Tree plan for Coughlin’s Crossing up for review


By Brandon Klein - bklein@civitasmedia.com



Delaware residents noticed last month the tree clearing between U.S. Route 23 and Stratford Road, which is the site for the Coughlin’s Crossing development.

The developer, Delaware Development Plan LTD, started the tree clearing in order to meet a March 31 set by federal regulators. The Delaware Shade Tree Commission will review its tree replacement plan on Tuesday.

The city’s tree replacement requirements are based upon caliper inches, or the diameter of the tree at breast height. There were 1,776 trees at the site, or 22,657 caliper inches, with 939 trees, 12,199 caliper inches, removed and 837 trees, 10,485 caliper inches, remaining, according to the tree replacement plan.

City records show the developer is responsible for replacing 50 percent of the trees in fair condition and all trees in good condition. Trees in poor condition or Ash trees would not need to be replaced.

The city’s Planning Department determined the difference in caliper inches from trees removed and permanently preserved at 4,072. The developer is responsible to replace or pay in lieu at $100 per caliper inch for a total $407,200.

The developer is expected to pay $100,000 of that cost with the first approved final development plan and infrastructure. The remaining balance is expected to be paid on a per acre basis as the site develops at $4,521 per acre.

Coughlin’s Crossing is a mixed-use development that will have retail, office space and residential uses with associated parking and green space.

In other business, the commission will receive clarification on how many of its members can vote. The commission has nine members plus a council member to serve as liaison with City Council.

The city council clerk “pointed out to me that 10 ‘members’ are voting, with the 10th member being the council liaison,” City Attorney Darren Shulman said in a memo to the city manager and parks and natural resources director. “… In the past, I think we had a shortage of shade tree commission members, meaning the council representative was actually the ninth member (and perhaps necessary to make quorum), and could vote as such. However, now that we have a full complement of nine members, the council representative should not be voting.”

“I’m not terribly concerned about looking backwards,” Shulman added, “because the commission is only advisory and I can’t foresee a time when the 10th vote would be a tie-breaker because you can’t break a tie with an even number.”

The commission will meet at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St., 7 p.m. in council chambers.

By Brandon Klein

bklein@civitasmedia.com

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.