Op-Ed: Amend the Development Code to protect trees

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Op-Ed submitted by Shoreline resident Susanne Tsoming, on behalf of Save Shoreline Trees Advisory Board

When Shoreline became a city in 1995, it had to conform with the State required mandate that all cities develop and adopt a comprehensive plan (Comp Plan). This plan guides Shoreline’s growth management decisions and provides a common vision for the future.

Shoreline adopted its first Comp Plan in 1998 in response to Washington State Growth Management Act requirements. It is periodically updated and the current Comp Plan was adopted on 12/10/2012 (2012 Comp Plan) by City Ordinance 649.

Comp plans are (1) comprehensive, (2) general, and (3) long range. The City’s Comp Plan confirms that the larger community has an interest and right to participate in the planning process of the City and is “vital to shaping the future.” 

Among the numerous goals in the City’s 2012 Comp Plan, one of them is to protect our natural environment. Goal NE X states that Shoreline is to maintain and improve the City’s tree canopy. 

In accordance, to better protect and preserve our community’s mature trees and urban forest canopy, Save Shoreline Trees (saveshorelinetrees.com) submitted 11 code amendment proposals. Several of them are new and updated tree definitions and others concern the protection and preservation of our tall mature conifer and native trees. 

One proposed Development Code amendment is to add to Subchapter 5, SMC 20.50.290, “Tree Purpose.” The Tree Purpose describes the functions and benefits of trees. 

Should this, or any of the other 10 proposed code amendments, be approved by Council, the City’s ‘tree codes’ will acknowledge our trees as valued and important elements to our natural environment. 

We await the Planning Commission and Council’s review this year of these proposed code amendments.

CORRECTION: Headline should have read Amend the Development Code


Ruth Williams,  March 31, 2021 at 11:17 AM  

This is good news! Is there a link where we can read the 11 proposals?

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