Chapter 18.120
SIGNIFICANT TREE STANDARDS

Sections:

18.120.010    Purpose.

18.120.020    Applicability.

18.120.030    Exemptions.

18.120.040    Removal of significant trees.

18.120.050    Replacement of significant trees.

18.120.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

A. Encourage the protection of stands of trees and significant trees;

B. Limit the removal of stands of trees and significant trees in order to maintain the quality of Roslyn’s natural environment;

C. Provide measures to protect trees that may be impacted during construction; and

D. Mitigate the environmental and aesthetic consequences of tree removal in land development through on- and off-site tree replacement to achieve a goal of no net reduction in the number of significant trees throughout the city of Roslyn. [Ord. 1060 §§ 5, 6, 2010; Ord. 1059 § 2 (Exh. A (12.120.010)), 2010.]

18.120.020 Applicability.

No significant trees shall be removed without a permit from the city unless specifically exempted. Significant tree removal permits shall be processed as a Class 1 permit. [Ord. 1060 §§ 5, 6, 2010; Ord. 1059 § 2 (Exh. A (12.120.020)), 2010.]

18.120.030 Exemptions.

The following activities are exempt from the requirements of this chapter as noted:

A. Full Exemptions. The following activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

1. Commercial nurseries or tree farms and the removal of trees that are being grown to be sold as Christmas or landscape trees.

2. Utility Management. Removal of private trees by the city and/or utility provider in situations involving immediate danger to life or property, or interruption of services provided by a utility.

B. Partial Exemptions.

1. Emergency Tree Removal. Any significant tree on private property that poses an imminent threat to life or property may be removed without first obtaining a permit/city approval. The property owner shall contact the city within seven days of removal to provide evidence of threat for approval of exemption. Evidence should include a report from an arborist that meets the qualifications set out in RMC 18.120.040(A)(2) or a showing of good cause regarding how the emergency did not allow for such a report.

C. Removal of trees in the urban forest zone shall be subject to the provisions of the land stewardship plan as approved by the city. [Ord. 1060 §§ 5, 6, 2010; Ord. 1059 § 2 (Exh. A (12.120.030)), 2010.]

18.120.040 Removal of significant trees.

The city strongly discourages the removal of significant trees and encourages property owners to take measures to preserve and protect significant trees.

A. The removal of significant trees may be approved by the city through the issuance of a Class 1 permit; provided, that:

1. Applications for the proposed removal of significant trees in conjunction with a proposed development activity requiring a city permit or approval must be submitted concurrent with the application(s) for the associated development activity.

2. The city may require documentation from an arborist that a significant tree(s) is dead, dying, or constitutes a hazard that cannot otherwise be mitigated. In order for an arborist to be qualified to give such an assessment the arborist must be an individual with a minimum of three years’ experience in tree evaluation and, where applicable, work directly with the protection of trees during construction along with one of the following qualifiers:

a. Society of American Foresters (SAF) certified forester;

b. American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) registered consulting arborist;

c. Washington State registered landscape architect; or

d. International Society of Arborists (ISA) certified arborist with an associate degree and/or a minimum of two years of college-level credit and/or 120 continuing education units.

Additionally, in order to undertake tree risk assessment, a qualified professional must have a tree risk assessor certification as established by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or equivalent experience and training.

3. The number of trees proposed to be removed is the minimal number necessary, as determined by the city.

4. Significant trees that are removed shall be replaced in accordance with city standards.

5. Applicants shall be responsible for all costs associated with the city review of applications, plans, and/or enforcement actions associated with the implementation of this chapter.

B. The city may require that an applicant for a development activity that requires a city permit or approval submit a significant tree protection plan for city review and approval which includes the identification of all significant trees on site, establishment of tree protection zones, measures to preserve and protect significant trees targeted for removal, and plans for replanting trees. This may include, but is not limited to:

1. Protective measures designed to ensure long-term viability of trees and tree stands, such as:

a. Highlighting required tree protection measures on clearing and grading plans;

b. Prohibiting construction activities, including staging and traffic areas, within the root protection zone of protected trees;

c. Locating structures, utilities, and roadways an adequate distance from the dripline of a protected tree; and/or

d. The installation of temporary or permanent tree protection barriers around root zones of significant trees to be protected prior to any land disturbance.

2. Preventative measures, consistent with best management practices for maintaining the health of the trees, such as:

a. Pruning of visible deadwood on trees to be protected or relocated;

b. Application of fertilizer to enhance the vigor of stressed trees;

c. The use of soil amendments and soil aeration in tree protection and planting areas;

d. Mulching tree dripline areas; and/or

e. Ensuring proper water availability during and immediately after construction.

C. Significant trees may not be approved for removal from a critical area without certification from an arborist that the tree constitutes a threat to public health and safety that cannot be reasonably mitigated.

The city may require that a critical areas report(s) be prepared in conjunction with the proposed removal of significant trees.

D. Significant trees may not be removed from private property in the urban forest zone except:

1. In accordance with the provisions of a significant tree or forest protection management plan approved by the city; or

2. In conjunction with a building permit for a single-family residence; provided, that:

a. The number of trees proposed for removal is the minimum necessary for the construction of the single-family residence, as determined by the city. [Ord. 1060 §§ 5, 6, 2010; Ord. 1059 § 2 (Exh. A (12.120.040)), 2010.]

18.120.050 Replacement of significant trees.

Significant trees approved for removal must be replaced in accordance with the following standards unless specifically exempted:

A. Replacement Standards.

1. Dead, dying, or hazardous significant trees: one new on-site tree or two new off-site trees for each significant tree removed.

2. Significant trees removed in conjunction with an approved development activity: two new on-site trees or four new off-site trees for each tree removed.

3. The removal of significant trees that do not meet the criteria for dead, dying, or hazardous trees and are not proposed in conjunction with a development activity requiring a city permit or approval: three new on-site trees or six new off-site trees for each tree removed.

4. The unauthorized removal of significant trees: four new on-site trees or eight new off-site trees for each tree removed.

B. The planting of replacement trees shall be in accordance with a plan approved by the city and shall comply with the following standards:

1. Replacement trees shall be planted to enhance and complement existing vegetation and environmental functions;

2. Replacement trees should be protected within vegetated islands and stands rather than as individual, isolated trees scattered throughout the site;

3. Replacement trees shall be planted in locations appropriate to the species’ growth habit and horticultural requirements;

4. Replacement trees shall be located to provide screening of the development from adjacent properties, where appropriate;

5. Replacement trees shall be planted in areas that connect or are adjacent to native growth protection areas or other open spaces, where appropriate;

6. Replacement trees shall be integrated into the required landscape plans for a development;

7. Replacement trees should not be planted next to or under power lines; and

8. All proposed off-site locations shall be approved by the city.

C. Size, Species and Condition of Replacement Trees.

1. The minimum sizes for replacement trees shall be two-inch caliper measured at four and one-half feet in height for deciduous trees and eight feet in height for evergreen trees.

2. The planning official may consider smaller-sized replacement trees if the applicant can demonstrate that smaller trees are more suited to the species, site conditions, and to the purposes of this section, and are planted in sufficient quantities to meet the intent of this section.

3. The planning official may require that a portion or all of the replacement trees be native species in order to restore or enhance the site to predevelopment character.

4. The condition of replacement trees shall meet or exceed current American Nursery and Landscape Association or equivalent organization’s standards for nursery stock.

5. Installation of required replacement trees shall be in accordance with best management practices for landscaping which ensure the tree’s long-term health and survival.

6. All required tree replacement and other required mitigation shall be completed prior to issuance of final site plan, plat approval, or final permit approval unless approved by the city and bonded in a format approved by the city.

D. The payment of a voluntary fee in lieu of tree replacement may be allowed, subject to city approval.

1. The amount of the fee shall cover the cost of a tree, installation (labor and equipment), maintenance for two years, and fund administration. Such cost shall be determined by the city.

2. The fee shall be paid to the city prior to final site plan or final plat approval, or the issuance of a tree removal permit or letter, whichever applies.

E. Where appropriate, the city may consider other measures designed to mitigate the loss of significant trees by restoring all or parts of the forest landscape and its associated benefits. Mitigating measures in lieu of tree replacement may include, but are not limited to:

1. Creation of wildlife snags from trees which would otherwise be removed;

2. Replacement of certain ornamental trees with native shrubs and groundcover;

3. Replacement of dying or hazardous trees with new trees more likely to survive;

4. Day-lighting and restoration of stream corridors with native vegetation;

5. Protection of nonsignificant trees to provide for the successional stages of forest development; and/or

6. Enhancement of critical areas. [Ord. 1060 §§ 5, 6, 2010; Ord. 1059 § 2 (Exh. A (12.120.050)), 2010.]