Tree Protection - What & Why

What's Happening Now?

We are working with the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) to explore strategies to strengthen tree protections and to make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on legislative updates. 

Through October 2021, SDCI and OSE obtained feedback on strategies in City Council Resolution 31902 from BIPOC communities, as well as community organizations, environmental groups, builders, homeowners, tree service providers, and real estate agents. That feedback helped us identify and understand community and stakeholder interests and priorities that will shape and inform our recommendations. To do this, our departments used a two-pronged approach to the community engagement. One approach included an interdepartmental partnership with the Department of Neighborhoods' Community Liaisons to conduct culturally appropriate engagement in their own language targeting the needs and input of low-income and low-tree-canopy neighborhoods. The other approach focused on engaging other key stakeholders to hear their input through online listening sessions.

In order to both collect input to inform the recommendations and allow time for more inclusive engagement, SDCI and OSE chose to conduct these two phases concurrently. The work took place between July and October 2021. SDCI and OSE prepared a combined summary report of the results. 

Tree Protections Update 2021 Priority Community Engagement Summary Report

Project Benefits

Updates to tree protections can provide a number of benefits including:

  • Add to and compliment tree protection improvements made by SDCI in the past two years
  • Update rules and business practices for tree protection 
  • Recommendations for any changes needed to the tree protection code 
  • Balance regulations protecting trees with supporting future growth and density as provided in the City's Comprehensive Plan

The End Result

Anticipated results from this project in 2022 include:

  • New business practices to support tree protection
  • Upgrades to technology and record keeping 
  • A draft proposal with environmental review (SEPA); the publication schedule is under consideration