City Council Passes Tree Regulations
After nearly two years of hard work by the Tree Board, Planning Commission, City Council, City Staff, and, of course, the community, the Lake Forest Park City Council passed Ordinance 1152 on March 9, 2017, officially adopting new tree regulations for the City of Lake Forest Park.
View the new Tree Regulations
These regulations go into effect on Thursday, March 23th and involve a number of changes from the existing regulations:
--Three permit types - Major, Minor, and Proactive. Minor replaces the Administrative Permit and Major replaces Arborist Consult, Arborist Review, and Sensitive Area Tree Removal Permits. The Proactive Permit is a long-term permit that encourages forest health and responsible urban forestry practices.
--The threshold for "Landmark Tree" has been lowered from 28" to 24".
--Invasive trees may be removed on a Minor Permit, regardless of number.
--Permit conditions must be recorded with King County anytime tree removal causes a property to fall below the canopy coverage goal.
--Additional protections for replacement trees.
--Tree tract required for subdivision and short plat changed from 5% of total plat area to 15% of total plat area.
--Properties undergoing Major Development (new construction, subdivision or short plat, or adding 1,000 square feet or more of impervious surface) must plant trees to bring the property to the canopy coverage goal.
--Viable Trees (good health, low risk, windfirm, etc.) may not be removed for five years after major development has taken place.
Questions? Contact the Lake Forest Park Planning Department at 206-368-5440.
SEPA Determination of Non-Significance
Updates to the Municipal Code require review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The City has found that the tree regulations update will not have a significant impact on the environment, and thus has issued a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS). View documents related to the DNS on the Public Notices Webpage.
Planning Commission Passes Resolution Recommending Tree Regulations to City Council
On October 19, 2016, The Lake Forest Park Planning Commission passed resolution 16-02, recommending new tree regulations to City Council. Since being officially asked by the Council on February 11, 2016 to work on the update of the City’s tree regulations, the Commission has reviewed and considered changes to the regulations at 10 regular meetings that were open to the public. The Commission also benefited from the Council’s guidance during the joint session on April 25, 2016 and from citizens’ comments provided by the Tree Board’s community outreach as well as the comments and ideas received at the July 26, 2016 public open house hosted by the Planning Commission. As a result of citizen feedback, the Planning Commission is recommending stronger regulations regarding tree replacement and retention for development and more flexibility for single family properties in managing the tree canopy. You can view the documents here:
Tree Risk Manager (Homeowner role)
Nearly 80 dedicated residents joined the Tree Board during a Tree Ordinance Update Visioning Workshop in the Council Chambers of City Hall on Saturday, April 25th, 10:00 am - noon. After a short introduction, the group was split into 4 smaller working groups and everyone had an opportunity to build on the first 55 new ideas brought forth during the April 15th meeting. Afterwards, dots were used to represent priority, red for high priority. Everyone was given 5 red dots and 12 blue dots. Here is a link to the full list of prioritized suggestions and comments, as recorded by the volunteers that make up the Tree Board.
Prior to the Visioning Workshop, a group of concerned residents attended a public meeting on April 15, 2015 to discuss recent tree removal activity on 26th Ave NE. In total, 36 trees were removed from 5 different properties, most of which were Douglas Fir trees. More than half of the trees were removed due to bark beetle infestation detection, but the overall effect of the combined tree removals has significantly impacted canopy for neighbors in that area. A report of the April 15th meeting includes 55 ideas which were carried forward to the following public meeting.