ORDINANCE NO. 673
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF UNIVERSITY PLACE, WASHINGTON, AMENDING TITLE 19 CHAPTER 19.65 LANDSCAPING/TREES OF THE UNIVERSITY PLACE MUNICIPAL CODE PERTAINING TO PURPOSE, ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES, DEFINITIONS, EXEMPTIONS, MAINTENANCE, URBAN FOREST MANAGEMENT, TREE RETENTION, REMOVAL IN SUBDIVISIONS, TREE REPLACEMENT, TREE MAINTENANCE AND PRUNING, AND OTHER RELATED PROVISIONS
WHEREAS, in enacting the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW, hereafter GMA) the Legislature found that "uncoordinated and unplanned growth, together with a lack of common goals expressing the public's interest in the conservation and the wise use of our lands, pose a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development, and the health, safety, and high quality of life enjoyed by residents of this state"; and
WHEREAS, the GMA requires that local governments meeting certain criteria, including the City of University Place, adopt development regulations to guide development subject to state regulations, multi-county and countywide planning policies, and comprehensive plan goals and policies; and
WHEREAS, the City Council established and appointed the Planning Commission to advise the City Council on the following topics: growth management; general land use and transportation planning; long range capital improvement plans; and other matters as directed by the City Council; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Commission is charged with holding hearings on and preparing development regulations for the City and making recommendations to the City Council on amendments to these regulations; and
WHEREAS, on August 20, 2012, the Council requested the Planning Commission review existing tree preservation regulations and adopted Resolution No. 698, which directed the Commission to recommend language to clarify existing provisions regarding the number of trees that property owners are allowed to cut down in a three-year period and staff’s availability to consult on the determination of what constitutes a dangerous or hazardous tree; and
WHEREAS, on September 23, 2015, the City submitted a set of draft amendments to the Department of Commerce to initiate the mandatory 60-day state agency review period; and
WHEREAS, the state agency review period ended on November 22,, 2015 and no agency comments were received; and
WHEREAS, the City issued a SEPA Determination of Non-significance on September 23, 2015 with a 14-day comment period ending October 6, 2015, and no adverse comments were received; and
WHEREAS, the City published a Notice of Public Hearing in the Tacoma News Tribune on September 23, 2015 regarding an October 7, 2015 Planning Commission public hearing to be held on the draft code amendments; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on October 7, 2015 to consider written and oral public comments on the draft amendments, considered the approval criteria listed in UPMC 19.90.030, and voted unanimously to recommend to the City Council approval of the draft amendments; and
WHEREAS, the City Council conducted a public review of the recommended amendments at meetings held on January 19, 2016, April 4, 2016, June 20, 2016, July 5, 2016 and August 15, 2016; and
WHEREAS, the City Council has considered the approval criteria listed in UPMC 19.90.030 and adopted the following findings in support of the amendments:
1. The proposed tree retention amendments reflect, and respond to, changes that have occurred in University Place since incorporation in 1995. The amendments will ensure consistency with University Place Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives and policies, including the following:
Promote the planning, management and preservation of a safe and healthy urban forest that reflects community character goals by establishing effective programs, practices, landscaping standards, and guidelines.
Encourage the use of native, drought-tolerant plants to provide for an attractive urban setting; support the urban citywide tree canopy and wildlife; buffer the visual impacts of development; help reduce storm water runoff; and, contribute to the planting, maintenance, and preservation of a stable and sustainable urban forest. Require landscaping with a drought-tolerant native plant component (trees, shrubs and groundcovers) to be installed when development activities, including new construction and substantial alterations of existing structures, parking areas, streets and sidewalks, take place.
Ensure that City landscaping standards and guidelines promote plant retention, selection, installation and maintenance. These standards are intended to maintain existing trees when practicable, more effectively ensure that plants survive and thrive, minimize conflicts with infrastructure, and in some cases provide a substantial visual screen or buffer. The City should periodically review the effectiveness of its landscaping and tree retention requirements and amend them as necessary to ensure they will achieve desired urban forest goals and objectives.
Protect and improve the essential livability of the urban environment.
TREES AND LANDSCAPING
Protect and enhance the natural green and wooded character of University Place. Retain an abundance of mature trees and a healthy understory to maintain community identity and contribute to a healthy environment by cleaning the air, producing oxygen, reducing surface water run-off, providing wildlife habitat, absorbing sound and masking noise, and reducing energy costs through shading and windbreak functions.
Encourage preservation of significant trees and planting of new trees in locations that allow normal growth patterns, support energy conservation and complement view access, light, privacy and safety needs. Plant deciduous trees where summer shade, winter solar gain, and seasonal change will be beneficial or desired. Plant evergreen trees where year-around beauty, visual screening and noise buffering are desired. Require street trees along all new and substantially modified arterial, collector and local streets.
Require tree surveys for new developments to identify healthy significant trees that should be preserved. Focus tree retention on the perimeter of a development site where building setbacks already preclude construction while also preserving significant trees in the interior of a site. Protect trees designated for preservation from development impacts. Require replacement trees if the requisite number of trees cannot be preserved.
2. The proposed amendments are in the best interest of the citizens and property owners of the City as the amended regulations will more carefully direct growth and manage change in the community with respect to tree retention in a manner consistent with community aspirations;
3. The proposed amendments enhance the public health, safety, comfort, convenience or general welfare by refining tree retention regulations that will more effectively implement Comprehensive Plan objectives and directives supported by the community;
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF UNIVERSITY PLACE, WASHINGTON, DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. University Place Municipal Code Title 19 Zoning Amendments Adopted. The City of University Place Municipal Code is hereby amended as indicated in Exhibit “A” attached.
Section 2. Severability. If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Title shall be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Title.
Section 3. Publication and Effective Date. A summary of this ordinance, consisting of its title, shall be published in the official newspaper of the City. This ordinance shall be effective five (5) days after its publication.
PASSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL ON AUGUST 15, 2016.
Javier H. Figueroa, Mayor
Emelita Genetia, City Clerk
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
Steve Victor, City Attorney
Effective Date: 08/22/16