Equally important: Keep the trees we already have. The city of Seattle is not enforcing its tree-protection ordinance that requires developers to replace (on-site or off) all large or exceptional trees they remove. The Department of Construction and Inspections makes no mention of this ordinance in its instructions to developers. The city has no database inventorying existing trees or tracking tree removal and replacement.
According to the Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle has lost 1,200 acres of canopy cover to development since 2009. In my neighborhood, high-density housing developers scrape lots bare. They build units that abut sidewalks and property lines, leaving scant room for greenery of any kind, much less trees of significant size. My street has been upzoned to allow similar development. I have 24 trees on my property. Many mature trees surround the homes of my upzoned neighbors. If we sell to property developers whose offers are filling our mailboxes, those trees will vanish.
The Emerald City is losing its green — except the green going into developers’ pockets.
Melinda Mueller, Seattle