City Tree Regulations

City Council Public Hearing to Extend Temporary Landmark Tree Regulations for 6 Months on December 11, 2018


Landmark Trees (BIMC 16.32) meet the following criteria for their species:

Species
> DBH Size
Species
> DBH Size
Birch
(Betula papyrifera)
30"
Monterey Pine
(Pinus radiata)
30"
Beech
(Fagus grandifolia)
36"Oregon White Oak
(Quercus garryana)
30"
Catalpa
(Catalpa speciosa)
36"Pacific Yew
(Taxus brevifolia)
20"
American Elm
(Ulmus americana)
30"Pin Oak
(Quercus palustris)
30"
Douglas Fir
(Pseudotsuga menzesii)
40"Red Oak
(Quercus rubra)
38"
Grand Fir
(Abies grandis)
40"Ponderosa Pine
(Pinus ponderosa)
30"
Horsechestnut
(Aesculus hippocastanum)
40"Western White Pine
(Pinus monticola)
30"
Western Hemlock
(Tsuga heterophylla)
30"Sitka Spruce
(Picea sitchensis)
36"
Black Locust
(Robinia pseudoacacia)
30"Sycamore
(Platanus occidentalis)
36"
Lombardy Poplar
(Populus nigra)
38"English Walnut
(Juglans regia)
30"
Pacific Madrone
(Arbutus menzesii)
24"Western Red Cedar
(thuja plicata)
30"
Bigleaf Maple
(Acer macrophylum)
36"Coast Redwood
(Sequoia sempervirens)
30"
Silver Maple
(Acer saccharinum)
36"Japanese Laceleaf Maple12"
Monkey Puzzle Tree
(Araucaria araucana
36"


LANDMARK TREE PERMIT NEEDED PRIOR TO REMOVAL

Permit will only be approved if:

  1. The removal is necessary to enable construction on or reasonable use of the property and no other alternative is feasible***; or
  2. The removal is necessary to maintain utilities, access or fulfill the terms of an easement or covenant recorded prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter; or
  3. The tree is diseased, dead or otherwise determined to be a hazardous tree as determined by a qualified professional pursuant to BIMC 18.15.010.C.1.c.
  4. In making the decision about whether or not a landmark tree may be removed, the Director shall consider all land use regulations applied to the subject property such as Chapter 15.19 Site Assessment Review, Chapter 16.12 Shoreline Master Program, Chapter 16.20 Critical Areas, or any other tree retention regulations applied through a land use permit.

***Landmark Trees approved for removal because of reasonable use will be required to replant trees and possibly pay a fee.

TREE REMOVAL/VEGETATION MAINTENANCE PERMIT (formerly CLEARING PERMIT)

 Do I need a Tree Removal/Vegetation Maintenance Permit to remove a tree(s)?

• For properties one acre or less in size:  to remove four or more significant trees in a 36-month period.

• For properties greater than one acre in size:  to remove seven or more significant trees in a 36-month period.

• No changes in permit thresholds for properties in the Mixed Use Town Center & High School Road Districts- Permit needed to remove any tree 8 inches or greater in size

• In the Mixed Use Town Center and High School Road Districts:  Permit needed to remove any tree 8 inches or greater in size.

• To remove any tree that must be retained because of tree retention requirements or land use permit conditions.

"Significant tree" means:

1.  A live evergreen tree 10 inches in diameter or greater, measured four.5 feet above existing grade; or

2.  A live deciduous tree 12 inches in diameter or greater, measured 4.5 feet above existing grade; or

3.  In the Mixed Use Town Center and High School Road zoning districts, any live tree 8 inches in diameter or greater, measured 4.5 feet above existing grade; or 

4.  Any live trees located within a required critical area or critical area buffer as defined in Chapter 16.20 BIMC.

Trees and Vegetation in Critical Areas (Wetlands, Streams, Buffers, Steep Slopes)

Minor Critical Area Permit may be required to trim, limb and remove trees and vegetation.

Aquifer Recharge Protection Areas (ARPA) BIMC 16.20.100

A property in the R-0.4, R-1 or R-2 zone would go through a process to designate an ARPA when development or redevelopment results in greater than 800 square feet of hard surfaces or greater than 7,000 square feet of land disturbing activity.  The ARPA protects existing native vegetation on a property, up to 65% of the property area.  Some uses and structures are allowed within the ARPA.  The ARPA may be modified through a stewardship plan.  More information may be found here.

Trees and Vegetation within Shoreline Areas (within 200 feet of the water)

See the Shoreline Master Program Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

NEW TREE RETENTION REQUIREMENTS FOR SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCES AND LOTS IN THE R-2.9, R-3.5 OR R-4.3 ZONES BECAME EFFECTIVE ON DECEMBER 3, 2018.

Note:  This new requirement does not apply to single-family residences in a subdivision with designated open space.

How do I find my zone?  Interactive GIS Map

New Retention Requirement:  30 tree units per acre OR as many tree units as on December 3, 2018.

The below table is provided for reference from existing BIMC Table 18.15.010-5.

Tree Unit Conversion Table for Preserved Trees [1] 

DBH
Tree Units
DBH
Tree Units
DBH
Tree Units
3 - 5
1.0
24 - 26
6.2
39 - 40
10.8
6 - 10
1.2
27 -28
7.0
41 - 42
11.4
11 - 12
1.4
29 - 30
7.8
43 - 44
12.0
13 - 15
2.0
30 - 31
8.4
45 - 46
12.6
16 - 18
3.2
32 - 33
9.0
47 - 48
13.2
19 - 20
3.8
34 - 36
9.6
49+
13.8
21 - 23
 4.6
37 - 38
10.2
   

[1]  For multi-stemmed trees, measure the DBH of each trunk separately, multiply each of these measurements by itself, add up these amounts, and calculate the square root of that total to find the DBH for the tree as a whole.

CLICK HERE for the audio recording of the November 19, 2018 public meeting held at City Hall. 

If you have any questions about the new ordinance, please contact Senior Planner Jennifer Sutton at (206) 780-3772 or email pcd@bainbridgewa.gov.