Shoreline City Council meeting February 13, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Notes from Shoreline City Council Meeting Monday February 13, 2012
by Devon Vose Rickabaugh

The majority of the over two hour meeting of the city council was taken up with two tree ordinances which would help pave the way for Shoreline to become a designated Tree City USA. As at several other council meetings members of the public called for the council to vote for a separate tree board to govern the care of Shoreline’s tree canopy rather than subsuming the tree board within the Parks Department where they feared a lack of expertise and time available would deprive Shoreline’s trees.

Director of Parks and Recreation Dick Deal and City Management Analyst John Norris assured the council that the parks department has the time and expertise to care for the city trees without costing the city another $23,000 which a separate tree board would cost. Mayor McGlashan reminded the council they had promised the city not to support new programs in this time of belt tightening. Norris said that if they need more expert input about the trees they could form a study group to meet two to five hours a month with one city staff member.

Both the public and the council agreed that the current “tree list” which indicates which trees need a city permit to cut is limited and needs upgrading to include more trees and possibly exclude others. Audience member Janet Way said “there are no conifers or native trees on the list.” Bob Allen said that ordinance 627 would force some to retain trees which block their view.

After much discussion the council voted unanimously to pass Ordinance 617 creating the tree board within the parks department and revisiting it in a year. Council member Eggen supported “ getting the board up and running quickly and modifying it later”. Council member Hall said this is a way for the community to get involved and bring their tree canopy concerns to the open meetings with the parks department.

Ordinance 627 which clarified the process for obtaining a Right-of-Way use permit for planting, pruning or removing street trees passed six to one. Council member Hall said “No solution will make everyone happy.” Council member Winstead said, “We all value trees here.”


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