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Section 158-106: Preconstruction Conference

No precontruction conference means protected trees are not being saved.

Section 158-106 mandates an on-site conference between the developer and the arborist for a final tree fence inspection before demolition, grading, or construction begins. With no preconstruction conferences, developers have been allowed to grade lots, cut down trees, and refuse to put up tree fences, often before the preliminary approval of tree removal (yellow sign posting) is completed.

Sec. 158-106. Preconstruction conference. Upon approval of any permit for grading, demolition or construction, no work shall commence, no grading shall be undertaken and no trees shall be removed prior to a preconstruction conference on the site between the city arborist and the applicant or their designees. The city arborist shall inspect the site to assure the accuracy of permit application data and shall inspect tree protection fences and other protective devices which have been installed to protect trees. After the inspection is complete, the city arborist shall notify the director, and thereupon demolition, grading and construction may proceed. It is further provided that for any permit for an addition to a one-family or two-family residence, the city arborist may rely on data submitted in the application and certified by the applicant for the building permit in lieu of a preconstruction conference on the site. (Code 1977, § 10-2037(h); Ord. No. 2001-102, § 2, 12-11-01; Ord. No. 2003-03, §§ 1, 2, 1-13- 03)

Pre-construction Conference Status Update:

November 8, 2018:  In an email from Kathy Evans, Senior Administrative Analyst for the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission to David Zaparanick, Arboricultural Manager, in response to an appeal by Stephanie Coffin, TTND member, which claimed that a pre-construction conference was not being conducted at the site of 788 Bonaventure Ave NE:

"We are in the process of establishing the standards for this practice and will submitted [sic] to the Tree Conservation Commission for review."

October 28, 2018:  In an email from David Zaparanick, Arboricultural Manager for the City of Atlanta to Stephanie Coffin, TTND member:

"At this time, demolition permits only are required to have a pre-demolition inspection, because of a lack of field arborists to cover all permits reviewed in the Arborist Division. Below is the procedure for this inspection.

Pre-demolition inspection

    1. A sticker, with the information in step 1a and 1b below, is placed on the arborist approved stamped drawings.
      1. Install tree protection fence per the approved arborist stamped drawings, and
      2. Submit a completed pre-demolition inspection request form to the Arborist Division
    1.  An inspection is scheduled upon receipt of the form
    2. The field arborist inspects the site to determine if tree protection is installed per the approved arborist stamped plans.
      1. If the TPF is installed correctly, the inspection passes
      2. If the TPF is not installed correctly, the inspection fails.
        i. The contractor must make corrections, and reapply for another inspection.

The inspection is recorded under the BA record documenting the plan review/approval.

I will submit the procedure and process to the TCC at the next business meeting, November 14, 2018."

The problem with having only a pre-demolition inspection is that construction is not always part of the same site plan as a demolition; thus, the tree protection fencing required for a demolition is not necessarily the same tree fencing required for construction.

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