Resolutions - R7 M
|TO:||Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission|| |
|FROM:||Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager|| |
|DATE:||September 16, 2020|
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, ADOPTING THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH URBAN FORESTRY MASTER PLAN ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT A.
The City of Miami Beach’s urban forest is comprised of all the trees on both public and private property. A healthy urban forest provides vital environmental, social, economic, and aesthetic benefits, as well as being an essential component in the city’s climate adaptation efforts. In July 2018, the City retained Davey Resource Group to complete the city’s first Urban Forestry Master Plan (UFMP).
A series of public workshops were held in June 2019 to provide an overview of the master planning process and gain insight from the community on the needs, challenges and opportunities related to the city’s urban forest. In May 2020, the draft plan was also presented to the Sustainability Committee for their feedback and the Committee commended the approach of the city’s first UFMP.
The Urban Forestry Master Plan (UFMP) evaluates the existing tree canopy and provides best management practices for growing a healthy urban forest. The UFMP includes a design toolkit that outlines planting palette, design criteria considerations, and three case studies related to sea level rise adaptation.
About 51% of our residents reported being not satisfied with the city’s tree canopy coverage during our community survey. The UFMP provides an assessment of existing resources and sets the goal to increase canopy coverage from 17% to 22% over the next 20 years. Along with that goal, the plan provides information to support the following desired outcomes provided by residents and city staff:
- Increase shade/ornamental trees in the urban forest, while reducing the palm population;
- Focus efforts on the preservation and maintenance of existing shade/ornamental trees;
- Collaborate and identify opportunities to preserve trees and add shade tree canopy on all city and Florida Department of Transportation projects;
- Provide tools and strategies to assist in increasing shade tree canopy cover throughout the City of Miami Beach; and,
- Increase outreach and education.
In addition, the plan highlighted that species selection must take into consideration the unique challenges facing Miami Beach including:
- Lack of species diversity/ over population of palms;
- Rising groundwater and saltwater inundation;
- Limited growing space;
The plan also identified opportunities for improving the urban canopy, such as:
- Removing impervious surfaces/retrofit sites to accommodate trees on public property;
- Addressing improper maintenance, unnecessary tree removals and tree abuse within private property and/or within the public rights-of-way (managed by private property);
- Enhancing public education on tree planting and care;
- Addressing tree canopy coverage distribution across the city;
- Prioritizing and accommodating trees in the right-of-away along with utilities, bike lanes, travel lanes and parking;
- Addressing proper species on public property suitable for the site and changing climatic conditions;
- Obtaining and updating the status of the conditions and risk rating of public trees.
The General Obligation Bond program includes $5 million to implement the street tree master plan by planting 5,000 trees citywide to increase canopy cover. The anticipated schedule for the completion of the G.O. Bond funded reforestation projects is 2025. The UFMP is a key tool necessary for the implementation of the G.O. Bond reforestation project and the continued protection and enhancement of the city’s urban forest.
The Administration recommends that the Mayor and City Commission adopt the resolution approving the Urban Forestry Master Plan.
|Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14?|| ||Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?|
|Yes|| ||No|| |
Environment and Sustainability