Letter to the Editor: Tree Protection Ordinance

Open Letter: Tree Protection Ordinance Needed for Private Property in Santa Monica 

Thank’s much to all you tree loving people for your concern and love of trees and our Urban Forest!
Many people in Santa Monica are now advocating for a tree protection ordinance that would protect trees on private property.
Other cities such as Pasadena have positive ordinances in place, so while shaping an ordinance to our own local needs, we could get input and advice from other municipalities.
The issue was briefly discussed in 2010 by members of the newly-formed Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force.
But the issue of trees on private property was tabled because there was so much work to be done to formulate policies for trees on public property.
The Urban Forest Task Force with Chair Grace Phillips and other dedicated Task Force members along with our City Urban Forester Matthew Wells have been doing very good work.
It now appears the issue of trees on private property is ready to be “un-tabled”.
As the City of Santa Monica prepares for the important discussion and debate needed to formulate such a timely and needed ordinance, let’s work in a cooperative way to make it happen.
Of course it should be a strong ordinance but also a fair ordinance.
Such an ordinance could benefit developers, homeowners, renters, businesses, our entire community…. and, of course, the trees!
It could provide a positive and predictable approach to planning.
Along with our Urban Forest Task Force, it might be very positive if other Santa Monica commissions and boards enhance the process by putting on their agenda this topic as a discussion item.
Other boards and commissions might include the Planning Commission, Landmarks Commission, Architectural Review Board, Recreation and Parks Commission, and Environmental Task Force.
It has often been stated in Santa Monica City Forestry documents that next to our people our trees are our most important resource.
Again, TREE-MENDOUS thanks to everyone who has been involved over the years for your concern, support, dedication, love and active participation!
Peace and gratitude,
Jerry and Marissa Rubin
Tree Hugging Friends