Decatur will review tree ordinance on Monday

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 4, 2014
A photo of the tree-covered Decatur Square. Source:

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

Decatur City Commissioners will discuss the city’s tree ordinance on Monday during its work session. Could residents get a first glimpse of what the city’s new regulations on tree removal might look like?

There’s no other documentation with the agenda that gives any more details about what that discussion might cover. Currently, the city is working on an update of its tree ordinance as part of a revamp of its zoning codes. There’s a 90 day moratorium on issuing permits that allow for the removal of healthy trees thicker than 12 inches in diameter.

That moratorium will end on Jan. 24 and the commission is supposed to consider approving a new ordinance sometime later this month. At a public input meeting in December, attendees were told that a draft ordinance would be available for review in early January.

The work session is at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, and will be held at city hall located at 509 North McDonough Street in Decatur, GA.

Trees are a controversial subject around here. When commissioners approved the tree removal moratorium back in October, they voted down a proposal for a moratorium on tear down permits. Both moratoriums are linked with the rapid pace of tear downs in the city, as developers demolish older single family homes and replace them with newer ones.

As of Dec. 4, 2013 the city had issued 735 building permits, 75 of which were for single family homes. The number of single family permits issued in 2013 was 369 percent higher than the number of permits issued in 2009.

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