Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Climate change concerns may outweigh conservative Takoma Park tree canopy protections, Male argues

Takoma Park Councilmember Tim Male is urging his colleagues to reconsider the city's current tree code. At Monday night's Mayor and Council meeting, Male said the city should become more proactive in addressing climate change, and that reducing current tree canopy standards in the city would facilitate that.

Specifically, Male argued that the city's current rules pose an obstacle to greater implementation of solar panels by residents. The tall tree canopy that large parts of Takoma Park's residential neighborhoods are known for may not be a viable policy for our time, Male suggested. Each decade and time has its own priorities, he noted. Having an aggressive replacement of removed trees with species that grow to only 30-40' would assure trees remain plentiful, while allowing more use of solar panels, Male argued.

The future of energy will be micro grids and solar, Male said, while the idea of 80' trees in residential areas may have lost its relevancy. He said that when the original owners bought houses in Takoma Park in the 1920s, these 80' trees were not there. Referring to Takoma Park residents who say they sleep in their basements during storm-related wind gusts, Male said 80' trees may be a safety issue for  the city as well.

Overall, the city should consider reviewing its tree policy with climate change issues in mind, Male suggested.

Photo courtesy City of Takoma Park

No comments:

Post a Comment