Letter to the Editor: Revise Shoreline tree codes to protect trees

Monday, November 15, 2021

To the Editor:

Due to increased housing development in Shoreline, we are losing and can expect more removal of trees in our neighborhoods. In accordance with Shoreline's Comprehensive Plan that confirms the larger community has an interest and right to participate in the planning process of the City, a group of Shoreline residents in 2019, collectively, the Tree Preservation Code Team (TPCT), worked for 6 months preparing 11 tree code amendments. This process required the completion of an application for each code stating its purpose and meeting three decision criteria. These were submitted at the end of November 2020.

From January to September 2021, City Staff reviewed TPCT’s proposed tree code amendments and presented its recommendations to the Planning Commission on October 7, 2021. In their presentation to the Planning Commission, City Staff recommended approval of some of TPCT’s proposed code amendments that ranged from tree-related definitions (SMC 20.20 Definitions) to tree policy and protection measures (SMC 20.50 General Development Standards), yet recommended denying a majority of the proposed tree code amendments.

Since Oct. 7, senior City Staff members, some Planning Commissioners, and Tree Preservation Code Team representatives had small meetings to review the tree code proposals in depth. These meetings have allowed all sides to discuss each tree code proposal and receive feedback, which consequently led TPCT to withdraw or revise some of the original 11 TPCT proposed tree code amendments. City Staff also amended some of the Staff recommendations. City Staff has included these revisions in their introduction to the November 11 Agenda Item 6a. The Tree Preservation Code Team will defend the remaining proposed tree code amendments at the Planning Commission’s study session on Nov. 18 at 7pm.

Kathleen Russell
Tree Preservation Code Team/Communications


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