The City Council approved a residential tree protection and replacement ordinance on October 24, 2022, which implemented requirements for tree replacement on single-family residential lots with construction activities.
Prior to this approved amendment, there was no existing ordinance to regulate tree removal and replacement on existing single-family residential lots. Tree conservation requirements for newly platted lots as part of a subdivision application allowed up to 85% tree removal without replacement.
The new ordinance applies to single-family residential lots with construction activities, including new subdivisions, new homes, or an increase in impervious surface area by 50% or more on existing lots. This ordinance does not apply to existing single-family lots that do not fall within these categories.
Overview of Tree Removal and Replacement Requirements
- A Tree Protection and Replacement Plan must be filed with any demolition permit, permit for new single-family home, land disturbance permit or site improvement permit.
- The new ordinance requires 50% of existing trees that are (1) in fair or better condition and (2) at least 6-inches in diameter are to be retained.
- For every one tree removed beyond the 50% minimum, a replacement tree must be planted. For every one tree removed beyond the 50% minimum that is greater than 20 inches in diameter, two replacement trees must be planted.
- If replacement trees cannot be planted due to site constraints, the applicant may instead make a payment to the City Forestry fund.
- Trees removed within one year prior to the permit application must be documented in the submitted Tree Protection and Replacement Plan.
- Hazardous, dead or invasive trees may be removed without replacement.
For more information, contact the Department of Community Development at 314-872-2501.