Tag Archives: City of Austin Heritage Tree Ordinance

Friday, August 27, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Environmental commissioners brush up on tree preservation 101

On Wednesday, the Environmental Commission revisited heritage tree ordinances, general preservation efforts going on around Austin and the rules for protecting and building around trees, with city arborist Naomi Rotramel and Community Tree Preservation Division Manager Keith Mars. Austin’s original…

Friday, July 9, 2021 by Elizabeth Pagano

City mistakes and heritage tree pave the way for East Austin variance

Unaware that it was prohibited by city code, Daniel Salazar carefully nestled his new home against his back property line. The project was approved by the city and the mistake was not identified until after the structure was built.  As…

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 by Sumaiya Malik, Reporting Texas

Environmental Commission recommends removal of two West Campus heritage trees

The Environmental Commission has recommended the conditional removal of two heritage trees from a property near UT Austin that is being developed as student housing. The 32-inch red oak, in “fair” condition, and a 25-inch pecan tree in poor condition…

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment debates request to sacrifice heritage tree or waterfront overlay

The Board of Adjustment exists to help residents achieve variances from the Land Development Code’s building regulations, but only if an applicant is willing to provide information and evidence of a valid hardship. Dan Coops, the owner of 71 Julius…

Monday, February 24, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Land use code to protect transit-oriented trees and increase canopy cover

A recent amendment to the draft Land Development Code could change how heritage tree preservation impacts new development on corridors. Council Member Paige Ellis offered a concept last week, the Supplemental Heritage Tree Preservation Program, that she said would help…

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

How heritage tree regulations change under new draft code

Transition zones have proved to be a divisive topic at City Hall during the ongoing discussions about the Land Development Code draft. These zones, which are meant to promote “missing middle” housing options and increase density, are raising eyebrows due…

Monday, October 14, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

At Robinson Ranch, the apple may fall far from the tree

When Apple Inc. announced its plans to build a $1 billion campus late last year, there was a wave of speculation about what the company’s expansion would mean for Austin in terms of traffic congestion and employment opportunities. However, there…

Friday, September 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission discusses how to make the Heritage Tree Ordinance even more tree-centric

Austin values its trees. According to the city arborist’s office, trees are a $16 billion asset to the community. In 1982, in an effort to better protect its trees, Austin implemented its inaugural tree ordinance, which was unique both then…

Monday, June 3, 2019 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Trees, fiber, petition

Heritage tree transplants see high success rates… Moving heritage trees within the city of Austin is no easy feat. It is, however, almost always successful. Out of the 20 transplant sites listed on the City Data Portal, all of the…

Monday, May 6, 2019 by Elizabeth Pagano

Planning commissioners strike heritage tree compromise

When it comes to preserving heritage trees, when should development take precedence? That was the question planning commissioners sought to answer at their most recent meeting, where developers of a property at 2111 Rio Grande St. were seeking variances to…

Friday, April 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Tree protection outweighs density concerns for Environmental Commission

There are only four reasons a heritage tree can be removed in the city of Austin: it must be dead, diseased, an imminent hazard, or prevent reasonable use of a property. Even if a tree meets one or more of…

Friday, March 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA grants boat dock variance, swayed by trees

After being denied a variance to reconstruct an existing dock to 44 feet instead of the code-compliant 30 feet, the case of 1515 Manana St. returned before the Board of Adjustment at its March 11 meeting. Based on a “substantial”…

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Alyx Wilson

Planning Commission approves the removal of a heritage tree downtown

The Planning Commission approved a rare heritage tree variance at a recent meeting. The commission only sees cases like this one, where people are looking to remove protected trees that exceed 30 inches in diameter, once a year or less.…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Tree removal permitting to change in October

Sometimes trees have the most powerful voices in our city. At the Sept. 5 meeting of the Environmental Commission, Max Elliott, who is a resident of the Govalle neighborhood, alerted the commission that recently a builder removed five heritage trees…

Monday, September 10, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Citing historical lessons, Environmental Commission opts for mitigation rather than preservation

It’s not often that a variance to remove heritage trees comes before the Environmental Commission. But when it does, the decision is no walk in the park. “Trees like this are one of the challenging cases for us,” City Arborist Keith…

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin can now access a database dedicated to the effects of development on trees

The City Arborist Program has just released a new, interactive tool where everyone has access to all active tree permits at any given time online. Not all trees are being tracked on this dashboard. The city arborist only reviews and protects…

Friday, July 28, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Dueling tree ordinance bills advance

The Texas House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation that would allow developers to get credit for planting trees to substitute for mitigation fees that cities might otherwise require from them when they remove trees from their property. House Bill…

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 by Mose Buchele, KUT

City of Austin welcomes Texas AG opinion on local tree rules

In Austin, and in about 60 other Texas cities, you need to get a permit before you cut down some large or historic trees. Opponents of those tree preservation rules – including Gov. Greg Abbott – call them a violation…

Thursday, December 3, 2015 by Jack Craver

ZAP encourages heritage trees, connectivity

Before the Zoning and Platting Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a setback waiver for a new subdivision between Peaceful Hill Lane and Shallot Way, Vice Chair Jackie Goodman took a moment to express gratitude to Matthew Mitchell of Alm…

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

Planning Commission OKs removal of one, maybe two, downtown heritage trees

At its recent meeting, the Planning Commission approved a variance that could save or destroy a downtown heritage live oak. The would-be developer of 504 East Eighth St. was seeking a variance to remove two heritage trees that have a…

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