Thirteen of the fourteen candidates running for the Seattle City Council District elections in the 2019 General Election have returned questionnaires to Tree PAC. Overwhelmingly, the responses were positive for supporting key provisions to strengthen the existing Tree Protection Ordinance. You can see our TreePAC endorsements and questionnaires on this link. These questionnaires were weighted heavily, but were not our sole criteria for endorsement.
Earlier this year, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the following two resolutions that support the updating of Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance.
3/18/19 Seattle City Council Resolution 31870 Section 6 deals with updating Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance.
Section 6. The Council recognizes the environmental, social, and economic benefits of Seattle’s urban forest and commits to working with community members and City departments to update the City’s tree regulations, advancing the goals of the Urban Forest Stewardship Plan across Seattle. Potential measures may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Retaining protections for exceptional trees and expanding the definition of exceptional trees.
- Creating a permitting process for the removal of significant trees, defined as trees 6 inches in diameter at breast height or larger.
- Adding replacement requirements for significant tree removal.
- Simplifying tree planting and replacement requirements.
- Maintaining tree removal limits in single-family zones.
- Exploring the feasibility of establishing a in-lieu fee option for tree planting.
- Tracking tree removal and replacement throughout Seattle.H. Providing adequate funding to administer and enforce tree regulations
- Requiring that all tree service providers operating in Seattle meet the minimum certification and training requirements and register with the city.
9/17/2019 Seattle City Council Resolution 31902 – A resolution declaring the City Council and the Mayor’s intent to consider strategies to protect trees and increase Seattle’s tree canopy cover
All of the candidates (13 out of 14) who responded to the TreePAC questionnaire indicated that they support these two resolutions.
The Seattle Urban Forestry Commission on June 15, 2019, at the request of Councilmembers Bagshaw and Herbold, submitted to the Mayor and City Council a draft Tree and Urban Forest Protection Ordinance. Council action on an updated Tree Protection Ordinance is expected next year. TreePAC is encouraged by the strong response of the city council candidates in support of updating the current Tree Protection Ordinance.