Decatur planning says arborist cost not included in ordinanceA photo of the tree-covered Decatur Square. Source: Decaturga.com.
Some Decatur residents are busy formulating a petition to make the city wait a little longer before passing a new law regulating trees in the city, and one of their main concerns is cost.
Decatur’s City Commission on Jan. 21 held off on approving the ordinance, which would’ve required residents to obtain permits for tree removal and maintain a certain level of tree canopy on their property. During that meeting, Planning Director Amanda Thompson distributed a spreadsheet showing the potential cost to each property owner. Estimated costs ranged anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000, depending on the circumstances.
A reader asked if the cost included things like hiring an arborist, another requirement in the ordinance that the City Commission did not approve. I asked the city this question and have received an answer from the planning department:
“The cost of an independent arborist, nor any permit fees, are not included in the spreadsheet. It was created to compare the costs of paying into the tree bank under the current ordinance versus the proposed ordinance and also comparing the cost of replanting versus paying into the tree bank.”