January 26, 2021   Agenda        Video 
February 2, 2021 Public Hearing     Agenda         

 

Commenting

Written comments on the draft tree regulations can be submitted to the staff contact, Kernen Lien, at kernen.lien@edmondswa.gov.  Written comments received before the scheduled City Council meeting will be attached to the City Council's agenda.  Comments may also be provided during the public comment period at the begining of each City Council meeting and during the February 2nd public hearing.