Los Angeles, CA Street Tree Policies
WHEREAS, Street Trees are a significant and highly visual portion of the urban forest, a vital infrastructure system essential to the quality of life in the urban environment of the City of Los Angeles; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Street Services, Urban Forestry Division has been the steward of the urban forest, since the 1932 Summer Olympic Games; and
WHEREAS, the urban forest in the City of Los Angeles has matured into one of the largest, most diverse in the world; and
WHEREAS, appropriate planning, planting and maintenance of Street Trees provide the residence of the City economic, social, environmental, ecological and aesthetic benefits; and
WHEREAS, appropriate planning, planting and maintenance of Street Trees contribute to the public health, welfare and safety; and
WHEREAS, properly maintained Street Trees provide social and psychological well-being and enhance property values, securing and encouraging public and private investment; and
WHEREAS, the benefits from the urban forest can best be realized when adequate and reasonable care is provided in a consistent and continuous manner; and
WHEREAS, planting, preserving and maintaining Street Trees is an essential component for improving the quality of life in the various communities of the City; and
WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles must strive to resolve conflicts between Street Trees and other essential infrastructure, so as to preserve the net benefits conferred by that segment of the urban forest on the remaining City infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles seeks to improve the physical, social, economic and aesthetic environment by optimizing the benefits derived from Street Trees; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Street Services, Urban Forestry Division, has been recognized as leaders in introducing modern arboricultural practices to the care of Street Trees and in establishing sustainable urban forestry policies; and
WHEREAS, the Community Forest Advisory Committee was mandated by City Council on June 30, 1993 to make policy recommendations concerning the entire Los Angeles City Urban Forest and specifically about tree selection, tree planting, and tree care to the Board of Public Works; and
WHEREAS, the Community Forest Advisory Committee was established to facilitate constructive interaction between community members and all city agencies involved in tree maintenance, to analyze urban forestry programs and to foster community support in the enhancement and preservation of a high quality urban forest; and
WHEREAS, a uniform policy is necessary to support community and City efforts by defining the importance of Street Trees and the commitment of the City of Los Angeles to the maintenance and enhancement of Street Trees;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council adopts the following Street Tree Policies:
- Street Trees are recognized as an essential part of the City of Los Angeles urban forest infrastructure, an infrastructure system identified in the City's General Plan Framework, and as such will receive equal consideration with other City infrastructure systems.
- The benefits derived from Street Trees will be optimized by establishing urban forest programs that ensure that the collective population of Street Trees and their management:
- Achieve an optimum degree of canopy cover in order to shade City streets and thereby help mitigate the urban heat island effect, and maximize the benefits from the urban forest ecosystem.
- Provide mixed age tree population, adequate species diversity and an appropriate mix of tree types (evergreen vs. deciduous), in order to provide a diverse forest ecosystem more able to adapt to changing environmental pressures such as disease, pest infestation, etc.
- Provide varied forms, textures, structure, flowering characteristics and other aesthetic benefits to enhance the types of street environments found in the City.
- Contribute to and preserve the integrity of the native remnant forest both within and adjacent to the public right-of-way.
- Encourage and support community design and plantings of additional Street Trees through a one-stop permitting process and provisions for both short-term and long-term maintenance.
- Ensure the survival of newly planted trees.
- Increase the dedicated airspace and dedicated root volume available for Street Tree planting through review and revision of design standards, increased use of permeable materials, and other such measures that would provide better accommodation of Street Trees.
- Increase the awareness of the benefits of Street Trees through a City-wide education effort.
- Recycle all green waste generated by the maintenance of Street Trees.
- Support the full utilization of a computerized Street Tree Inventory Management System to achieve the aforementioned goals.
- The Street Trees of Los Angeles will be properly maintained and enhanced through policies and programs that:
- Utilize consistent, approved state-of-the-art standards for planting, pruning, management and removal of trees along the public streets.
- Ensure that public agencies and private enterprises impacting Street Trees operate with common goals and objectives.
- Protect and provide for the necessary care of existing Street Trees.
- Develop a sustainable urban forest management program through a public private partnership.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council directs City Departments to review their relevant documents and procedures with regards to these Street Tree Policies, to incorporate these Policies into planning, operations, and permitting decisions, and to arrange presentations of the Department's revisions affecting Street Trees to the Board of Public Works within six months.