The Department of Planning and Development is in the process of comprehensively updating the regulations for removal of trees on private property for the first time since 2001. This update is part of a city-wide effort to reevaluate existing goals, policies, and regulations to implement the Urban Forest Management Plan, which was released in April 2007 is currently being updated in coordination with this regulatory update.
In July 2010, DPD released an initial draft proposal for updating tree regulations. Public discussion of the proposal occurred 2010. After discussing the results of the public discussion with the Mayor and Council, DPD developed a second proposal and drafted new legislation for further public discussion. Public discussion of the second proposal was conducted through October 1, 2012. A summary of comments received during both periods of public discussion is currently available on the Related Documents page. DPD anticipates releasing a third proposal in January or February 2013.
This effort focuses primarily on two sets of regulations:
- Tree Protection code, Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 25.11, which regulates when trees can be removed on properties on which no construction is proposed
- The Land Use Code,SMC Chapter 23, which regulates when trees can be removed on properties where construction is proposed
Regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas, SMC Chapter 25.09, which has special regulations for areas near streams, shorelines, and steep slopes, were updated in 2006 and are not being modified as part of this process. For more information on existing regulations go to DPD Tree & Landscaping Regulations page.
December 31, 2012