Care about Seattle’s street trees? West Seattle meeting Monday

(The European Hornbeams of 35th SW, photographed in 2009)
Just announced by SDOT – and it’s happening Monday at 6:30 pm at High Point Community Center:

The Seattle Department of Transportation is seeking community feedback regarding protecting and preserving street trees. The proposed ordinance will address protection and preservation; restrictions on tree removal; requirements for replacements; new requirements for private tree companies; and will strengthen penalties for violations.

After the Monday meeting in West Seattle, four others are planned around the city over the next month. We asked SDOT if there is a specific proposal about which people will be asked for feedback; apparently not, yet – but one is in the works, and we’re told it’ll be online next week.

7 Replies to "Care about Seattle's street trees? West Seattle meeting Monday"

  • Diana December 9, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    It would be good to know if SDOT has made a provision for citizens to comment or respond on line. Many cannot attend meetings but their input is important.

    • WSB December 9, 2011 (4:49 pm)

      Diana – I will find out more and add to it; I had asked for what ordinance they wanted people to review, and my SDOT contact said there isn’t one yet. I’m still startled to get word of it this late – a Monday meeting on Friday – I can’t find evidence it was announced earlier anywhere …

  • Jim P. December 9, 2011 (5:17 pm)

    Doing it this way, short time between announcement and meeting, no online comments etc simply means they have already decided what action to take and would prefer not to be bothered by public comment.

    In general, I am cynical enough to suspect this means they have had the input they wish from the commercial entities who would be affected and will now water down whatever laws stand in the way of such people or pass an ordinance that is so weak you might as well take a chain saw to any tree you find and have your way with it since there will be a $5 fine or something.

    I am a notable cynic, they may just be incompetent about scheduling also. Either way, public input just slows things down and gets in the way of smooth running.

  • resident3 December 9, 2011 (7:17 pm)

    Does this mean these trees are in danger of being cut down? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Imagine how beautiful they will be in 10 years.

    • WSB December 9, 2011 (8:11 pm)

      Not that I know of, Res3. The photo is mostly there as an “example” of some of our street trees – I published the announcement originally without a photo and then started looking around our files to see what file photo of street trees I might add. These are pretty famous; our photo was taken right before an event in which professional arborists donated their time to carefully prune these trees in hopes they will last a good long time – TR

  • DLR December 13, 2011 (2:07 pm)

    I am all for well cared for, and safe trees. Proper care and pruning is important.
    However, please pay attention to the wording of the proposed regulations.
    the ‘abutting’ property owner is financially responsible for public property! These rules make property owners responsible for the costs of injury, costs of damage to streets, water lines, sidewalks and more, for trees that are PUBLIC property. These items should come out of the DOT budget, not the private citizen.
    I would rather see a tax that all pay, to care for public property. Rather than a municipal pass the blame game, through regulation, that is being promoted. (Taught through ISA, continuing education classes.) This is a means of governing entities to pass liability on to the individual home/property owner for public risk. aka injury lawsuits.

  • DLR December 13, 2011 (2:27 pm)

    As for the late notice of the meeting this does not surprise me. The city, in my case, has never informed us of tree ordinance changes. One just has to watch, and search on-line for current rules now and then. They should but don’t, inform licensed businesses, that are licensed contractors doing business in the tree care industry, in the city of Seattle. I rely on WSB, Seattle Times and other media to occasionally find out after the fact.

Sorry, comment time is over.