Letter--Burien does have tree ordinance that would apply to North Highline

In a final touch of levity, I would like to discuss the most recent articles about how the Burien City Manager went to the North Highline Unicorporated Council and told them once again that Burien has no tree pruning or cutting permits.

The White Center Now Blog quotes him as saying," Asked about claims that annexation would bring more bureaucracy to simple acts like cutting a tree at a person’s own home, another point annexation opponents have cited, Martin declared it “consummate b******t.”

Perhaps the City Manager is unaware that there is a tree pruning and cutting permit process in his city and so he claims it will not add another level of bureaucracy to the lives of the citizens in Area Y.

So here are some parts from that tree removal/pruning permit that Mike Martin/Burien City Manager claims doesn't exist. Enjoy reading this.

Just this permit process is a reason for voting against joining Burien. By the way, there is a permit fee for pruning and cutting the tree under this process.

Debi Wagner
Burien

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Significant Tree
Removal/Pruning
Handout
The City of Burien recognizes the significant role that the natural environment plays in creating a healthy and attractive community. Trees, landscaping and open space all contribute to a positive community image. Two sections of the Burien Municipal Code (BMC) apply to tree retention and removal. Section 19.25.120 contains requirements for retention of significant trees on vacant lots and section 19.40 applies to all properties containing a “critical area” (steep slope, seismic hazard area, erosion hazard area, stream or wetland). The following are frequently asked questions about tree retention in Burien.
General Questions
Q: WHAT IS A SIGNIFICANT TREE?
A: A significant tree is an existing healthy tree which, when measured four feet above grade, has a minimum diameter of 8 inches for evergreen trees, or 12 inches for deciduous trees. (BMC 19.10.493)
Q. HOW DO I SHOW THE LOCATION OF SIGNIFICANT TREES ON MY PLANS?
A. All significant trees on your property must be shown on your site plan. The accurate location of the trees, approximate size (in diameter) and tree species must be shown. The plan also needs to show which trees you’ll save and which trees you’ll remove. (BMC 19.25.130)
Q. HOW DO I PROTECT SIGNIFICANT TREES DURING CONSTRUCTION?
A. A temporary but immovable five-foot high chain link or plastic net fence must be installed around the “dripline,” or farthest extent of the tree’s branches, of all significant trees to be saved. Due to potential damage to the tree, no construction, fill, excavation or storage of construction materials is allowed inside of the dripline. (BMC 19.25.150)
Q. HOW DO I FIND AN ARBORIST?
A. You may contract with the City for use of the City’s consulting arborist, or you may hire your own arborist. A list of consulting arborists can be found at www.pnwisa.org.
Tree Retention in Critical Areas and their Buffers
Q. DO I NEED A PERMIT TO REMOVE OR PRUNE A TREE IN A CRITICAL AREA OR ITS BUFFER?
A. Yes. If your property contains a “critical area” (such as steep slopes, streams or wetlands), permits are required to remove or prune a tree in a critical area or its buffer. (Right-of-way permits are required to remove or prune any tree located in the right-of-way.) To remove a tree, you will need to submit a vegetation management plan and permit application to the Department of Community Development for review. We recommend contracting with a certified arborist or experienced tree service when pruning trees to ensure the tree’s long-term health.
Q. DO I NEED A PERMIT TO ALTER THE VEGETATION IN A CRITICAL AREA OR ITS BUFFER (e.g. REMOVE GROUND COVER, PRUNE OR REMOVE TREES OR SHRUBS)?
A. Generally, yes. Significant alterations that may affect the critical area require permits. Please contact a planner for additional questions.
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Q. CAN I REMOVE DEAD, DISEASED OR DANGEROUS TREES?
A. Yes, a permit and vegetation management plan are required to remove a dead, diseased, or dangerous tree(s). The City requires a report from a qualified professional attesting to the health of the tree.
Q. WHAT IS A VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLAN?
A. A vegetation management plan identifies the proposed clearing limits for the project and any areas where vegetation in a critical area or its buffer is proposed to be disturbed. The plan should describe the methods of any work to be completed. The plan should also address any alternative methods of attaining your goal and explain how the proposed activity will not be detrimental to surrounding properties and to the functions and values of the associated critical area.

Tree Retention in Non-Critical Areas
Q. DO I NEED A PERMIT TO REMOVE A SIGNIFICANT TREE IN A NON-CRITICAL AREA?
A. For undeveloped/vacant lots tree removal is not permitted until time of development. When developing your lot, you will need to submit a tree retention site plan to the Department of Community Development for review (see attached sample site plan).
For developed, private lots tree removal and pruning are allowed without a permit.
For removal and pruning of ANY trees in the right-of-way, a right-of-way permit is required.
Q: HOW MANY SIGNIFICANT TREES DO I NEED TO SAVE WHEN DEVELOPING MY PROPERTY?
A: The amount of trees required to be retained depends on the type of development and the zoning of neighboring properties (BMC 19.25.120).
Q. WHAT IF I CAN’T SAVE ALL OF THE TREES I AM REQUIRED TO SAVE?
A. You may plant new trees to compensate for the removal of significant trees (BMC 19.25.160). Replacement trees also must be shown on the site plan. Please discuss these requirements with a planner at (206) 241-4647.
Q. WHAT IS A TREE RETENTION PLAN?
A. A tree retention plan identifies the location, size and species of all significant trees on the site, and shows which significant trees are proposed to be retained, transplanted or restored. The plan should also include a description of how the work is to be completed. There is a fee for review of this plan.
Tree Retention in Non-Critical Areas
Q. DO I NEED A PERMIT TO REMOVE A SIGNIFICANT TREE IN A NON-CRITICAL AREA?
A. For undeveloped/vacant lots tree removal is not permitted until time of development. When developing your lot, you will need to submit a tree retention site plan to the Department of Community Development for review (see attached sample site plan).
For developed, private lots tree removal and pruning are allowed without a permit.
For removal and pruning of ANY trees in the right-of-way, a right-of-way permit is required.
Q: HOW MANY SIGNIFICANT TREES DO I NEED TO SAVE WHEN DEVELOPING MY PROPERTY?
A: The amount of trees required to be retained depends on the type of development and the zoning of neighboring properties (BMC 19.25.120).
Q. WHAT IF I CAN’T SAVE ALL OF THE TREES I AM REQUIRED TO SAVE?
A. You may plant new trees to compensate for the removal of significant trees (BMC 19.25.160). Replacement trees also must be shown on the site plan. Please discuss these requirements with a planner at (206) 241-4647.
Q. WHAT IS A TREE RETENTION PLAN?
A. A tree retention plan identifies the location, size and species of all significant trees on the site, and shows which significant trees are proposed to be retained, transplanted or restored. The plan should also include a description of how the work is to be completed. There is a fee for review of this plan.

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