Portland, OR Tree Regulatory Project

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Portland, OR, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Initiated in 2004

Source File: http://www.portlandonline.com/planning/index.cfm?c=46921&a=188128


Tree Regulatory Project Background
The Tree Regulatory Improvement Project is one of a broad list of directives outlined in the Urban Forestry Management Plan and Action Strategy. The project is a multi-bureau effort to review the current system of regulations, and address complexities, gaps, and inconsistencies through a comprehensive update and refinement of several titles of the city code.

The Portland Urban Forestry Management Plan (UFMP) was issued in 2004. This plan provides direction for the maintenance and improvement of Portland's urban forest and makes recommendations to enhance and improve this valuable resource. In 2006, an inter-bureau committee was formed to ensure that the goals and recommendations of the 2004 plan were actualized. The committee generated desired outcomes and actions to serve the goals outlined in the UFMP. The actions of the plan were assigned priority and timelines for completion based on their need, available funding and resources. The proposed Urban Forest Action Plan was accepted by City Council on March 14, 2007.

The Tree Regulatory Improvement Project is a major component of achieving Goal 1 of the UFMP;

  • Goal 1 is to "Protect, Preserve, Restore, and Expand Portland's Urban Forest."
  • Outcome A under this goal seeks to optimize the urban forest canopy.
  • Outcome B stipulates that the city will have "a comprehensive, consistent, and clear regulatory program for trees."
  • Outcome C calls for enhancing the urban forest "through development and redevelopment".

While the Tree Regulatory Improvement Project was anticipated to be completed within a 5-year period, citizens and neighborhood groups urged a more immediate solution. Council approved the first year of the two-year project funding in Fiscal Year 2007-08. Council directed the Bureau of Planning to lead the project in close collaboration with the Bureau of Development Services, Portland Parks and Recreation, and Bureau of Environmental Services.

This project reaches across City bureaus and into the community to ensure that an effective and consistent set of regulations will result. Moreover, the project acknowledges that not all the solutions rely on regulatory tools. Other solutions will be considered including programmatic incentives, administrative restructuring, procedural streamlining and educational outreach, among others. These solution options will be presented in a package for review and will be posted in the Documents section once they have been drafted.