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Decatur Diary | December 12, 2013

Trees Meeting Wrap Up:
Specifics? You tell us.

Given last October’s passionate community testimony at the root of the current, 90-day tree removal moratorium, it came as no surprise last night when an engaged crowd of 60+ gathered at city hall for an overview on what’s happening with the new ordinance-in-development.

That overview, as explained by city planning director, Amanda Thompson, is simple: You tell us.

To explain: The meeting began with a presentation by Amanda and Connie Head of Technical Forestry Services, the city’s tree consultant working on the ordinance. That presentation can be reviewed here.

Afterwards came an opportunity for audience Q&A, at which time it became apparent that those in attendance were hungry for specifics. How will the ordinance be structured? What will property owners be allowed to do or not do?

Thompson’s response made clear the intent of the meeting: Those answers aren’t available yet because the community opinions being provided during the evening’s participation exercise are what will ultimately tell the tale. Want improved canopy coverage? Write that down. Want to ensure your ability to build or renovate? Write it down.

Participants were then set loose to collect handouts, review wall displays, and fill out a questionnaire on their key positions. The draft ordinance will then be written to reflect those opinions, as well as other feedback received to date.

That draft, according to Thompson, will be available for public review in early to mid January. So stay tuned.

Miss the meeting but still want to chime in? Here’s how:

  1. Read the fact sheets:
    Decatur Tree Canopy Facts
    Current Tree Protection Strategies
    Impact of Development on Trees
  2. Consider the wall displays
  3. Review the comment card from the participation exercise
  4. Submit your answers (and any other opinions) here.

Thanks for your continued interest. We look forward to hearing from you. And as always, feel free to address this post directly in the comments section below.

Here’s some photos from the evening:

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