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Built by Blue Sound Construction, designed by MaKe Design, photos by Alex Hayden

Kirkland Planning Commission Moves Tree Protection Ordinance to City Council

Posted on Dec 20, 2019 in:
  • Environment
  • Industry Issues
  • Advocacy

The Kirkland Planning Commission moved the Tree Protection ordinance, KZC Chapter 95, forward to City Council on December 12, with additional amendments. Amendments and approval included:

  • Changing a grove to three 12” or larger trees.
  • Keeping landmark trees at 30” DBH.
  • Revised hedges definition.
  • Adoption of no credit system or cap, no credit limit, no predictable outcomes, no end to review cycles. However, industry is given guaranteed building footprints.
  • Public tree pruning—branch size increased from 1 inch to 1.5 inches.
  • Removal of landmark trees without development is allowed, but count as two years of the two per year removal property owners have, plus a 24-month hold before submitting a new permit for building/subdividing.
  • No approval of a tree banking system to remove trees on private property not associated with development, but settled on 2, 3, 4 tree per year removal based on lot size versus 2, 4, 6 in the previous draft table approved by Houghton Community Council.
  • Planning Commission agreed with the increase in building footprint for builders versus square footage for development/redevelopment on an existing lot.
  • Approved retaining significant trees (Tier 2) in required setbacks versus a tree credit approach with some discussion that more study is needed.
  • Citywide required IDP recommended.

The issue now moves to City Council for a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at City Council. Meetings with city councilmembers and MBAKS have already begun.

If you have additional questions about the Planning Commission meeting, upcoming City Council meeting, or lobbying efforts, please contact King County Manager Gina Clark, 425.460.8240.


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Photo courtesy Blue Sound Construction, builder; MaKe Design, architect; and Alex Hayden, photographer