The Delaware Shade Tree Commission had a discussion Tuesday night about proposed changes that would clarify the appropriate use of the city’s tree bank fund.
The proposed update for codified ordinance section 1168.07 would allow the funds to be used for the planting and installation of trees on public property at any location within the city including the right-of-way. The city would be able to use the funds to purchase, transport, mulch, water and for the labor of the replacement trees for up to one year from the planting date.
Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller said it would allow the funds to be used for the purchase of street trees.
Some commission members said they wanted to add language that would not allow spending to exceed 75 percent of the fund each and have the commission review the fund at least twice annually.
The commission will bring the issue up again at its February meeting.
The fund is one of three options, which can be used in combination, for developers or property owners who are required to replace trees in order to maintain an equivalent tree canopy citywide before and after removal/construction.
Developers and property owners can continue to replant at least half the required replacement trees in another location on site. But the remaining balance must be met by planting replacements at a designated tree bank site or to pay a fee, no less than $100 per caliper inch of the required replacements, to the Tree Bank Fund in lieu of replanting.
The changes would clarify that the city has the sole discretion to determine if there is an acceptable site to accommodate the tree bank site option. Public sites are preferred but the city may designate a private site and preserved via covenants or easements.
The codified section would continue to require replacement trees to have a minimum caliper of 1.75 inches and a clear trunk height of at least six feet.
In other business:
• The commission reviewed tree plans for Midway Structural, Ohio Wesleyan University honor housing, 81 Oak Hill Ave., and Braumiller Woods Section 3.
• The city arborist reported that 229 replacement street trees were planted in 2016 with a backlog of 62 from previous years.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.