‘We can create positive change’ in protecting natural resources | Letter to the Editor
January 11, 2013 · 10:54 AM
Thank you for the recent invitation to become part of expanded discussions on your editorial pages. The Redmond Reporter’s print and online publications are an important community resource for sharing views on “issues of the day.”
Just over a year ago, a controversy arose in Redmond regarding preservation of over 1,000 trees in Overlake. Much of the discussion centered on the manner by which the public was informed about plans to remove significant and landmark trees and the administrative exceptions to city tree protection regulations that would enable cutting 100 percent of the trees on a given property. In the process, many ecological and community benefits of mature urban trees were emphasized by speakers in public testimony to Redmond’s City Council.
In trying to learn from that experience, Sustainable Redmond submitted proposed amendments to Redmond’s Comprehensive Plan last April. Those proposals are now coming before the Planning Commission for review as they make their way to the City Council for consideration. The amendments seek to improve public notice processes, enhance opportunities for public engagement and promote a better understanding of the process by which tree exceptions are granted. (Exceptions are currently granted behind closed doors by a Technical Committee.) The Comprehensive Plan amendments also seek to retain some mature trees in urban centers when possible rather than have them replaced by smaller specimens with lesser ecological value.
Your support of these amendments is encouraged so we can create positive change and move beyond the status quo in protecting natural resources in our community.
(A public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Redmond City Hall.)
Tom Hinman, Sustainable Redmond board member