The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen recently delayed consideration of legislation that would add new provisions regarding the treatment and landscaping of trees in city subdivisions.
The board needs to elaborate on the Advisory Tree Board Committee and its purpose prior to consideration of any amendments to Appendix A-Subdivision Regulations regarding tree treatment, Ward 3 Alderman Jan Hoffmann explained to aldermen June 8, adding that City Attorney Robert C. Jones agreed with the notion.
"The trees are definitely an asset," Advisory Tree Board Committee Chairman Bruce Vawter told aldermen during their June 8 meeting.
"A lot of people live here because it is a wooded city. They create an environment that reduces stress. They also provide cooling and reduce (water) runoff, but a lot of time they are generally what get wiped out with developers."
During the early June session, Ward 1 Alderman Mike Sawacki asked what was wrong with the current system of the Advisory Tree Board Committee.
While the committee has no requirements that mandate developers to keep trees, he explained that he understood the city had a say in the matter.
"What the tree board has acted on so far has been upheld but it's basically been followed so that developers can gain approval for their landscapes," Vawter answered. "While our guidelines are followed by developers willing to do so, we have no real way to make sure it is enforced."
Ward 2 Alderman John Smith said ultimately he would like to see the committee become better interfaced with the Board of Aldermen and Planning and Zoning.
It was suggested that a meeting be set up in the near future so that the Advisory Tree Board Committee could be further reviewed and redefined.
Mayor Jim Hobbs agreed and the issue was tabled.
"I think the tree board has been effective thus far," Hobbs said. "It appears that they don't have as much teeth to enforce as they would like. We fully intend to meet and figure out what direction the Tree Board should take."