Exterior of Kirkland City Hall. Blake Peterson/staff photo

Exterior of Kirkland City Hall. Blake Peterson/staff photo

Kirkland council discusses city’s tree code

The current tree code allows for any sized property to remove two trees over the course of 12 months.

Issues on the removal of landmark trees under the KZC 95 Code arose at Kirkland City Council meeting on Feb. 4.

The planning commission’s original proposal stated that landmark trees, which are defined by their large size and old age, can only be removed once every 24 months if deemed hazardous or a nuisance.

Members of the Houghton Community Council (HCC) disagreed with this statement, viewing landmark trees as no different than any other tree; they believe that landmark trees ought to be removed under the tree removal allowance, which states that an individual can remove two trees per 12 months.

The planning commission and HCC came to a compromise that allows for one landmark tree to be removed every 24 months.

At the meeting, deputy mayor Jay Arnold said, “I think that we need to have special protection, and I strongly disagree with the Houghton Community Council.”

Arnold also mentioned how he wished to extend the time period of landmark tree removal from two to five years, while fellow councilmember Amy Falcone said she aims to “prevent homeowners from preemptively removing trees in order to sell to developers.”

Councilmembers will continue to discuss the tree removal process in the next council meeting on Feb. 18.

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