TreePAC MHA Intervention – quick update


Since early discussions in November, TreePAC has officially pulled the trigger and issued an intervention to the appeal on the proposed changes to single-family properties relative to the environmental impacts from tree loss.

The links are below.

TreePAC hopes to hear back from the Deputy Hearing Examiner is our motion has been accepted by the end of the week. The appeal hearings will take place next week Monday – Friday (Mar 25-29) in the Office of the Hearing Examiner at the 40th floor of the Municipal Building Tower.

· Appellant Final Witness & Exhibit List 2/12/2019

· City Final Witness and Exhibit List 2/19/2019

· TreePAC Motion to Intervene 3/14/2019

· Clarification 3/14/2019

· City Response to Motion to Intervene 3/14/2019

· TreePAC_Reply_to_City_opposition.pdf 3/18/2019

full records of Queen Anne citywide appeal may be found at:

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Urgent – Contact Seattle City Council to Add Tree Mitigation Amendment to MHA Ordinance

Tree PAC
Action Message from Steve Zemke – Chair – Coalition for a Stronger Tree OrdinanceDear Tree PAC Supporters,
The Seattle City Council will be considering amendments to the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Ordinance this Friday May 8, 2019. We need your help to urge the Seattle City Council to support and adopt an amendment proposed by the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission to help mitigate for trees lost during development. They will be holding a public hearing Feb thursday Feb 21 and take a fianl vote on Feb 25, 2019.  Click here to see schedule.This amendment would  increase tree mitigation for trees lost during MHA implementation as proposed in Executive Order 2017-11 – Tree Protection by Mayor Burgess in 2017 and addressed as mitigation to be implemented in the final MHA Environmental Impact Statement. Unfortunately, both  the language to require a replacement fee for trees removed  during development and not replanted on site, and language to track tree loss and replacement as proposed by Mayor Burgess, have not been incorporated in the current MHA ordinance draft.Please e-mail the following message to the Seattle City Council and the Mayor to support and pass this amendment. You can cut and paste the following text in an e-mail, add your name and your own message. Mail to and Thanks.

Dear Seattle City Council,

Please add the following amendment proposed by the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission to the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability Ordinance   The language proposed is within the scope of the final Environmental Impact Statement as discussed in section 3.6.3 MITIGATION MEASURES. To sustain our urban forest it is essential that trees removed during development be replaced. The proposed amendment addresses that issue.

SMC 25.11.090 – Tree replacement and site restoration (A)
“Each exceptional significant tree (six inches DBH and larger) and over two (2) feet that is removed in association with development in all zones shall be replaced by one or more new trees, the size and species of which shall be determined by the Director; the tree replacement required shall be designed to result, upon maturity, in 20 years, in a canopy cover volume that is at least equal to the canopy cover volume prior to tree removal. Preference shall be given to on-site replacement. When on-site replacement cannot be achieved, or is not appropriate as determined by the Director, preference for off-site replacement shall be on public property a fee-in-lieu shall be paid to the City to replace and maintain the tree or trees in the neighborhood where they were removed or elsewhere as needed in the city. The City shall enter all significant trees on site, trees removed, and trees replaced into SDCI’s current database system; noting tree species, common name, DBH, height, condition and location.

Please add this amendment to the final Mandatory Housing Affordability Ordinance. Tree replacement is important to not lose tree canopy.  Can we count on you to support and vote for this amendment?  Thank you.


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Continuing the Fight to Update Seattle’s Tree Ordinance – Coalition Meeting this Saturday

Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance
Dear TreePAC Supporters 

We ended last year in a stalemate as the Seattle City Council put off action once again on moving ahead with updating Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance. They say they will start again after they pass the MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) Ordinance in March. We are now into year 10 since the City Council first passed a resolution in 2009 to update the current tree protection ordinance and again are put on the back burner.

We need to step up our  efforts and we will discuss options this Saturday at our next meeting. Unfortunately while the last Seattle City Council draft D7 had some good components, like permits for removing trees and requiring replacement, at the same time it removed protections for exceptional trees, including tree groves, limits on the number of trees that can be removed per year and prohibitions on removing trees over 6 inches DBH on vacant lots.  Please attend our next meeting as we discuss plans for moving forward.

Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance Meeting
Saturday Feb. 2, 2019   10 AM – 12 Noon
Northgate Public Library. 10548 5th Ave NE, Seattle

status of current ordinance
basic provisions that need to be in updated ordinance
status of amendments to MHA ordinance
City Council support
schedule moving forward:
outreach efforts
City Council
City Council Elections
community support
media outreach
next steps

This should keep us busy for our scheduled time. Look forward to seeing you there.

Donations made to TreePAC will be earmarked for this effort. Click here to go to the TreePAC donation page  .
Steve Zemke
Chair – TreePAC and the Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance – a Project of Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest and TreePAC. and

facebook – Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest  and facebook – Tree PAC

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Seattle City Council Again Delays Tree Protection Ordinance

Update – Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance

Seattle City Council Again Delays Tree Protection Ordinance

Regretfully we end 2018 without an update to Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance. The Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee (PLUZ) had announced in Nov 2017 that they were going to once again attempt to update Seattle’s Tree protection Ordinance.  In December of 2017 TreePAC and Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest again joined with other community groups to coordinate a renewed effort to update Seattle’s Tree ordinance.

By August of 2018 the PLUZ Committee had produced 2 public drafts of  a new ordinance and an least 8 internal drafts.

In September, the Seattle City Council agreed with the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission and with TreePAC and other community groups and individuals  that the city needed to slow down and draft a new Tree Ordinance that actually protected existing trees as well as requiring trees that were removed be replaced.

In October and November of 2018 the Seattle City Council dedicated its time and effort to drafting and passing  the City Budget. Unfortunately after this was completed, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee decided to shift their attention and staff to other legislation and delay further action until after they pass their Mandatory Housing Affordability Ordinance. They have now tentatively said they would again work on the tree ordinance in the second quarter of 2019.

The Seattle City Council is now entering its tenth year since they passed  Council Resolution 31138 urging an update of SMC 25.11 – Tree Protection Ordinance. The Coalition for a Stronger tree Ordinance will continue to meet as an organization to build support across Seattle for a stronger tree ordinance as well as work with the City Council, Mayor and the Seattle Urban Forest Commission on specific language.

The Coalition continues to urge supporters to continue to contact the Mayor’s office and the City Council on a regular basis to urge they finally enact a strong tree protection ordinance and enforce it.

You can contact the Seattle Mayor at and the Seattle City Council  at

The main points to emphasize to them is that an updated ordinance must:

  1. Maintain protections for Exceptional Trees –  “An exceptional tree is a tree that: 1. Is designated as a heritage tree by the City of Seattle; or 2. Is rare or exceptional by virtue of its size, species, condition, cultural/historic importance, age, and/or contribution as part of grove of trees “. 
  2.  Lower the threshold for large exceptional trees to 24 inches diameter at 54 inches high (DBH).
  3. Require removal permits for all trees 6″DBH and larger in all  property zones across the city for both developed lots and lots undergoing development. 
  4. Base tree permits on diameter and species of trees, not tree canopy measurements.
  5. Require all trees 6″ DBH and larger that are  removed to be replaced on site or  a replacement and maintenance  fee be paid to the city.
  6. Require 2 week posting and yellow ribbons on trees on site for all permit applications for removal. Include on line public posting of applications and permit approvals.
  7. Limit removal of significant trees non-exceptional trees to no more than 2 per year on developed property.
  8. Maintain the prohibition on cutting down trees greater than 6″ DBH on undeveloped lots.


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New Cheasty Bike trails are unsafe and unwelcoming

Dear Seattle Parks and Recreation, 

We are writing to express our strong opposition to the latest version of the Cheasty Greenspace Pilot Project (released October 2018). The latest version puts bikes and pedestrians on the same paths and is unsafe, unwelcoming, and it is not what the Parks Department promised. We are asking you to either stop the Cheasty Pilot altogether, or to redesign the trails to be safe, welcoming, and pedestrian-only.
(See the maps in the pdf attached below. We redrew these maps so people can easily see the trails. They are accurately traced from Parks-provided maps, which are confusing to look at.) Continue reading

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Seattle Tree Ordinance Update Meeting – Next Steps

Dear Tree PAC supporters,

Join other tree protection advocates this Saturday October 27th for a public coalition meeting to discuss and review proposed changes needed to strengthen the current Tree Ordinance draft proposed by the Seattle City Council.  Continue reading

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What’s next for Seattle’s Tree Ordinance Update?

The Seattle City Council heeded public input and has decided to slow down their rush to update SMC 25.11 – Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance by the end of September. This will give more time for public input and scrutiny. The public needs to continue to send in their concerns and suggestions on how to make the ordinance more effective. The Seattle City Council and the Mayor are currently focused this month and next month on adopting their 2019 Budget. They will again take up the Tree Protection Ordinance after the Budget is adopted.

You can help us get a stronger ordinance by continuing to contact the Mayor and the Seattle City Council with your concerns and suggestions. Their e-mails are: and

Below are our  suggestions  of changes needed in the current draft they are working with labeled as version D7 that we believe would significantly strengthen the draft ordinance.

Continue reading

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Action Item – Council Hearing on Draft Tree Ordinance Wed. Sept 5, 2018

Public Hearing on Draft Tree Ordinance

The Seattle Land Use and Zoning Committee of the Seattle City Council is holding a Public Hearing on its proposed draft Tree Ordinance:

Wednesday, Sept 5, 2018
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (sign up starts at 9 AM)

Seattle City Hall, City Council Chambers,
600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Please come and testify or send a letter to the Mayor and City Council. and

Continue reading

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Campaign Continues to Update Seattle’s Tree Ordinance

Campaign Continues to Update Seattle’s Tree Ordinance

TreePAC is a member of the Coalition to Strengthen Seattle’s Tree Ordinance



Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson’s relentless push to repeal Seattle’s current Tree Protection Ordinance SMC 25.11 has advanced with the release of final language for the proposed new Ordinance (Version D7 –

Unfortunately the Seattle City Council’s latest version of an update to the current Tree Protection Ordinance  has changed to what we consider a “Tree Removal and Mitigation Ordinance.” There is a big difference between proactive tree retention/protection vs mitigation, which occurs after a tree is cut. Continue reading

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Action – June 1-7, 2018 – Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance

Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance 

Dear Friends of Trees,

Can you show your support for trees next week?  Let us know. We need people to show up and speak for stronger tree protection at these Seattle City Council Hearings:

Monday June 4, 2018 10 AM – Press Conference by Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance at City Hall outside Council Chambers, City Hall, 500 4th Ave. Come! We need you!  Invite others!

Monday June 4, 2018  10:30 AM – give public comments at the MHA Select Committee at Council Chambers in City Hall, 500 4th Ave This is the full City Council discussing the Mandatory Housing Legislation.  Testimony at the beginning of the meeting needs to address that issue. It’s fairly simple.

Continue reading

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