Trees line 92nd Avenue Southeast on Mercer Island.There are new rules surrounding the removal of trees in critical areas, outside of a proposed construction or subdivision, on the Island. Ashley Hiruko/staff photo

Trees line 92nd Avenue Southeast on Mercer Island.There are new rules surrounding the removal of trees in critical areas, outside of a proposed construction or subdivision, on the Island. Ashley Hiruko/staff photo

Mercer Island’s new rules for tree retention in full effect

New criteria must be met before a tree is removed outside of development.

  • Sunday, August 11, 2019 1:30am
  • News

On July 29, Mercer Island’s updated Critical Areas Code took full effect, after a full year of updating. The rules are used to regulate development in wetlands, steep slopes, landslide hazard areas and buffers — with the intent of mitigating harm.

The state requires that the city update its Critical Areas Ordinance and Shoreline Master Plan periodically, ensuring the latest science is used, and that the rules don’t contradict current land use policies.

In the Critical Areas Code are new rules surrounding the removal of trees, outside of a proposed construction or subdivision.

According to the final and adopted version of the Critical Areas Code, when tree removal not associated with a development proposal happens outside of wetlands, and other critical areas, the trees that are removed should be replaced.

When tree removal not associated with a development proposal happens within wetlands and other critical areas, the new rules dictate that the tree must either be determined to be a hazard, documented to be diseased or the tree will enhance ecosystem functions and values, or promote slope stability.

Additionally, a restoration plan — one prepared by a qualified professional — must be submitted and contain: analysis demonstrating the ecological functions and values, a proposed removal of noxious weeds and removed trees “shown as made into snags at a safe height.”

For more information, go online to http://bit.ly/2KtCadc.

More in News

Photo courtesy of City of Mercer Island
                                A cougar was captured by security footage on Aug. 5.
WDFW: Mercer Island cougar sighting ‘not unheard of’

The animal has not been spotted since the initial report was made

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.
Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

The map shows ten areas of Mercer Island that require critical infrastructure and resources, should a natural disaster occur. Photo courtesy of the city of Mercer Island
Preparing for “the really big one” in a city surrounded by water

The Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan covers nearly 60 planning partners, including Mercer Island.

Photo courtesy of Juliana Kang Robinson
                                Juliana Kang Robinson’s public artwork, “Alone Together.”
MI artist completes Seattle public artwork

Juliana Kang Robinson designed the new artwalk intersection University and 1st Avenue near Harbor Steps and the Seattle Art Museum.

Dr. Richard Repass is the owner and medical director of Revolution Psychiatry. He has spent the last decade caring for patients who struggle with mental health illnesses and substance use disorders. Photo courtesy of Richard Repass
A new psychiatry clinic offers natural, alternative methods of detox various disorders

Revolution Psychiatry helps patients suffering with alcoholism or drug abuse, among other disorders.

The French American School of Puget Sound moved to Mercer Island in 1999 and took over the old fire station just north of the Stroum Jewish Community Center property. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Planning for the Community Facility Zone is paused after community expresses concern

Next steps for the zoning effort will be discussed on Aug. 20.

Mercer Island’s new rules for tree retention in full effect

New criteria must be met before a tree is removed outside of development.

Most Read