As reported last month, the City Council has been considering legislation I introduced to arrest and reverse tree loss in New Rochelle. I am pleased to report that the Council adopted this legislation unanimously last night. Our new law requires permits for the removal of trees greater than eight inches in width from privately owned parcels of one acre or more, from undeveloped parcels of any size, and from properties that are the subject of site plan or subdivision approvals. Applicants who remove trees will be required to plant new trees equal in their aggregate width to the trees lost. In the event that new tree plantings are not practical, applicants will instead be required to contribute to a tree replacement fund that the City will utilize to introduce new street trees. Companion legislation requires the planting of trees in conjunction with the expansion of impervious surfaces – again with an option for contribution to the public tree replacement fund. While most homeowners will not be affected by this law, it will have an impact on larger developments and will also greatly enhance the Citys capacity to preserve the gracious, shaded, tree-lined streets that add so much to our communitys character.
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