UPDATE: The appeal, heard at City of Atlanta on May 16, was upheld. The developer now has a few choices. He can file an appeal to Fulton County Superior Court, resubmit a new site plan to the arborist division, or drop development of the property.
The standing room only crowd had a heavy turn-out of citizens in support preserving the land and trees at 1900 Dekalb Ave, the former location of the Horizons School.
The basis of the Appeal was:
On the most basic level, the developer/owner is suppose to minimize impact to trees to the maximum extent possible. The developers have done nothing to preserve trees at this site. They are literally clear-cutting 2.5 acres.
More specifically, but not a complete list of violations:
- Trees in the setbacks are not being protected, which is a requirement
- Stands of trees are not being protected, which is a requirement for land over 1 acre
- The recompense is not being calculated properly. Recompense is what the owner pays the city for taking down trees, and the money goes into the city tree bank.
- They are not replanting the proper type of trees, and they are not replanting in the correct location.
- They should make an effort to reuse the existing street and building footprints, and this is not happening.
These are some of the arguments, but it’s not an exhaustive list.
*Sometimes tree appeal hearings are rescheduled at the last minute, so check with the Atlanta arborist division to confirm the date and time. (404) 330-6235
The tree vigil was held on May 12, 2018 at 11am. Here is a video of that event: https://youtu.be/bBh0frkS9fA
Over 200 trees scheduled to be removed by a developer on the former property of the Horizon School at 1900 Dekalb Avenue. City in the Forest, a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving our native urban forests, sponsored a vigil on Saturday, May 12, from 11am-12noon.
Our purpose was to honor the trees, and bring public attention to the threat of losing this urban forest.
Unlike the majority of other USA cities, Atlanta, the “city in the forest”, uniquely stands out for its native urban forests that provide numerous essential benefits such as critical storm drainage, wildlife habitat, shade, climate stabilization, improved human health and natural beauty to name a few. Our trees urgently need our protection because increased growth and development in the residential area (80% of the urban forest) threatens to destroy our forests and the soil they thrive in. Action steps including creating and strengthening enforceable tree ordinances, city/state purchases of green space, effective tree appeal processes, smart growth that saves trees and a groundswell of citizen action will preserve our irreplaceable wonder, our native forests. (cityintheforest.org)