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 will be reviewing draft tree code regulations at each of their meetings through the end of 2020 and will be holding a public hearing on the draft regulations December 9, 2020.  The most recent verison of the draft tree code is posted on the Planning Board's agenda for that meeting.  Links to the Planning Board agendas where the tree code is being discussed are provided below.  Planning Board meetings are currently beping held remotely via Zoom and a zoom link is provided at the top of each Planning Board meeting agenda.  

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

 

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 Planning Board meeting will be attached to the Planning Board's agenda.  Comments may also be provided during the public comment period at the begining of each Planning Board meeting and during the December 9, 2020 public hearing.