What Next?

On July 11, 2019, Elizabeth Johnson gave a presentation on the tree ordinance rewrite to Watershed Management in which she presented a new timeline for the tree ordinance rewrite.  That timeline pushed back the first draft review to August 2019, with the second draft review scheduled for September or October. However, that revised timeline has now been pushed back even further with the first draft not being ready until November 2019. (See new schedule below.) Although the initial deadline to submit feedback to the first draft outline was July 17, Johnson indicated that they were open to extending the comment period due to the schedule being extended, so continue to send in your feedback. However, don't delay as the first draft is in the process of being written.

august schedule update

Johnson also mentioned a "Tree Bank" that would repackage the Tree Trust Fund by creating a transactional market to trade tree credits from those who take down trees to those who would accept planting more trees.  A concern we have with a credit-based Tree Bank is that trees already are not being planted with all the Tree Trust money collected from recompense fees assessed on removed trees.  If, instead of paying recompense for removed trees, a developer now has to record an IOU in the Tree Bank that comes due only when a tree is replanted, there is no longer any financial disincentive to remove trees since many removed trees are never replanted.   

Until the next public meetings are held, please continue to talk with your neighbors and contact your city officials and city council representatives about what you think should be in the new tree ordinance.  The Tree Next Door provided input on a "key issues" document published by Trees Atlanta which you can use to organize your talking points.  One major concern expressed in the key issues document is what the draft outline didn't include, such as standards for storm water management, minimizing grading to preserve soil, buildable area, setbacks, parking lots, recompense fee formulas, green space requirements, forested land acquisition, an approved planting list, etc. We would like to be given the opportunity to comment on these important components of the tree ordinance before the text of these sections is actually written.   

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