Brookhaven, GA, July 11 – Brookhaven resident, Sandy Murray offers a perspective on Brookhaven’s Tree Ordinance in the following Letter to the Editor.
From Mrs. Murray: At the Brookhaven City Council Meeting Tuesday, July 8, I requested a moratorium on tree cutting until the new tree protection ordinance is approved by the City Council. At the end of the meeting Rebecca Chase Williams, Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilperson for District 1 asked City Manager Marie Garret her thoughts on allowing a moratorium.
Is that one tree, is that ten trees, is that a tree of three inch caliper or more, how is that measured, or where is it a specimen tree are we looking at hardwoods or pines…I think we need to have some specificity on what we’re saying,” said Garrett.
So let’s not do anything???
I don’t see why we can’t stop tree cutting for a few weeks while we review the new tree protection ordinance. We could just not issue any permits to clear lots until after the new ordinance is approved, which according to your schedule is less than a month. The developers will not be greatly harmed if they don’t have permits already. Currently our tree protection ordinance has high ideals at the beginning, but really allows developers to cut pretty much everything on a lot if they retain enough trees around the edges according to Kay Evanovich. I am concerned that we are going to end up with the same thing in the new ordinance.
And to think that our own city government is not enforcing the existing ordinance is unsatisfactory. The word I hear from realtors is that developers are bragging that anything goes in Brookhaven. Is that the way we want to be – what developers want? Or do we want to be what our citizens and taxpayers want? You get to decide.
I repeat that one of our highest goals in our proposed community plan for 2034 is to protect the community we are, not the one that outsiders want to make us, and tree canopy was #2 on that list.
I am disappointed that I have not been able to get a copy of the draft of the proposed ordinance in advance of next Tuesday’s meeting, but I do look forward to attending and hearing the discussion at the work session next Tuesday.