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BCN Resolution:

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Section 158-63 (4): Standards of Practice

Standards of Practice are not being consistently followed.

Section 158-63(4) says that the Tree Conservation Commission is to review and approve the required city arboricultural specifications and standards of practice (SOPs). Until 2011, the Arborist Division had followed prescribed SOPs for such functions as assessing tree health, posting tree removal signs, and keeping field books. Presently, it appears that there is no set of SOPs being consistently followed, other than how to enter data into Accela, the City’s online services application.

Sec. 158-63(4): Reviewing and approving the city arboricultural specifications and standards of practice promulgated by the city arborist and city forester and required pursuant to this article.

Standards of Practice Update

February 2, 2019:  Elizabeth Johnson, Project Manager with the Department of Planning told the Reporter Newspapers that “Plan reviewers and field arborists have been trained to follow current procedure and standards; however, the Standards of Practice (SOPs), dated June 2009, need to be updated. These SOPs will be updated in the near future.”

Our Response:

We question what “current procedures and standards” plan reviewers and field arborists have been trained to follow since we are witnessing first hand that site plans are not always inspected for accuracy before a yellow sign is posted, trees are being arbitrarily removed as “DDH”, and field notes seem to be relic of the past.  We need a commitment to an actual date in the “near future” for the 2009 SOPs to be updated, but in the meantime, the city arborists need to follow the current standards of practice.

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