Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollectionsTrees

Community Commentary:

Council needs to answer simple questions

December 19, 2007|By John Wolff

During the last few months, large amounts of Glendale city government resources have been spent in trying to understand and deal with the deeply flawed, poorly crafted and little understood Indigenous Tree Ordinance (“City to tweak tree law, again,” Monday). This much-criticized ordinance has been an embarrassment to all levels of city government, the City Council in particular, and Glendale as a whole.

Our councilmen have indicated that they (and staff members) will spend more time and effort on Tuesday tinkering and tuning the ordinance to try to fix it. Maybe more basic questions have to be asked and answered first, before they once again sail down the path of “perfecting” this questionable, feel-good concept.

Is this ordinance really needed in the first place? If so, does it need to apply to all private property in Glendale, and why? Some folks support this ordinance because it is a handy tool that places additional obstacles in the path of certain home improvement projects, even though there are numerous other ordinances that address development restrictions. Others, no doubt, genuinely think the protected trees are truly sacred and rare and are willing to trample private property rights to protect them. We now see great efforts of creativity on display as the City Council attempts to ponder sophisticated fixes, such as: fine thresholds that would trigger more bureaucratic review, more expenditures on educating the public, assessing the intent and mind set of property owners that violate these trees, etc.

Advertisement

There is an important unintended consequence of the ordinance: The fines encourage people to rip out any newly discovered young protected trees they find on their property to avoid future trouble with the city and to avoid problems of disclosure when selling their home some day.

I am sure that this is not what anyone had in mind with this ordinance and is the opposite of what the ordinance purports to accomplish. It makes the “protected” trees special targets for removal by property owners instead of preserving them.

Regardless, if the City Council is bound and determined to tinker with this issue, then how about considering some of the following questions:

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles
|
|
|