The two changes currently being considered – removing exemptions on industrial and commercial property and lowering mitigation threshold requirements – would have profoundly positive impacts for Portland’s tree canopy and greater community health.
It is critical that industrial and commercial landowners be held accountable for protecting trees on their lands which are often adjacent to underserved neighborhoods and important natural areas. Lowering the inch-for-inch threshold for mitigation requirements to trees 20 inches and larger will ensure that far more neighborhood trees are adequately mitigated in situations where removal cannot be avoided.
The survey unfortunately pits tree protection against industrial land use and affordable housing. We believe that this is a false narrative promoted by industrial interests. We encourage people to let the City know in section 4 that:
- It is a false narrative to pit trees against industrial land availability. It is critical that industrial land owners be required to protect the environment. If they cannot do so onsite, they should be required to mitigate off site to ensure neighboring communities are less impacted.
- It is wrong to pit trees against affordable housing. It is critical to ensure that our most vulnerable populations have a healthy environment close to home. To that end, the city must protect and increase trees in low income areas and use mechanisms, including subsidies, to ensure tree protection and affordable housing go hand in hand.