City of Atlanta to Revise Tree Ordinance

The City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development is in the process of updating the Tree Protection Ordinance to "make it simpler and better organized" and to "address inconsistencies, improve efficacy, incorporate current arboricultural science, and clarify its intent".

The City has invited several "stakeholders" to participate in a preliminary review process and to offer suggestions for the update.  These interviews will take place at City Hall on June 27 and 28.  Meanwhile, the City has released several documents showing the changes they feel should be made based on previous suggestions from interviews conducted with various stakeholders in 2010.  Wallace, Roberts, and Todd (WRT), a multi-disciplinary planning, urban design, architecture and landscape architecture firm based in Philadelphia, PA, will be conducting the interviews to get feedback on a revised draft of The Tree Protection Ordinance.  Several members of The Tree Next Door will be meeting with WRT on June 28 to offer their feedback and insight.

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Georgia Arborist Association Founder Urges Members to Take Action

Peter "Treeman" Jenkins, a founding member of the Georgia Arborist Association (GAA), sent the following letter to the GAA Board on June 15, 2011:

GAA Board,

I think that anyone interested in preserving Atlanta's trees should get involved with the WRT ordinance update. Face it, we are the most knowledgeable folks out there around the issues of trees and tree care. The more interest we show as a profession, the more chance the ordinance comes out as something that will serve the trees, tree care professionals, and tree owners.

Now there are some divided opinions about the Atlanta tree ordinance. On one side it is good there is some kind of ordinance to keep people from clearing out all of their trees because some tree "professional" said they are dead, dying, or hazardous. And let's not forget those folks that are tired of raking leaves and picking up after trees. Face it, if all the trees were cut down, we as tree care folks would not have any tree CARE work.

The other side of the ordinance issue is that it is a pain in the butt getting a removal permit and dealing with decision makers that are not highly trained in the problems of trees. I ran a tree care business here in Atlanta for 30 years (Treeman Inc.), and there were times I really disliked the folks downtown when it came to removal permits that I knew needed to be issued for hazardous trees but was denied. I had a love/hate relationship the ordinance at times.

Read more: Georgia Arborist Association Founder Urges Members to Take Action

   
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