Permit may be required in Seattle to cut down trees

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 7:47 PM

SEATTLE -- A group studying how to keep trees in Seattle recommends requiring permits to cut them down on private property. 

The Seattle Urban Tree Commission wants to change Seattle's tree cutting rules.

"As we are shifting to a greener world people are starting to realize trees make sense," says commission member Matt Mega.

Currently, a property owner can cut down a tree without a permit. There are some restrictions on the number, size and kind of trees that can be cut on private property. The Commission's proposal would increase the number of trees that would require permitting.

Martin MacAuley, with Blooma Tree Experts says, "it would be terrible if we had to go through every tree on a property. If they made it harder than it is now it would be an onerous task." 

MacAuley is currently getting permits for a North Seattle homeowner with two problem trees on the property. MacAuley says the permitting process has been costly and taken two months.

The proposal is similar to an idea that died last year. The Seattle City Council tabled it, deciding if it were law, property owners would still shy away from getting a permit.

The Seattle Urban Tree Commission will discuss it's proposal on Wednesday, before sending it to the Mayor and City Council for debate.

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