considers Tree City USA program
The Village may join a national tree program to help promote the preservation
and stewardship of trees in Yellow Springs.
At its meeting Nov. 11, Village Planning Commission indicated that its
members could support the Villages participation in the Tree City
USA program, which is organized by the National Arbor Day Foundation and
the National Association of State Foresters. Plan board members agreed
to ask Village Council if it was interested in the program.
Council will discuss the program at its next meeting, Dec. 2.
Earlier this year Council asked plan board to review a proposal by an
ad hoc group, Tree Preservation Ordinance Subcommittee, to protect large
trees in town. The subcommittee was formed after two large Osage orange
trees were cut down last year in Kings Yard, and several local residents
lobbied Council to create a law to protect historic and heritage trees.
In October, Planning Commission chairman John Struewing recommended the
Village consider the Tree City USA program, which he said was similar
to the tree subcommittees proposal.
The tree subcommittee proposed the Village establish a tree review board
that would have the authority to review plans to cut down or remove all
trees in downtown Yellow Springs and trees with a diameter of more than
six inches that are located on Village and school property and in commercial
and light industrial zones and urban forests. The board would not have
the authority to review tree removals that occur on residential property.
To qualify as a Tree City community, the Village would have to establish
a tree board that would be responsible for the care and management of
the trees here. In addition, the Village would be required to approve
a tree ordinance that could, for example, provide clear guidance
for planting, maintaining and removing trees from streets, parks and other
The Village would also have to spend $2 per person on a tree program.
Village Manager Rob Hillard said the Village is already doing that.
Finally, the community would have to hold an Arbor Day celebration to
qualify for the program.
During the meeting, commission member Dawn Johnson said education is the
key to tree preservation. We can write ordinances until were
blue in the face, she said. Were looking to create a
culture that is appreciative of trees.
If we dont develop an appreciation for championship trees,
the axe will be out there, Johnson added.
* * *
In other Planning Commission business:
Plan board unanimously agreed to deny a request from Louis Green
and Associates to subdivide a 2.3-acre parcel owned by the Perry family
near the end of Green Street. The commission rejected the request because
the property is not located on a dedicated street. Commission members
said the request, however, might be allowed if it is pursued under the
Villages site plan review process.
Struewing, who has been representing the Village on the Springfield
airport zoning commission, reported that the group is studying the airports
zoning laws, which are likely to be revised. Struewing said the area around
Fairfield Pike and Polecat Road is in the airports approach area
and could be affected if the zoning laws are revised. For instance, he
said residents in the area might have to get an airport zoning permit
for remodeling or building a home.