The Purpose section establishes the goals of the ordinance. In this case, the general statement and the first six specific purposes were originated with the original 1986 Chapter 51 landscape ordinance. Only the specific purpose number seven was added in 1994 with the introduction of the 'tree preservation' code.
The process of development with its alteration of the natural topography, vegetation, and creation of impervious cover can have a negative effect on the ecological balance of an area by causing increases in air temperatures and accelerating the processes of runoff, erosion, and sedimentation. The economic base of the city can and should be protected through the preservation and enhancement of the unique natural beauty, environment, and vegetative space in this area. Recognizing that the general objectives of this article are to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the city council further declares that this article is adopted for the following specific purposes:
(1) To aid in stabilizing the environment's ecological balance by contributing to the processes of air purification, oxygen regeneration, ground-water recharge, and storm water runoff retardation, while at the same time aiding in noise, glare, wind, and heat abatement.
(2) To provide visual buffering between land uses of differing character to alleviate the harshness of urban life.
(3) To enhance the beautification of the city.
(4) To safeguard and enhance property values and to protect public and private investment.
(5) To conserve energy.
(6) To provide habitat for wildlife.
(7) To encourage the preservation of large trees which, once removed, can be replaced only after generations. (Ord. Nos. 19455; 22053)
- Revise the Purpose Statement to include managing the urban forest for the conservation of all natural resources, recognize trees and the urban forest as part of the city’s natural infrastructure, promote the understanding of a responsible land use ethic, and to enhance the quality of life for future generations.
- Discussion: The proposed additions suggested by UFAC were introduced for very specific reasons and with specific language. The city ordinance does not currently 'preserve' any tree since all trees are subject to removal with the proper permits - even in protected escarpment and floodplain. Preservation can only occur if the city were to impose complete restrictions on particular trees. Currently, it is more appropriate to speak of the 'conservation' of trees which, ultimately, can be an important positive goal for a growing municipality. The urban forest is also growing and, more importantly, aging. A city that cannot properly assess its resources cannot properly manage them. The trees, and the forest around them, are a vital part of the infrastructure of the living city for the reasons already stated in the purposes. One of the management goals that would logically follow is to educate, train, and inform the citizens of their vital roles of being good land stewards. Instilling in them a land ethic is important in the overall strategy of maintaining our urban forest. In working together to protect our investments and the livability of the city, the overall quality of life of the entire community is better protected and enhanced.