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Re: Tree – Petition demands rewrite of tree ordinance

Decatur

Re: Tree – Petition demands rewrite of tree ordinance

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TreeResidents of the city of Decatur have published a new petition on Change.org asking that the city of Decatur to rewrite a tree removal and protection ordinance that it tabled on Jan. 21.

The petition, created by “Concerned Residents of Decatur GA” says, “We understand the value of trees to our community. We do not support the tree ordinance considered at the January 21, 2014 meeting of the Decatur City Commission. We believe the City needs to start over with the drafting and review of a new proposed tree ordinance. We prefer to preserve the ability of homeowners to remove trees on their property that they deem to make their property unsafe, without undue restriction.”

To read the full petition, click here.

The petition follows an earlier meeting held on Jan. 26 to discuss ways to improve the ordinance, which would’ve required property owners to seek a permit to remove trees and maintain a tree canopy of 50 percent. Property owners faced hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars in fees for costs associated with removing and planting trees. City Commissioners opted to hold off on approving the ordinance on Jan. 21. Commissioners had planned to vote again in March, but on Feb. 3 the commissioners unanimously agreed to hold a work session on the ordinance instead. Commissioners did not say when they might vote on it again.

City Manager Peggy Merriss told Decaturish that the city paid consultant Technical Forestry Services $7,700 to rewrite the tree ordinance that the city did not pass. City spokeswoman Casie Yoder said the city hasn’t hired any additional consultants to rewrite the ordinance and has not rehired Technical Forestry Services to tweak the tree ordinance.

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