Posts Tagged ‘Decatur tree ordinance’

An update process for Decatur’s tree regulations has been underway since this past fall.  The second round of revisions is being considered for adoption by the City Commission on May 19 at 7:30pm, Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St. The purpose to of the update is to modernize the existing ordinance which was developed in 1988, and encourage the conservation of existing tree canopy. Regulation of tree cover is one of several approaches being used by the city to manage the community forest.  The Decatur Tree Conservation Ordinance will provide minimum requirements for the protection, maintenance and renewal of trees.


  • Update process started – October 2013
  • Public input meeting – December 11, 2013
  • First draft tabled by City Commission for further review –  January 21, 2014
  • City Commission Work Session to discuss revisions – March 3, 2014
  • Second draft released – April 8, 2014
  • City Commission Work Session on second draft – May 5, 2014
  • City Commission consideration for adoption – May 19, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Decatur City Hall

What are the impacts on residents?

Under the revised draft, owners may remove up to 3 protected trees every 18 months. Homeowners will be required to fill out a free, informational permit which will allow the City to track tree canopy. A protected tree is defined as having a 6 inches or greater diameter at breast height.  If protected tree removal is part of a project that requires a land development permit or is the 4th or greater protected tree removal within 18 months, then the owner must document the existing tree canopy cover and maintain the same amount of tree canopy once the project is complete. For example, if a property has 40% tree canopy cover and the owner decides to build an addition that will cause the removal of a 12” tree with 600 square feet of tree canopy, then the owner will have to plant  600 square feet of new tree canopy cover.

Comments can still be submitted using the DecaturNext website

UPDATED Ordinance Materials (as presented on May 5, 2014):

Ordinance Materials (as presented on January 21, 2014):

Tree Fact Sheets:

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