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Meeting Summary 3/23/10

March 23, 2010

“Why is a banana not like a tree?”

That was perhaps the most entertaining piece of testimony this evening. The answer: all the value in a banana is contained inside the skin, while the value of a tree spreads all over the neighborhood.

The testimony tonight on the proposed tree plan split into two camps:

Majority – trees provide lots of value, let’s get more, this proposal is the path to that end

Minority – This is solution in search of a problem, my land, my trees, leave me alone

Of course, that’s a gross simplification, and folks did provide a great deal of detail on specific concerns and issues that need to be addressed. Staff will come back to the combined commissions (we met in joint session with the Forestry Commission and will again for the next hearing) on April 13th with suggestions on how to proceed. The public record remains open and in-person testimony will be accepted again on the 13th.

There is one undeniable fact – in the current budget climate, it is very unlikely that the additional staff projected to be needed to enforce the new code provisions could be funded. So it’s possible we’ll arrive at an interim step, perhaps consolidating the disparate code sections into a new title as suggested and maybe producing the new tree manual, but not ramp up some of the implementation items. We’ll see.

Stay tuned, there’s still a lot to be discussed…

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