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Community members organize meeting to discuss tree ordinance

Decatur

Community members organize meeting to discuss tree ordinance

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A photo of the tree-covered Decatur Square. Source: Decaturga.com.

A photo of the tree-covered Decatur Square. Source: Decaturga.com.

Decatur attorney Jeff Lell and several other residents will host a community meeting on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 5 pm to discuss the city’s recent effort to enact new restrictions on tree removal.

The meeting will be held at The Church at Decatur Heights, located at 735 Sycamore Drive. Everyone is invited to attend.

“There is no set format,” Lell said in an email about the meeting. “Since I have no idea how many people will actually show up and what viewpoints will be represented, we will basically adjust on the fly to suit the situation. I will try to steer the discussion as best I can. The only thing that I will ask, and demand if necessary, is that we avoid rehashing the past and instead focus on what we can do moving forward. In addition to an open-form discussion, I do expect there to be at least one presentation about an exciting local initiative involving tree planting and education that will be announced and launched very soon.”

On Jan. 21, City Commissioners backed off implementing a new policy that would’ve required some property owners to plant trees if they wanted to make additions to their home or removed trees from their land. The policy was intended to set a citywide canopy goal of 55 percent, but it was reduced to 50 percent at the Jan. 21 meeting. After getting the bark stripped off of them for several hours by angry Decatur residents who opposed the new policy, City Commissioners decided to postpone the vote until March.

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