The decision to exempt Heavy Industrial lands makes no sense. The City has stalled on addressing this issue for more than a decade while industrial land owners have continued cutting trees with no accountability. The City and industrial land owners make a false argument equating tree protection with lost industrial acres, but in fact, if the tree code were applied, industrial landowners would have a choice of either protecting trees or mitigating for trees that they cut by paying into a fund for the City to plant trees.
It is time to hold industrial landowners accountable. It is also time to hold the City Council accountable. In recent months, Council has passed resolutions asserting their commitment to building more equitable, healthy communities. Protecting trees that clean our air and water, absorb CO2, reduce urban heat island effect, and create wildlife habitat is essential to remain true to this commitment.
Check out the City’s website where you can watch a video summary of the draft, read background materials, see the proposed timeline for upcoming decisions.
- Express appreciation for the extensive analysis, reception to community concerns, and initial steps staff has taken to remedy some of the major flaws of the Tree Code (Title 11) in this draft policy proposal.
- Support the proposal to reduce tree size threshold for required tree preservation as it will mean many more trees will receive greater protections and will lead to many more large trees to be retained in our communities
- Urge staff to eliminate exemptions for ALL commercial and industrial zones INCLUDING HEAVY INDUSTRIAL (IH). Every zone type in the City should play a role in protecting and growing our urban tree canopy – especially in light of our climate crisis. It is a false narrative to pit trees against industrial land availability, and if industrial land owners cannot retain trees onsite they should be required to mitigate offsite to ensure that neighboring communities (many of them diverse and/or low income) are less impacted.
- Protecting trees on industrial lands is essential to achieve the City’s commitment to build climate resilient equitable communities.
Thank you for advocating for Portland’s tree canopy and the environmental and community benefits it provides.
Key Dates to Put on Your Calendar
- August 20, 9:30 a.m.: Urban Forestry Commission briefing
- August 25, 5 p.m.: Planning and Sustainability Commission briefing
- September 8, 12:30 p.m.: Planning and Sustainability Commission and Urban Forestry Commission joint public hearing
- September 17, 9:30 a.m.: Urban Forestry Commission meeting and vote
- September 22, 12:30 p.m.: Planning and Sustainability Commission meeting and vot
- October 29, 2 p.m.: Portland City Council public hearing