When Will Dallas Update its Tree Ordinance?
Published January 28, 2015 By JAMES BRASUELL
A guest column in the Dallas Morning News takes the Dallas political machine to task for delaying a new tree ordinance.
Steve Houser writes a column question the priorities of the political leadership in Dallas, as evidenced by dueling ordinances regarding plastic bags and street trees: "The plastic bag ordinance flew through the city process to reach approval, while recommended changes to the existing tree ordinance have taken four years to develop and another four years of sitting on the shelf."
Houser makes the case for the importance of a healthy urban forest before detailing the travails of the city's tree ordinance. On the former point: "They who are uninformed fear an improved tree ordinance would discourage development when the exact opposite is true. Healthy trees and forests are a critical component to any thriving urban infrastructure. A robust economy and a healthy ecology can coexist, but it requires finding a delicate balance. It also requires a clear understanding and respect for the many benefits that healthy trees and ecosystems offer."
Houser provides his insight into the process of updating the city's tree ordinance from his experience as chairman emeritus of the Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee and as a current member of the board of advisers for Vision North Texas.