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.

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Update on May, June Action on Seattle Tree Protection Ordinance

Its Time to Update Seattle’s Tree Ordinance

Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest and TreePAC invite organizations and individuals to attend our next meeting where we will be gearing up to update Seattle’s Tree Ordinance.

Next meeting of Seattle Tree Ordinance Working Group:

Saturday May 26, 2018 3 PM to 5:30 PM
Northgate Public Library
10548 5th Ave NE, Seattle WA

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Movement forward on Updating Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance – April Action

Letter requesting organizations

to join Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance

Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson has introduced a framework to update Seattle’s current Tree Ordinance.  This is something many citizens and organizations have been urging for almost 10 years.
We would like your organization to join with us and others to strengthen our coalition effort to coordinate and carry out a focused effort to update our outdated tree ordinance, last passed in 2009 as an “interim ordinance”. Continue reading

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“Exceptional trees are incompatible with Urban Villages and backyard cottages” says Seattle OPCD employee Brennon Staley

The Death of Single family zoning starts in HALA, Urban Villages + ADU’s near you!  And Exceptional Trees Will Not Survive. – story by Richard Ellison

“Exceptional trees are incompatible with Urban Villages and backyard cottages” says Seattle OPCD employee Brennon Staley (at the Oct 27, 2017 EIS Scoping meeting at the Hales Brewery). When I asked Brennon how, in the best possible circumstances, under ANY possible conditions could Exceptional trees be saved during development. He smiled and said that was not really possible.

So, with the City about to (1) eliminate Single Family Zoning in all Urban Village areas, and (2) allow extra ADU’s (mother-in-law units/ backyard cottages) in the remaining Single Family Zones, Seattle is going to accelerate the loss of Exceptional Trees and limit the available soil areas where new trees might ever grow to a large size and maturity.

Read the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study the potential effects of removing barriers to creating accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family zones. Visit the ADU EIS website to learn more and provide comments.

Staley, Brennon               206-684-4625

It was a large and vocal event for the City, taking comments on the 2 new proposals: An EIS for zoning changes, and public comments on new ADU’s.

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TreePAC Endorsements for the Nov. 7, 2017 General Election Ballot

TreePAC endorses candidates
for 2017 General Election

POSITION         Link to Candidate Websites

Seattle Mayor – Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon

Seattle City Attorney – Pete Holmes

Seattle City Council Position #8 – Jon Grant

Seattle City Council Position #8 – Teresa Mosqueda

Seattle City Council Position #9- Pat Marakami

Seattle Port Commission Position #1 – John Creighton

Seattle Port Commission Position Position #3 – Stephanie Bowman

Seattle Port Commission Position #4 – Peter Steinbrueck



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Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess Signs Executive Order to Increase Tree Protection

From This Week in the Mayor’s Office – Oct 13, 2017

 Protecting Seattle’s Tree Canopy

Mayor Burgess signed an Executive Order focused on strengthening Seattle’s protections for trees on private property today. The order directs the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections to better implement existing tree regulations through:

• Strengthening the existing regulations through new and updated Director’s Rules;

• Increasing penalties for illegal tree cutting; and

• Developing a fee-in-lieu program to mitigate tree loss

Further, the order asks City staff to explore how Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) policies could support Seattle’s urban forestry goals.

“Seattle’s tree canopy is a treasure that provides critical health and economic benefits to our city,” said Mayor Burgess. “It must be protected, nurtured, and expanded. As we grow as a city, we must also grow our commitment to be good stewards of our urban forest.”


TreePAC recommendation – Thank Mayor Burgess for his action and urge the Seattle City Council to strengthen this effort by updating the interim Tree Ordinance passed in 2009  which is still awaiting action by the City Council. They need to hear from concerned citizens.  

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Candidate Forum on Trees for Nov 2017 Election

TreePAC Joins with other environmental groups and community councils to co-sponsor a candidate forum for the November 2017 Election!

TUESDAY, OCT. 3, 2017 – 7 P.M. TO 9:30 P.M.

This forum, sponsored by the Eastlake Community Council, Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest, Plant Amnesty, Portage Bay/Roanoke Park Community Council, Seattle Audubon, Seattle Greenspaces Coalition, Seattle Nature Alliance, Thornton Creek Alliance and TreePAC

The Forum focuses on the four Seattle citywide offices and Seattle Port Commissioner races.

7:00  Introductions and announcements

7:05  Candidates for Port of Seattle Commission

7:35 Candidates for Seattle Mayor  —   Cary Moon vs. Jenny Durkan

7:55 Candidates for position #9  —  M. Lorena González  vs. Pat Murakami

8:10  Candidates for Seattle City Attorney  — Pete Holmes vs. Scott Lindsay

8:40  Seattle City Council position #8 – Jon Grant vs. Teresa Mosqueda

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Fight over Issaquah hillside

Fight over Issaquah hillside: How much development is too much?  Dec 18, 2016

The owners of a 45-acre parcel of land next to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park say a proposed development would leave most of the property as open space, but neighbors want the land to be part of the park.


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Seattle Times: Ruling calls bluff on Seattle’s misguided housing policy on backyard cottages

Ruling calls bluff on Seattle’s misguided housing policy on backyard cottages

TreePAC has worked to inform the city that second houses on single family lots, called back yard cottages, would have a major impact on Seattle’s urban forest ( though more in scale with neighborhoods than apartment buildings also being suggested).
Why? Because two houses on a lot break up the contiguous green space that hosts trees into narrow slivers of land. The same lot coverage by one big house provides the room needed for big trees.

Multiplied by thousands of homes over 50 years, the cottages will likely have major environmental repercussions.

See what the Seattle Times Editorial Staff had to say about the legislation proposed to encourage more cottages in the article at or by reading an excerpt below.


Published December 15, 2016 at Written by Seattle Times editorial board.

SEATTLE reached a turning point Tuesday when a hearing examiner excoriated City Hall’s plan to allow density to increase by as much as threefold in city neighborhoods.

For the first time in recent memory, the bluff was officially called on the city’s poor planning and misleading rhetoric as it enthusiastically boosts development.

Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner’s ruling suggests that residents were being bamboozled by the equivalent of post-factual, fake news.

Instead of creating more affordable housing as Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council proclaimed, the policy on backyard cottages would make housing less affordable.

Continue reading at at

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Tree Preservation Ordinance makes the headlines! Score one for the TreePAC green agenda…

As green as Seattle likes to portray itself to be, the city hasn’t put much emphasis on protecting its tree canopy. From a long time after non-native settlers arrived, the idea was to cut down the trees. As the city re-greened itself through the 20th century, some of the canopy came back, but the city government didn’t start paying much attention to tree policy until early this century.

Today, other cities are doing better by their trees. Atlanta, Austin, Portland, Vancouver, B.C. —why, even development-crazy Vancouver, Washington — have much stronger protections than Seattle. In all of those cities, a homeowner must obtain a permit to remove a tree above a certain size, and must replace the tree. Portland even has an “inch per inch” rule, requiring that the size of the tree replacement correspond with the size of the one lost, further protecting large trees. Not so in Seattle.

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