Item Coversheet



TO: Neighborhood/Community Affairs Committee Members

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: May 20, 2019




At the April 10th, 2019 Commission Meeting, Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman referred item C4 Q to the Neighborhoods / Community Affairs Committee (NCAC), to discuss increasing the required duration of public notice needed prior to the removal of large specimen trees approved through the tree permitting process. 


In June 2015, the city adopted Sec.46 Division 2 – Tree Preservation and Protection Ordinance in June 2015 to provide better tree preservation and protection. The ordinance requires mitigation in the  form of replanting, and when no possible contribution to the Tree Preservation Trust Fund. Prior to the adoption of our code, all tree removals would adhere to the requirements of the county and mitigation was based on the requirements of the county code. The county code is less stringent and did not guarantee that mitigation would take place within the city limits.


In 2016, the Urban Forestry Division initiated the Tree Preservation Program Tree Information Tag as a requirement of the General Permit Conditions. Permit holders are required to attach tree removal tags to trees being removed and or relocated as part of a tree removal permit prior to the approved work being completed. At the time of this policy change, no action was taken to provide extended notification requirements for larger trees such as those defined as specimen trees. Following the removal of the Melaleuca trees in Flamingo Park, the Urban Forestry Division instituted through the permitting process a ten-day notification period for all tree removals or relocations.


It should be noted that the removal or relocation of non-specimen, specimen, and heritage trees as defined within the code are progressively more stringent. Specimen trees are defined as trees with 12” diameter at breast height (DBH). Heritage trees are those trees with the highest level of preservation and mitigation requirements and need to be nominated, reviewed and approved. Currently no trees have been designated as heritage trees, however, a discussion item will be brought before the Finance and Citywide Projects Committee in June together with proposed amendments to the city code to improve tree protection.



As a result of recent incidences in which permitted trees were removed prior to the required posting of tree removal tags (Attachment A), the following actions have been taken to better advise the public of potential tree removal and relocations associated with approved tree removal permits.

·         Urban Forestry has updated language within the permit conditions associated with the Tree Removal permit to read such that tree tags must be affixed to those trees being removed or relocated, 7 days prior for non-specimen trees and 14 days prior for specimen trees and Heritage Trees.

·         A Tree Preservation Program Permit Information Sign has been drafted to provide additional information and advise the public of approved tree removal and relocations. This sign shall be placed at the location of proposed tree removals for public projects and shall be posted at the property line visible from the public right-of-way for private property projects.

·         It is recommended that code be amended to make failure to post the Tree Preservation Program Tree Information Tag and the Tree Preservation Information Sign a citable offense.

·         The administration recommends approval of the Tree Preservation Program Tree Information Sign and that the tree preservation ordinance be amended to address failure to post.

Draft Tree Preservation Program Permit Information SignMemo
Tree Preservation Program TagMemo