Tree policy review continues

By Brandon Klein - [email protected]

The city of Delaware has set a deadline for the submission of Shade Tree Commission member comments to revise the city’s tree preservation regulations.

The commission will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to provide any additional comments in regard to the potential updates. Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller said he would compile the comments by Aug. 14 and have a draft ready for review for the commission’s September meeting.

“That’s the way I anticipate it,” he said.

This will be the third meeting in which the regulations have been reviewed, prompted by exchanges between the city and the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio over earlier changes City Council approved. BIA leaders have concerns about the variance process and the costs of replacing trees under the regulations.

During the review process, commission members have examined the regulations’ enforcement strategies, wording and timeliness.

In addition, the city plans to have the tree replacement fee included with the fee schedule later this year. The city now charges $100 per caliper inch, or the diameter of the tree at a height of approximately 4 1/2 feet.

The fee is an option developers can use in combination to make up the balance of removed trees before and after construction. The money collected from the fees would go into a tree bank fund. The updates council approved were intended to clarify the uses of the fund.

Commission members and city officials would like to use the fee to cover the labor costs of planting replacement trees.

In other business, the commission will review the following street tree and landscaping plans:

• The project to build a new McDonald’s at 2901 U.S. 23 N. in Delaware.

• The project for a new building Jackson Retail Development at 980 W. Central Ave. in Delaware.

By Brandon Klein

[email protected]

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.