Fiske pushes tougher tree ordinance

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says she thinks Evanston should revise its tree preservation ordinance.

The existing ordinance is only a paragraph long and calls for preserving trees affected by construction projects whenever possible, and if not that healthy ones should be relocated on the construction site.

Fiske had much lengthier ordinances from Bannockburn and Deerfield — running 14 and 16 pages respectively — distributed to aldermen at Tuesday’s Human Services Committee meeting.

She suggested that  now, when not much development is happening in town, would be a good time to beef up the ordinance.

"Perhaps we haven’t done as good a job as we could to protect the natural resources of our trees," Fiske said.

She suggested that developers should be required to replant trees and reimburse the city for the loss of tree cover on development sites.

But Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, said she had questions about a new tree ordinance much the same as she had with proposed regulations of chickens in the city.

"What will it mean for staff time?" Grover asked. "And as a practical matter, how many permits for tree removal might have to be issued?"

The committee members took no action on the proposal but agreed to discuss it further at their next meeting on Monday, Oct. 4.

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