The Tree Protection Ordinance (TPO) in Atlanta was originally enacted in 2001. A goal of the UEI project was to revise the current TPO to get to a more satisfactory way to regulate removal, protection and planting of trees.
The City of Atlanta launched an urban ecology study to locate and evaluate the City’s natural environs, including forests and tree canopy. This study, performed by Biohabitats, Inc., resulted in creating the “Urban Ecology Framework” (UEI) that identified what natural features are unique to the City of Atlanta, how ecosystems or habitats can be protected and restored, and which policies promote development aligned with those features and natural systems.
Urban Canopy Works joined the Biohabitats team, along with American Forests, to help evaluate and revise the Atlanta's TPO.
Urban Canopy Works joined the Biohabitats team, along with American Forests, to help evaluate and revise the City’s TPO.
Services provided included:
Assistance developing an ordinance framework, based on UEI findings and recommendations, with concepts, issues, and options to be addressed.
Present and review the draft ordinance framework with City planning staff and various Advisory Committees.
Revise the ordinance/framework accordingly per initial consensus.
Perform research into TPO best management practices, current industry standards, and peer cities.
Prepare for and attend public meetings to discuss proposed ordinance revisions and provisions, and to help lead, answer questions, and interact with the attendees.
Prepare the Final Draft of the TPO
Three important principles helped drive the tree protection ordinance revision process:
Specificity. Not all trees can be treated the same, because they aren’t the same.
Simplicity. Rules must be clear, the process must be open, transparent, and flexible enough to meet the needs of different types of owners.
Equity. The benefits of urban trees flow to the city as a whole, as well as individual neighborhoods and property owners.
The final draft for this unique, forward-thinking, and holistic tree protection ordinance was completed by the consultant team and delivered to the City for further review, discussion, and ultimate adoption.