THE PLAN FOR A BETTER TREE PROTECTION ORDINANCE
The Brookhaven Tree Conservancy is working to put forth a 4-step plan in collaboration with the City of Brookhaven, developers and other local tree advocates including City in the Forest. Atlanta and Decatur are also working to improve their tree protection ordinances, and tree protection advocates in those cities are working from the same plan.
THE 4-STEP PLAN
1. PLAN FOR TREES FIRST
Plan for trees at the beginning of the permitting process. This is the only realistic way to save trees and green space on development sites.
2. SAVE THE BEST TREES
A Tree Value Matrix has been developed to prioritize which trees are the highest value based on size, health, species and location, a method that is easily incorporated into the existing survey process. A requirement to preserve “high” and “excellent” value trees, according to the matrix, would ensure our best trees are preserved, given that we will not be able to protect all trees.
3. REDUCE GRADING & IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
A maximum sustainable footprint can be determined for different zoning categories. The result will not only reduce tree loss and impervious surface, it will decrease crisis-level storm water problems/costs and reduce the impact of gentrification, among other benefits.
4. ENFORCE THE TREE PROTECTION ORDINANCE TO DETER VIOLATIONS
Effective enforcement on construction sites is critical.
Brookhaven Tree Conservancy has developed a draft of a new Tree Protection Ordinance. Read the full text here.