Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Free Trees in south end - by EarthCorps


My name is Lina Rose and I am a Project Manager at EarthCorps, and proud south Seattle resident.  We are partnering with the City of Seattle to manage a tree distribution program called Trees for Neighborhoods to distribute free trees to residents in several south end Target Areas. 

• Roxhill / Westwood
• Highland Park
• South Park
• Georgetown
• North Beacon Hill / Jefferson Park
• Beacon Hill
• South Beacon Hill / New Holly
• Columbia City
• Seward Park
• Rainier Beach

The Target Areas were chosen because they have the lowest percentage of tree canopy coverage in the city and the prime goal of the program is increasing the city’s canopy coverage.  I have attached the press release and the application form for homeowners to complete to request trees.  There is also additional information, a version of the application that interested people can fill in online along with pictures of the available trees at this link: http://seattle.gov/trees/treesforneighborhoods.htm .  Two things to note; a house must fall within the boundaries of the Target areas to be eligible for free trees, there is a map online that residents can consult.  Applications will only be accepted from new participants, if someone participated in the Seattle Community ReLeaf program last year (the pilot version of this program) they cannot receive more trees through Trees for Neighborhoods this year.

I am looking for help getting the word out about this great program.  Can each of you pass this information out to your email lists, listserves or on your blog?  Please let me know if any additional information is needed.  I am also interested in trying to attend more community meetings so if your group meets again between now and September 13th (the deadline for applications) please reply with the date/time/location and I will try to attend.


Lina Anne Rose
Project Manager

6310 NE 74th Street, Suite 201E
Seattle, WA 98115
Office: 206.322.9296 x225
Field Cell: 206.793.2454
Fax: 206.322.9312

EarthCorps is a community of people dedicated to restoring the Earth. Join us!

donateButton.jpgEarthCorps relies on your donation to bring young leaders together to restore the environment and lead 10,000 volunteers annually.
Your gift helps get even more people involved in restoring our local environment!

EarthCorps is a 501c3 non-profit organization – Tax ID 91-1592071

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Significant concerns about DPD’s proposal to eliminate all existing tree protections in the City of Seattle

City of Seattle
Planning Commission
700 Fifth Ave, Suite 200
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

August 12, 2010

In re: Significant concerns about DPD’s proposal to eliminate all existing tree protections in the City of Seattle

Dear Seattle Planning Commission:

As a member of the City of Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission and the Chair of the commission’s Ecosystems Committee, I am writing to express my significant concerns about the absurd proposal from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) that you will be considering today.  The proposal calls for the elimination of all existing protections for trees in the city – protections that form a proven and effective basic framework for the sustainable management of Seattle’s urban forest.

In 2009, the Seattle City Council passed Resolution 31138 which directed DPD to enhance existing protections for trees in the city.  In the resolution the Council noted that “the City has a legitimate interest in extending tree protections to uses in all of the City’s zones, as well as expanding, clarifying and improving on existing tree protection regulations” (emphasis mine).  In addition, the Council included specific directives within Resolution 31138 for how improvement of Seattle’s tree protections could best be accomplished.  Resolution 31138 specifically calls for DPD to “establish a comprehensive set of regulations” to improve tree protections by “establishing a requirement to obtain a permit before removing any tree,” “establishing a system of fines for tree removal,” and, most importantly, by “establishing additional protections for all City-designated exceptional trees.”     

The proposal presented for your consideration today represents an 180 departure from the intent and direction of the Seattle City Council and a significant set-back to the conservation of our urban forest and ecological functioning of our great City.  In addition, DPD’s proposal runs contrary to the recommendations of the Emerald City Task Force and Tree Advocates group, and to considerations of the City’s Urban Forestry Commission.  All of these important efforts (speciously cited in DPD’s report as somehow precursors to their non-normative proposal) cite the need for both a viable permit system for tree removal and for strengthening our exceptional tree regulations; DPD’s proposal astonishingly advocates for the very opposite. 

I urge you to reject the proposal before your commission today, and to provide feedback to DPD on the proposal’s stark inconsistency with the original intent and direction provided by Seattle’s City Council in Resolution 31138.  

Thank you for your time and consideration of these important concerns. 


Kirk Prindle
City of Seattle, Urban Forestry Commission
Position 1 – Wildlife Biologist
Ecosystem Committee Chair

ISA-Certified Arborist, Certification #: PN-6266A
Graduate – Community Tree Management Institute

Monday, August 9, 2010

The great Seattle tree debate continues - Seattle P-I

The great Seattle tree debate continues

Seattle tree-preservation advocates said Sunday they'll continue their push for a city tree-cutting permit system, after uniting into a single group that will write its own tree-preservation proposals.
Twenty tree advocates, agreeing to join the Save the Trees-Seattle's efforts, adopted a platform saying tree-regulation proposals by the city Department of Planning and Development included some good incentives but didn't go far enough and didn't meet goals set for it by City Council members.
They agreed to write their own proposal as a counterpoint to DPD's. They also agreed they need a "messaging" effort to get their ideas across to some skeptical elected officials and others.
"Something doesn't have to originate with the mayor or City Council to become an ordinance," said Steve Zemke, chairman of Save the Trees-Seattle and one of the organizers of Sunday's gathering.
While DPD argued that a tree-cutting permit system would be difficult to enforce and have limited economic benefit, tree advocates argue it will discourage destruction of trees and give the city a better method of tracking what's happening with the city's forest.
The platform adopted by the group Sunday proposes permits for cutting trees larger than 6 inches in diameter on public and private property, with notices being posted two weeks in advance of cutting.
This language could change once a committee within the group finishes drafting actual legislation. Tree advocates have long argued that larger trees provide more benefit in cooling and stormwater retention than smaller ones sometimes planted once larger ones are cut.
"Trees are part of our infrastructure," said John Dixon, another veteran of the Ingraham High School tree battles. "We're talking about something that effects everybody's bottom line here."

Tree advocates liked the part of DPD's proposal that offered tree-preservation incentives to single-family homebuilders through assignment of points that would be required for a building permit.
But elements the group agreed to change include:
Requiring disclosure of the presence of certain trees on properties before they're sold, such as "exceptional" large trees or others for which cutting permits are required. Advocates hope this would encourage keeping the trees.

Offering drainage-tax rebates to property owners who leave trees standing so the trees can absorb rainwater and reduce the need for drainage systems. So far the proposals haven't suggested a rebate amount.

Continued protections for "exceptional" trees and groves of trees. Exceptional trees are now specified in city ordinances, by species and size, though DPD has proposed eliminating that rule.

City licensing and training of arborists and tree-cutting operations, to guard against trees being cut after being wrongly being diagnosed as dead.

Enforcement of new tree rules by a single agency, likely not DPD because of what tree advocates see as its conflicting mission to foster development. 

Imposing the regulations on both public and private property. Tree advocates said DPD's proposal wouldn't cover private land such as residential properties with yards. 
Calculating the city's tree canopy "cover" based on vertical shade and water absorption, as well as its horizontal shape.

In addition to a 6-member committee to draft proposed legislation the group will also have a 7-member committee that will craft the group's public messages, boiling them down into consumable bites, what Wallingford activist Mike Ruby (cq) called "an elevator speech."
Maple Leaf community activist David Miller, involved in the battle to save Waldo Woods, said some compromises may have to be reached getting to new rules. Some residents will likely demand the right to cut trees to provide sunlight to a garden or a solar-energy collector.
He said City Council members he's spoken with are "scared to death" of regulating tree-cutting in residential areas and of "telling people they can't cut down a tree in their backyard," because of resistance they've already encountered.
Tree-preservation will dominate two public meetings this month:

Wednesday (Aug. 11) at 3 p.m., two committees of the city's Urban Forestry Commission meet at the city Municipal Tower to discuss a response to DPD's proposals. Last week commission members condemned DPD's package as inadequate and poorly crafted but delayed drafting a formal reply. This week's commission session will be in Room 2240 of the tower building, 700 – 5th Ave.

Aug. 17, the City Council's Regional Development and Sustainably Committee holds a public hearing on DPD's proposals. The session is set for 2 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 600 – 4th Ave.

- Larry Lange

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Seattle’s Parks and Open Space Advocate’s Vision for a Sustainable Future

barber-osa@comcast.net to SeattlePOSA
show details 8:35 PM (39 minutes ago)

In honor of tomorrow's summit of tree advocates, I am re-printing our work-in-progress:
Seattle’s Parks and Open Space Advocate’s Vision for a Sustainable Future
SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOODS --  The goal for neighborhoods should be stand-alone sustainability  --  walk or ride convenient transit to jobs and shopping,  pleasant pedestrian qualities, trees and other greenery, easy access to natural environment and to outdoor recreation,  energy-saving facilities, stormwater absorption and retention using natural methods, and friendly-neighborhood design, and a clean, toxic-free environment
TREES  --  A future of a warmer, drier climate with more extreme storms is all the more reason -- beyond the aesthetics, cooling shade, water absorption, oxygen-generating, dust collection and processing, habitat, carbon sequestration, human scale and spiritual values provided by trees -- for increasing our urban forest. 
The responsibility for providing trees should fall on all property owners.  To rely on streets and parks to supply trees is simply inadequate.  All property owners should have trees, at least medium sized, on their property or pay into a fund to plant and maintain trees nearby.
A serious urban forestry strategy, centralized tree management, a continually updated tree inventory covering both public and private property, and an urban forestry commission to oversee the process are necessary steps.  Existing mature trees are a special treasure to be protected to the maximum.

CLEAN ENVIRONMENT/ HEALTHY LIVING -- Continually reduce and eventually eliminate manmade toxic materials from publicly assessable open space,  continually improve energy-efficiency, avoid projects that significantly contribute to global warming, reduce heat islands, protect waterways from pollution and siltation, strategically provide habitat for native wildlife, and otherwise continually improve conditions relating to human and environmental health.
SHORE, STREAMSIDES, AND WETLANDS -- Multiple means should be applied to naturalize Seattle’s wealth of shores, streamsides and wetlands.  The unique shore-to-uplands relationship for people, wildlfe, and wetlands should be nourished.  Wherever possible create natural wildlife corridors to connect water to woods.  Build on no wetlands;  preserve and maintain them in healthy natural condition.
WELCOMING, NEIGHBORHOOD-FRIENDLY PUBLIC OPEN SPACES --  Our parks and other public open spaces should be welcoming to all.  Parks and open spaces in the urban environment fill an essential role of reduction of stres.  They should be a place to relax our eyes and senses from the urban glare and din, to feel refreshed and to meet our neighbors.  And they should add, not subtract from the grace of the surrounding neighborhoods.   Where appropriate, they should be a place for celebrating families and neighborhoods.   Parks should treat all visitors equally and serve the city residents guided by principles of universality of use, social equity, and enjoyment.

FREE PUBLIC PARKS -- Use of public lands should be free.  Fees or charges should only be related to the cost of services or products provided when a park facility or part of it is reserved for exclusive use.  Nothing should be imposed that prevents a potential park user from access to public land and facilities, except for access to areas that require security, like most administrative and maintenance spaces, or access that interferes with reserved recreational use.

CHILDREN IN NATURE, SPONTANEOUS RECREATION --  A healthy future includes providing healthful activities for children, from the youngest ages, that bring them (and us) in a better relation to nature and by holding open to myriad forms of fun.

INTEGRITY OF OPEN SPACES -- Much of the value of public parks lies in the contrast of a green environment with the busy activity of the built environment.  Dedicated public open space should be designed primarily for the enjoyment of pedestrians and should be kept free of facilities or activities that are unrelated to the recreational, cultural, historic, and landscape qualities of the space.  A key instance is the need to permanently remove the SR 520 ramps (a major regional transportation facility) from Washington Park Arboretum.
PEDESTRIAN USE -- Increasingly, pedestrians should be given primary or at least equal status in public open space.   Transportation devices like woonerfs, in which motorized vehicles and pedestrians share space and other traffic calming features should become the norm in parks and quiet residential streets.

ACCOMMODATION --  Our parks, street scapes, and other open areas should be managed and improved to address the needs of the urban public.  Accommodation means anticipating the needs of the user-public -- wide enough paths, benches, picnic tables, comfort stations, and trash containers are only a few of the traditional forms of accommodation in parks.  Maintain the active sections of parks in a way that encourages the greatest use.  An exception from maximum use is the sensitive environment places.  Natural habitat areas should be treated in a way that assures protection from misuse or overuse.  
Another form of accommodation is meeting the expectations of enjoyment of green, quiet spaces when visiting a park;  new park uses that may conflict with this expectation must be carefully considered and addressed if possible by converting existing facilities or by consolidation in areas already the center of recreational programs.  Green, quiet areas, next to residential areas, are essential antidotes to the built, hard surface places that predominate the urban environment.  
A periodic survey of the populace should probe and identify how open space is used and how needs for recreation and open space are met or not met.  This survey would guide management and maintenance practices and the planning of new developments.
AFFORDABILITY/SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PUBLIC’S TREASURES -- All public facilities should be maintained at a sustainable level, and major upgrades or restorations should have budget priority (except for projects vested by the Parks Levy) over the development of new facilities, until the backlog (approximately $ 800 million in estimated costs) is reduced to a managable level.  New facilities should be economical to maintain and easy on the environment.

John Barber

Friday, August 6, 2010

You're Invited! Annual Federation Potluck Sunday, August 15, 2-5 p.m.

Annual Federation Potluck
Sunday, August 15, 2-5 p.m.
at the home of Jeannie Hale,
3425 W Laurelhurst Dr NE, 98105, 206-525-5135

The Seattle Community Council Federation invites you to kick back at its annual summer potluck.  Enjoy lively conversation with community leaders in a garden setting.  Do you know where things are with the Multi-Family Code hearing examiner appeal?  How about DPD’s tree regulation revisions that do nothing to protect trees?  These are just a couple of issues that will likely surface.  Wear flip-flops or sandals so you can dip your toes in the warm pool, or even go for a swim if you’re inclined.  Everyone is welcome.

Please bring a salad, main dish, appetizer or fruit plate to share.  Wine, beer and soft drinks are provided.

Directions:  There are dozens of ways to get to the potluck.
HERE’S A MAP, or here are two options:

From the south:  Go northbound on I-5.  Take the SR 520 exit that goes to the Bellevue and the University District.  Be sure to exit at Montlake.  At the end of the exit, turn left.  Then drive along Montlake Boulevard past Husky Stadium.  The road curves around and then passes University Village.  See other directions below.

From the north:  Go southbound on I-5.  Take the NE 50th exit (as the NE 45th Street Viaduct is closed).  Go down NE 50th until about 19th and then winding around to eventually get down to the back side of University Village.  You’ll eventually get to Five Corners (the intersection of NE 45th, Blakely, Mary Gates, etc.).

From Five Corners (the intersection of Blakeley, Mary Gates, NE 45th, 35th, etc.):  This is where there is a Tully's on one corner, Baskin Robbins on another, UW student housing on another and a field on another). I live a little over half a mile from the corner of Mary Gates as follows:

Take the Mary Gates entrance into Laurelhurst (at Five Corners) and take the next three RIGHT turns onto every city street you come to, except the last one. What you'll be doing is going in a semicircle around the lake’s Union Bay, as follows:
·         Go along Mary Gates, past the Center for Urban Horticulture and turn RIGHT onto Surber (you'll see a pedestrian refuge island here and the Battelle property on your left);
·         Go to the end of Surber and turn RIGHT at the T onto 42nd and go a couple of blocks;
·         At the lopsided Y, turn RIGHT onto 43rd and go half a block;
·         Turn LEFT onto NE 35th; you'll see a vacant lot on your right and the lake;
·         Go up the steep one-block hill and I live in the house at the top of the one-block hill on the right hand side.  Parking is scarce so you might have to park a ways away. 

Jeannie Hale

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Arbor anger: City, tree preservation panel at odds

Arbor anger: City, tree preservation panel at odds
A commission set up to help Seattle preserve and expand its stock of trees is at odds with the city agency that might end up enforcing tree-harvesting rules.
And now, out of frustration, a group of citizen activists will try to draw up their own tree-preservation rules starting this weekend.
In their first public comment, members of the Urban Forestry Commission made clear their dislike of a new tree-management system proposed by the city Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The agency proposed a new set of tree-preservation rules that includes incentives for preserving trees on single-family lots when homes are built or replaced, require new street trees near new or replaced homes, allow builders to consider adding trees as part of required landscaping and allow height or setback changes to preserve existing trees.
The department, however, also proposes to do away with current rules that preserve certain "exceptional" large trees. It has opposed one favorite idea of tree advocates: requiring permits to cut trees of a certain size.
Commission members said without those requirements the city won't make any progress in enlarging its stock of trees, which have been largely cut down over the years due to development.
If the commission had voted on the proposal Wednesday ,"I would not only vote no, but hell no," said commission member John Hushagen, the operator of a tree service.
Commissioners, who advise the mayor and City Council, said the proposal doesn't do enough to preserve older trees, doesn't cover private land except when it's redeveloped and doesn't provide enough incentives for landowners to preserve trees.
The incentives, commissioners said, would only apply to trees on about one half of one percent of the land in the city. "What is the DPD proposing for the other 99 percent of the city?" asked the commission chairwoman, designer Elizabeta Stacishin-Moura.
DPD's analysis showed that the tree canopy -- the measured land area covered by trees and their leaves -- actually declined between 2003 and 2007 in residential and commercial areas of the city.
While the canopy is believed to have increased in recent years DPD said its analysis showed the increase came mostly through street trees and other plantings in public rights-of-way.
DPD planner Brennon Staley said the current requirement for preserving large "exceptional" trees of certain species hasn't preserved much of the city's canopy. The current rule says they have to be preserved when construction starts on new developments but owners can simply cut them down before they apply for a building permit.
DPD has proposed a new system of points the city would award landowners for preserving trees at new developments, as a requirement for a building permit. It also proposes a "Green Factor" system that allows developers to use green roofs, vegetated walls and permeable pavement in residential areas instead of trees.
DPD said tree-cutting permits would discourage removal and help the city track the status of its forest but would be hard to monitor and enforce and would be resisted by residents who wanted more light on their property for gardens and solar energy or open vistas for views.
Commission member Kirk Prindle said a City Council resolution asking for the DPD study directed the agency to look at a system of permits and fines, annual limits on tree cutting and continued protections for "exceptional" varieties.
"It seems like (DPD's proposal is) the opposite in a lot of places," Prindle said. Commission members plan to meet again Aug. 11 to discuss a formal response.
DPD is taking public comment on the proposal until Oct. 31, aiming at writing legislation early in 2011. But the City Council plans public hearings on the issue on Aug. 17 and Sept. 17 and 21 and may hold a third hearing in September.
Citizen tree-preservation activists will attempt to write their own tree-preservation proposal and get at least general elements of it to the council by the Aug. 17 hearing, said Steve Zemke, chairman of the Save the Trees-Seattle and an organizer of a Sunday (Aug. 8) meeting to begin the effort.
The session will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Broadview Public Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
Save the Trees-Seattle has fought attempts to cut down part of a grove of trees at Ingraham High School, and it backed the interim ordinance that now limits cutting of some trees and bans cutting of "exceptional" varieties.
Possible elements of the tree advocates' proposal, circulated in e-mails Wednesday, include a permit system, continued "exceptional" species protections, priority for planting of native trees and vegetation, posting of tree-cutting requests on the internet and other public locations and consolidation of city tree management into a single agency. It's now spread among nine entities.
Zemke said the Sunday session will be to organize the effort but that he expects some work on an alternative proposal will also begin.
DPD's mission isn't to manage trees but "to help people build things," he said. Its tree proposal "isn't what the public is going to accept."
The DPD proposals can be viewed online here.

Up goes the neighborhood?


(See previous Sisleyville Post Sisleyville in Roosevelt / Ravenna)

8/4/2010 2:56:00 PM
Up goes the neighborhood? 
Large, vocal turnout at meeting on proposed 'towers' next to Roosevelt HS
■ Seattle Department of Planning and Development land-use planner Shelly Bolser (facing camera) answers community members’ questions as they study a presentation board that outlines the Roosevelt Development Group’s proposed contract rezone. The plan, referred to as Alternative 6, calls for 160-foot towers to be built near Roosevelt High School. photo/JONATHAN MOORE
■ Seattle Department of Planning and Development land-use planner Shelly Bolser (facing camera) answers community members’ questions as they study a presentation board that outlines the Roosevelt Development Group’s proposed contract rezone. The plan, referred to as Alternative 6, calls for 160-foot towers to be built near Roosevelt High School. photo/JONATHAN MOORE
By Jonathan Moore

Nearly 200 community members attended a meeting July 21 on a proposal that could include towers up to 160 feet high next to Roosevelt High School.

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) held the public scoping meeting about the proposed rezoning and development plans by the Roosevelt Development Group (RDG) in the five acres directly south and east of the high school.

As community members entered the meeting, many were shocked to learn that public statements would be given, one at a time, to court reporters stationed at far ends of the Calvary Christian Assembly gym. They immediately protested, saying they felt that the process was “unfair” and being “manipulated.”

One community member requested that they revert to a “situation where we can speak to the meeting and listen to each other’s ideas and opinions.” This request and many others like it were met with loud applause from the crowd. But meeting organizers refused, saying that the meeting was not a public hearing or debate.

Richard Weinman, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) consultant contracted with DPD, defended his decision to format the meeting in such a way. “People are interested in talking about the scale [of RDG’s proposal], and I understand that, but this is not the forum for that. There will be public hearings; there will be plenty of opportunities to make comments [in the future],” Weinman said.
Six alternatives
The meeting provided the community with a chance to make comments on the scope of the EIS. The EIS is a tract that is being drafted as part of the review process that RDG must undergo as it pursues its contract rezone of the area located north and south of Northeast 65th Street, between 12th Avenue Northeast on the west and the east side of 15th Avenue Northeast on the east.

A similar meeting took place in June 2009. Since so much time has elapsed with little progress, the city decided to hold a second scoping meeting.

“The purpose of scoping meetings is to figure out what kinds of impacts the [RDG’s proposed development] will have,” Weinman said. “This is a process of narrowing down what the significant issues are that need to be studied in the data.”

Shadowing, traffic, bulk and scale, plants and animals, height and noise levels were among the issues already deemed significant by community members in the June 2009 meeting.

The community was also provided with presentation boards that displayed the six preliminary alternatives for rezoning and development that must be considered for the EIS to be produced.

The alternatives displayed spanned a broad range, from no new rezoning (Alternative 1) to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association’s (RNA) rezone plan (Alternative 2). Alternatives 3, 4 and 5 are zoned NC3, a classification that permits a broad range of commercial uses. They increase in height incrementally from 65 to 125 feet.

RDG’s proposed contract rezone, Alternative 6, also NC3, is zoned as high as 160 feet in areas.

In the rezone area, there are approximately 50 single-family parcels in disrepair. They are all owned by Hugh Sisley, who signed a 99-year lease with RDG in July 2007 to develop and manage the properties.

Jim O’Halloran, chair of the RNA land-use committee, said that a proposal to build 160-foot structures should not be considered until zoning recommendations made by the RNA are evaluated.
Moving the town center
Five years ago, the Roosevelt community worked closely with Sound Transit to influence its decision for the location of a light-rail station, according to O’Halloran.

Sound Transit apparently was prepared to locate the future Roosevelt light-rail station along Eighth Avenue Northeast near Interstate 5. But, the RNA was successful in arguing that the station should be located on 12th Avenue Northeast, at the traditional core of the Roosevelt commercial district.

In 2006, the RNA submitted a Neighborhood Plan update that included a set of zoning recommendations. O’Halloran said the RNA’s zoning recommendations provide the neighborhood with plenty of upzoning.

“The station is going to be on 12th, so we want most of the future growth to be in the western region of the neighborhood, which is already zoned multifamily and commercial,” he said.

The RNA zoning recommendations also upzone the area in front of the high school, but only up to 40 feet.

Members of RDG say that their proposal to develop east of the light-rail station adheres to good urban-planning rules because all of the proposed rezone area is within walking distance of the new station.

O’Halloran disagreed, saying that “creating a new town center” east of the light-rail station would turn the intersection of 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 65th Street into the epicenter of Roosevelt, “instead of a gateway to the future light-rail station.”

Furthermore, O’Halloran is concerned about the visual obstruction of Roosevelt High School that would be caused by “160-foot, looming towers.”

“The public spent $93 million renovating Roosevelt High School just a few years ago,” he said. “It’s a community treasure, and we want to accord it a prominent physical location in the community.”

Roosevelt resident Rosalie Gammelgaard said her friends living in the proposed rezone area do not want the new development. “Can you imagine looking out your backyard and seeing the UW tower?” she said.

The timeline

Community members were allowed to submit comments concerning the EIS until Wednesday, Aug 4.

Comments can be sent to DPD land-use planner Shelly Bolser, at Shelley.bolser@seattle.gov.

Written comments can also be mailed to her at 700 Fifth Ave., Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124.

Community members can e-mail Bolser for a PDF of the alternatives that were presented at the meeting.

“After the draft of the EIS is issued, there is going to be a public meeting where [the community] can comment on the specific analysis of those issues,” said DPD land-use planner Shelly Bolser. The date for that meeting has not been set.

Following the draft meeting, a final EIS will be made to describe the preferred alternative and the factors needed to ensure that adverse impacts are avoided.

The next step will be to hold a design review. This will provide community members and developers a forum to review the design of the selected alternative.

Development on the project is expected to begin in 2012 and be completed by 2020.

For more information, visit 

Letter to Urban Forestry Staff liason on false reference to UFC in DPD effort to eliminate all Seattle tree protections.


I am following up on yesterday’s Urban Forestry Commission discussion about DPD’s bad-faith “effort” to follow through with the directives of City Council Resolution 31138 to improve and enhance tree protections in the City of Seattle.  Specifically, I am following up on the need for DPD to remove reference to the deliberations of the Urban Forestry Commission as justification or as somehow contributing to the specious analysis and false conclusions contained within their recent report calling for elimination of all tree protections in the City.         

The report produced in response to Council Resolution 31138 actually represents a 180 degree departure from the important directives of Seattle’s City Council.  Where the Council requests “enhancing existing protections for trees”; DPD proposes abolishing all existing protections.  The Council requests DPD to “establish a comprehensive set of regulations” for tree protections; DPD advocates for no tree regulations.  And, most importantly, the Council calls for “additional protections for all City-designated exceptional trees”; and, DPD responds by proposing elimination of all exceptional tree protections (??!?). 

Given that the Urban Forestry Commission had no opportunity to coordinate on the production of DPD’s report – report drafts were specifically withheld from the Commission even as commissioners made repeated requests for review and coordination – it is no wonder that my fellow commissioners used terms like “disingenuous” and “not honest” in describing the process that allowed the considerations and false conclusions of the department to stray so far from normative and effective ideas for sustainable urban forest management. 

At this point it is important that DPD remove reference to the Urban Forestry Commission as contributing to the troubling false conclusions contained within the report.  As we discussed yesterday, reference and false implication to UFC’s coordination in this effort should be removed from the marketing literature (the report, FAQ’s, the report summary, website, etc.) created by the department to promote their unsubstantiated ideas on tree management.

I have attached a list of specific false references to UFC’s alleged contribution to DPD’s discouraging effort.  I would also suggest that reference to the recommendations of the Emerald City Task Force be excluded from DPD’s marketing campaign since the task force’s recommendations run completely contrary to DPD’s report (specific task force recommendations: “improve the existing tree preservation regulations on private property”; “require tree removal permits both during development and for all property owners”).

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.  Removal of these false implications is so important to the significant educational value an open, honest process of creating a truly sustainable system of urban forest management affords the great City of Seattle. 


Kirk Prindle
City of Seattle, Urban Forestry Commission
Position 1 - Wildlife Biologist
Ecosystem Committee Chair 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"different departments lack ability and interest to care…for the city’s urban forest.”

August 4, 2010 

Mayor Mike McGinn 

City Council President Conlin; Councilmember Licata; Councilmember Rasmussen; Councilmember Harrell; Councilmember Clark; Councilmember Bagshaw; Councilmember O’Brien; Councilmember Burgess; Councilmember Godden
Seattle Urban Forestry Commission 
C/o Tracy Morgenstern 
Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment 

Seattle Department of Planning and Development [DPD] Proposed Tree Regulations, dated July 14, 2010 is regressive and lacks understanding for the ecological/environmental benefits of trees and urban wildlife habitat; scientific knowledge of tree values; the importance of a tree inventory; and the direction the city has taken to move forward towards the preservation and maintenance of the urban canopy and to increase the urban canopy to 30% [or more] including 
trees on public as well as private properties. 

For instance, with the establishment of the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission Council Bill Number 116577  [Ordinance 123052 —signed by the Mayor August 10, 2009] Councilmembers unanimously created legislation which recognized that “the City is undertaking efforts that promote the benefits of retaining and protecting the urban forest through the adoption of plans, policies and regulations protecting these resources…”   

At the same time Councilmembers unanimously, with the Mayor concurring, passed Resolution Resolution 31138 which directed DPD to: establish permit requirements to obtain a permit before removing any tree;  prohibit the removal of trees in required yards or required setbacks during construction [with exceptions]; provide incentives to retain existing trees; provide incentives to protect groves of trees; establish a system of fines for tree removal without a permit; establish additional protections for city-designated exceptional trees; and adopt tree planting and tree retention requirement for all new or modified structures serving Institutions, City Facilities, Public Facilities, Schools, etc.  

The City Auditor completed a management audit [5/09] on Urban Forest Management Plan. 
http://www.seattle.gov/audit/2009.htm#trees . The audit was clear that the City’s management framework is not effective for tree preservation or increase of the city’s canopy. 
DPD’s July 2010 Proposed Tree Regulation Report gives evidence that the City Auditor’s report is correct—“different departments lack ability and interest to care…for the city’s urban forest.”  

Thank you for your attention, 
Cheryl Trivison 
Seattle Urban Forest Stakeholders founding member