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Tree meeting: Input session planned to discuss Decatur’s canopy

Decaturish updates

Tree meeting: Input session planned to discuss Decatur’s canopy

Look at this tree, this tree is amazing.

Look at this tree, this tree is amazing.

If you like talking about trees and attending public meetings, I have some good news for you.

The city of Decatur proclaims, “Trees! Crafting Decatur-Appropriate Regulations” will be the most talked-about Metro Atlanta tree canopy meeting this year.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Decatur City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough St. Decatur, GA 30030. The city’s tree consultant, Connie Head of Technical Forestry Services, will give a 30 minute presentation that we can safely assume will be about trees or tree-related topics.

The presentation will be “followed by an opportunity for attendees to consider various policy direction alternatives and provide feedback on their preferences.”

Translation: Let’s try to be nice to each other. I mean, trees can be a touchy subject around here.

The prequel to the Dec. 11 meeting took place on Oct. 21, when the Decatur City Commission voted to temporarily stop issuing permits for removal of healthy trees thicker than 12 inches in diameter. As the 90-day moratorium runs its course, the city is working to rewrite its tree ordinance.

It’s a process that’s being driven in part by concerns over developers tearing down older single family homes, replacing them with newer homes and selling these properties for a profit. At that same Oct. 21 meeting, some commissioners tried unsuccessfully to place a moratorium on tear downs, too. Commissioners voted 3-2 against the tear-down moratorium.

The discussion came up as the city was in the process of creating a Unified Development Ordinance, a project that will reconcile the contradictions in city zoning codes while adding some new regulations going forward.

City Commissioners will consider final recommendations about the tree canopy ordinance at their Jan. 21 meeting.

If you care about this, please go to the Dec. 11 meeting and let these folks know how you feel. But if you’re too busy to do that, you can also fill out a comment card by clicking here.