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On June 29, 2021, the Brookhaven City Council unanimously voted to approve the new tree protection ordinance. The new ordinance goes into effect immediately for all new tree removal permits. 

These are the main changes that were implemented in the new ordinance that was passed on June 29, 2021:

  1. The Tree Ordinance applies to citizens, developers of residential and commercial property, and to city-owned property.

  2. The City Council agreed that we will protect high value trees and established a Specimen Tree Table that protects our best trees.  Permits will not be granted to cut specimen trees and homeowners can only remove 2 non-specimen trees in 18 months.

  3. Sidewalk Ordinance guidelines will protect specimen trees.

  4. Replacement trees must be native species.

  5. Overstory and understory trees are required to be planted or preserved in front yards.

  6. Trees in the city right-of-way cannot be removed by developers or homeowners.

  7. Notice of tree removal signs will be visible from the street and posted 5 days in advance; these signs are issued by the City Arborist.

  8. Chain link fences are required around tree protection zones, so no parking or storing of materials or equipment is allowed.

  9. Better boundary tree protection, by ensuring homeowners know their right to protect their trees from a neighboring build.

  10. The Alternative Compliance provision was removed and variances will be heard by the Board of Appeals, which will prevent clear-cutting of lots.

  11. Increased the diameter at breast height (DBH) requirement from 120” to 130” per acre.

  12. Recompense raised from $200 per DBH inch to $240 per DBH inch to match City of Atlanta, as we share streets and neighborhoods.

  13. Increased cap on specimen tree recompense from 150 inches to 300 inches DBH.

  14. Added negligent driving penalties for damaging tree roots with heavy equipment on landscaped yards, building sites and rights-of-way.

  15. Established principles for use of the Brookhaven Tree Fund.

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