Tampa City Council On Tree Ordinance by Mitch E. Perry

02/09/06

After 2 years, The Tampa City Council almost came to a final resolution on crafting a new Tree Ordinance throughout the City today.

But a last second request from home builders to have add a tree canopy study added to the Ordinance - to be conducted by the city every 5 years – means the issue will come up for a final vote in 2 weeks.

Cliff Fernandez is with the Tampa Bay Home Builders Association. "If we have a tree canopy study done, then if its shown we're lack tree canopy then we should take addional measures to protect the canopy. The canopy is was is the benefit to the community not an individual tree, but the canopy as a whole and that is what we should be monitioring."

Members of the Council enthusiastically supported the Builders Association’s request.

The ordinance will establish a 2 year moratorium on demolishing property where a grand tree has been removed, which would make it one of the strongest such laws in the country….Councilmember Rose Ferlita said she was slightly concerned about that status.

"I think we did this two year moratoreum simply to put something in place to for the bad guys and the builders are not always the bad guys. You might have one guy that ednourage development at that site. I was concerned as I came back here that this was not asking for permission, but being prohibited from doing something. The fact that we are the only community with a two year moratoreum and I am wonder where this is going to go. I guess time will tell that."

Ferlita worried that the action could be construed as being knee-jerkish, or too harsh on property owners….She asked a City Attorney if the Ordinance was ‘defensible’?

Assistant City Attorney Donna Wysong said she couldn’t answer such a question straight on, but said with property owners having the right to appeal that, yes, it is defensible

"So that it is very narrowy tailored to fit a certain situation. An we did put that relief value in there so that if there is a legitimate with the building it can come down. All they have to do is come and talk to you all. So its very narrowly tailored to fit a very narrow situation and it has that relief value in it, so we feel very comfortable that it is very defensible."

Council members also wanted to put in writing that those who appeal the 2 year rule will not have to pay for requesting.

There was also a discussion about whether adding a clause to the Ordinance about predicting if a grand tree might cause structural damage to a house within 1 year. But Steve Graham from the City’s Park & Rec Department disagreed with such a clause

"Well, ultimately you have to make that decision, but with all due respect, I don't think anyone can say with any certainty that 'This crack was caused by this tree.' After looking at a lot of these with the chief building inspector he has pointed out cracks that are not realted to the tree. So it's not black and white, so to add the additional clause in a sense I think muddies the water."

But Councilmember Dingfelder said it was a good compromise,and should be added to the Ordinance. Councilmembers agreed to include the 5 year canopy study, with the first study taking place in 2006.

Tampa City Council On Tree Ordinance

After 2 years, The Tampa City Council almost came to a final resolution on crafting a new Tree Ordinance throughout the City today.

But a last second request from home builders to have add a tree canopy study added to the Ordinance - to be conducted by the city every 5 years – means the issue will come up for a final vote in 2 weeks.

Cliff Fernandez is with the Tampa Bay Home Builders Association. (roll tape#1 o.q.�We should be monitoring�)

Members of the Council enthusiastically supported the Builders Association’s request.

The ordinance will establish a 2 year moratorium on demolishing property where a grand tree has been removed, which would make it one of the strongest such laws in the country….Councilmember Rose Ferlita said she was slightly concerned about that status (roll tape#2 o.q.�time will tell that�)

Ferlita worried that the action could be construed as being knee-jerkish, or too harsh on property owners….She asked a City Attorney if the Ordinance was ‘defensible’?

Assistant City Attorney Donna Wysong said she couldn’t answer such a question straight on, but said with property owners having the right to appeal that, yes, it is defensible(roll tape#3 o.q.�it is defensible�)

Council members also wanted to put in writing that those who appeal the 2 year rule will not have to pay for requesting.

There was also a discussion about whether adding a clause to the Ordinance about predicting if a grand tree might cause structural damage to a house within 1 year. But Steve Graham from the City’s Park & Rec Department disagreed with such a clause (roll tape#4 o.q.�muddies the water�)

But Councilmember Dingfelder said it was a good compromise,and should be added to the Ordinance. Councilmembers agreed to include the 5 year canopy study, with the first study taking place in 2006.

Tampa City Council On Tree Ordinance

After 2 years, The Tampa City Council almost came to a final resolution on crafting a new Tree Ordinance throughout the City today.

But a last second request from home builders to have add a tree canopy study added to the Ordinance - to be conducted by the city every 5 years – means the issue will come up for a final vote in 2 weeks.

Cliff Fernandez is with the Tampa Bay Home Builders Association. (roll tape#1 o.q.�We should be monitoring�)

Members of the Council enthusiastically supported the Builders Association’s request.

The ordinance will establish a 2 year moratorium on demolishing property where a grand tree has been removed, which would make it one of the strongest such laws in the country….Councilmember Rose Ferlita said she was slightly concerned about that status (roll tape#2 o.q.�time will tell that�)

Ferlita worried that the action could be construed as being knee-jerkish, or too harsh on property owners….She asked a City Attorney if the Ordinance was ‘defensible’?

Assistant City Attorney Donna Wysong said she couldn’t answer such a question straight on, but said with property owners having the right to appeal that, yes, it is defensible(roll tape#3 o.q.�it is defensible�)

Council members also wanted to put in writing that those who appeal the 2 year rule will not have to pay for requesting.

There was also a discussion about whether adding a clause to the Ordinance about predicting if a grand tree might cause structural damage to a house within 1 year. But Steve Graham from the City’s Park & Rec Department disagreed with such a clause (roll tape#4 o.q.�muddies the water�)

But Councilmember Dingfelder said it was a good compromise,and should be added to the Ordinance. Councilmembers agreed to include the 5 year canopy study, with the first study taking place in 2006.

Tampa City Council On Tree Ordinance

After 2 years, The Tampa City Council almost came to a final resolution on crafting a new Tree Ordinance throughout the City today.

But a last second request from home builders to have add a tree canopy study added to the Ordinance - to be conducted by the city every 5 years – means the issue will come up for a final vote in 2 weeks.

Cliff Fernandez is with the Tampa Bay Home Builders Association. (roll tape#1 o.q.�We should be monitoring�)

Members of the Council enthusiastically supported the Builders Association’s request.

The ordinance will establish a 2 year moratorium on demolishing property where a grand tree has been removed, which would make it one of the strongest such laws in the country….Councilmember Rose Ferlita said she was slightly concerned about that status (roll tape#2 o.q.�time will tell that�)

Ferlita worried that the action could be construed as being knee-jerkish, or too harsh on property owners….She asked a City Attorney if the Ordinance was ‘defensible’?

Assistant City Attorney Donna Wysong said she couldn’t answer such a question straight on, but said with property owners having the right to appeal that, yes, it is defensible(roll tape#3 o.q.�it is defensible�)

Council members also wanted to put in writing that those who appeal the 2 year rule will not have to pay for requesting.

There was also a discussion about whether adding a clause to the Ordinance about predicting if a grand tree might cause structural damage to a house within 1 year. But Steve Graham from the City’s Park & Rec Department disagreed with such a clause (roll tape#4 o.q.�muddies the water�)

But Councilmember Dingfelder said it was a good compromise,and should be added to the Ordinance. Councilmembers agreed to include the 5 year canopy study, with the first study taking place in 2006.

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