Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Urban Forest Management Policy on City Council Agenda tonight



FYI-Agenda item #4 at tonight's city council meeting is the consideration of a Urban Forest Management Policy.

I would like to appeal to everyone invested in this issue to think beyond the Orpheus park tree debacle and think about the entire town, with special consideration to Leucadia's coast highway. I think the city council and staff took enough of a shellacking last week that we should all be able to move forward together on this issue. Please, no angry comments of "this is war." like last week. Let's not turn something as basic and fundamental as trees into a lefty vs righty partisan cultural war.

Let's encourage an Urban Forest Management Policy that includes planting, watering and trimming trees and not just cutting them down. The Forest Policy should also mesh with Leucadia's Streetscape program (which currently seems to be lost in limbo).

In my opinion trees mean much more to our town than mere landscaping, let's try to work with the city on this one so future generations will have a strong quality of life.

20 comments:

  1. Thanks. We need to work together to develop a plan to maintain our healthy trees. Your blog is well spoken.

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  2. Yes J.P., you write good.

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  3. The Staff Report on this subject is pretty sketchy. I think Staff, lead by the City Manager, is doing their best to keep the plan out of their hair.

    Hopefully a majority of the Council is prepared to lead on this issue and will be sure that whatever is adopted will provide for public input about removing trees that aren't an immediate danger.

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  4. I hope it gives specifics about replacement trees being equal in square inch area to the tree that was removed. Mark W should be all over this and should be a must for this policy.

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  5. BE AWARE. The Urban Forest Management Policy is not about preserving city trees. It is a program to extend the city authority to all landscaping in all of Encinitas. There's nothing in the two and a half page policy that stops the city from cutting down or destroying any landscaping that the city department considers in its right-of-way. If you live on an unimproved street (no sidewalks), your landscaping may intrude on the public right-of- way.

    This proposed policy enforces the city's right to remove and/or replace your landscaping. It will be up to you to get a survey of your property if you disagree with the city's determination.

    The proposed policy also contains conflicting methods.

    Leucadia should be especially concerned about method #17 where the city is to insure that trees planted in City rights-of-way and City parks are primarily site appropriate, locally adapted and native indigenous species.

    Method item #16 is certainly not going to be applied to the city departments. Under #16 the city is to develop policies and procedures to assess monetary damages for vandalism, damage or the unauthorized removal of City trees.

    The proposed policy also requires that the city designate a Department with the overall responsibility for the City's Urban Forest Management. This would be a new department with newly hired employees.

    The City Council would also have to fund the program at an annual level of at least $2 per capita. Encinitas residents are already forced to pay a tax assessment for city landscaping.

    Before anyone urges the City Council to adopt the proposed Urban Forest Maintenance Program, pleas consider the ramifications of approving the current document. The City Council should send the program back to the city department for revisions.

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  6. Yo, Anon 1:14:

    There are some things about the proposal that could use some rework. However, you're flat wrong on your reading about the "$2 per capita".

    That amount is what the "Arbor Day Foundation" expects a government body to spend so they can claim to be a member of "Tree City USA". The City already spends about $4 per capita on the trees we have/had.

    Easy, Chicken Little.

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  7. Screw the urban forest management policy, bury the tracks and do the Leucadia streetscape.

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  8. What ever happened to finishing the Hygeia Roundabout and the street improvements that we're delayed between Hermes and I5.

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  9. a.j.foytunate,
    You must be a city insider. The city has never given out a report on how much funding for each tree. As for your chicken little comment, remember the Landscaping and Lighting vote several years ago. The city just had to increase the tax assessment or it would have to cut services.

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  10. Anon 2:17:

    No, not an insider. You brought up the $2 per capita, so my guess is that you can go back and re-read the Staff Report you got that number from.

    An Urban Forest policy that gives the public an opportunity to be heard when it comes to removing trees will not cost the city anything.

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  11. a.j.foytunate,
    You brought up the $4 per capita on the trees.
    You should read the proposed Urban Forest Management Program. NOTHING IN IT ABOUT THE PUBLIC GETTING AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD.

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  12. As it stands now, Chapter V is the key. It requires the development of an Administrative Manual Procedure to guide Staff when making evaluations about trees, community notification and a replanting procedure. Let's see if the Council gives staff some clear, citizen-centric advice tonight about Chapter V. I'm not holding my breath.

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  13. This city can't water the flowers in the center median on 101, how are they going to manage an urban forest??
    Why do the wild poppies look so much better than the professionally maintained plants??

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  14. My point is this: the City Staff is already managing the Urban Forest we have, and, in my opinion, doing it in a way that makes more firewood and mulch than we and the trees deserve. What I hope we can get out of this is something that we citizens can use to hold the public servants accountable with. Hope for some sense out of three councilpeople.

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  15. How much does the city spend on landscape on the new Leucadia Blvd? I'd bet its about 100 grand a year. Could use some of that money to maintain the eucs on Coast Highway.

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  16. If your referring to the new landscaping East of I5, your probably right, but don't even think about cheeping out on that stretch.

    That's the nicest road in all of Encinitas.

    The City has cheeped out on the west side. Hopefully the completion of the streetscape on Leucadia Blvd. at Hygiea gets nicer landscaping.

    If your looking for funding for Streetscape on N. Coast Hwy101, the City is putting aside some money.

    There are plenty of other places to cut than landscaping dollars. Your comment has been receive, read, understood, evaluated, and rejected. Thanks for participating.

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  17. Looks like we will be getting more of our news from Leucadia blogg. Good the AP is bought by corporate America anyway.

    http://nctimes.com/articles/2009/03/18/business/zfe27c66067befd6b8825757d00652c65.txt

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  18. San Diego Tribune. Haaa. It doesn't surprise me. No more AP stories that are political propaganda anyway.

    Another one bites the dust.

    Like sand in an hour glass, these are the days of our lives.

    Long live the Leucadia blog for more accurate real time news!

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  19. Bad law passed again by a City Council that has been the biggest violator of destroying the city's trees.

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  20. All Eucalyptus trees in Encinitas deserve representation with a Bill of Rights.

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