Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Tree DCP Revised yet again - Canopy Targets looking unachievable

Booth Street Annandale the day after a weekend of storms

The Labor/Liberal alliance combined at last night's council meeting (See Agenda and minutes of 1 Feb 2020) to adopt a Developer driven Tree DCP that contradicts State Law and encourages the desemation of the Inner West Urban Forest.

Unconfirmed Minutes (as at 14 Feb 2020)

 C0220(1) Item 1  Tree Management DCP
Motion: (Byrne/Macri)

THAT Council:

1.    Adopt Version 3 of the Tree DCP, as publicly exhibited, with the following amendments:

a)    That that there be no height limit on “Weeds Species” which can be replaced; and

b)    That Kaffir Plum, Bunya Bunya Pine, Norfolk Island Pine and Hoop Pine be included.

2.    Review the policy after 12 months of implementation and the review be reported to Council;

3.    Prepare guidelines and a process to ensure that tree replacement requirements are explained to the community, is monitored by Council and validated by Council;

4.    When mandatory provisions for replacement of a tree based on distance from a dwelling house or garage have been met, officers may not refuse the issuing of a permit; and

5.    The application assessment criteria for complying development be re-instated as per tree DCP version 1 to be consistent with the relevant SEPP.

Motion Carried
For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Raciti, Stamolis and York
Against Motion:          Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Kiat, Lockie, Porteous and Steer

Amendment (Stamolis/Kiat)
THAT: 
1.    The proposal to permit ‘selective pruning to a 3m clearance above the roof’ requires the branch diameter to be a limit of 150mm; and
Motion Lost
For Motion:                 Crs Hesse, Kiat, Lockie, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer
Against Motion:          Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Raciti and York;

2.    The application assessment criteria for complying development be re-instated as per tree DCP version 1 to be consistent with the relevant SEPP.

Motion Carried
For Motion:                 Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Kiat, Lockie, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer
Against Motion:          Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, Passas, Raciti and York

As this amendment was carried, it was incorporated into the primary motion.

Minutes Council Meeting 11 Feb 2020: https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2020/02/C_11022020_MIN_3743_WEB.htm

The Inner West Urban Canopy is under 20%. The Greater Sydney Commission has set a target of 40%.

It was confirmed at the meeting, that parts of the DCP were in contradiction of a State Planning Instrument for complying development - see amendment above.

A long list of trees can be removed as exempt species, without any requirement to replace.

A distance exemption of 2m and and a height exemption of 6metres will also see trees removed with no requirement for replacement

If we are going to rely on public land for our tree canopy we need much more land and a $1600 get out of jail free will not secure the land needed to plant trees.

Reiterating why we need trees:
1. To turn Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen
2. To filter out air pollution such as from the recent bushfires
3. To provide Shade
4, As a wind and sound break
5. Trees also cool the air and stabilise the soil
6. Habitat for wildlife

The Greater Sydney Commission says "As Greater Sydney grows and urban areas become denser, extending urban tree canopy is one of the most effective ways to improve amenity. A target has been set to increase tree canopy cover to 40 per cent, up from the current 23 per cent. Urban tree canopy can be complemented by green ground cover, rain gardens, green roofs and green walls.
Challenges to extending urban tree canopy include the lack of sufficient space within existing street corridors, and the competition for space with other forms of infrastructure both above and below the ground. Opportunities to relocate powerlines underground or bundle them may be explored at a local or precinct scale, particularly in areas experiencing urban renewal, to provide space for the urban tree canopy and enhance the public domain."
https://www.greater.sydney/metropolis-of-three-cities/sustainability/city-its-landscape/urban-tree-canopy-cover-increased

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