New building trends in construction and re-development often result in the loss of 75-90% of our existing trees. Because 95% of Atlanta’s trees are on private property, and nearly 80% are located in single-family-residential zones, the only way to save Atlanta’s canopy is to build with trees. Here is our 4-Step Plan:
- PLAN FOR TREES FIRST
Plan for trees at the beginning of the permitting process. This is the only realistic way to save trees and greenspace on development sites.
- SAVE THE BEST TREES
A Tree Value Matrix has been developed to prioritize which trees are the highest value based on size, health, species and location, a method that is easily incorporated into the existing survey process. A requirement to preserve “high” and “excellent” value trees, according to the matrix, would ensure our best trees are preserved given we will not be able to protect all trees.
- REDUCE GRADING & IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
A maximum sustainable footprint can be determined for different zoning categories. The result will not only reduce tree loss and impervious surface, it will decrease crisis-level stormwater problems/costs and reduce the impact of gentrification, among other benefits.
- EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT
Penalties must serve as effective deterrents to code violations on construction sites.
Download the PDF here:
The New Atlanta Tree Ordinance: A 4-Step Plan