Round Rock, TX Updates Tree Ordinance
Status: Last revised in 2005
Round Rock updated its tree ordinance in 2005. With the City's population and development growth, the original tree ordinance was not comprehensive enough to confront the many new challenges presented by such rapid economic development.
The former ordinance left much to interpretation, and the new document provides more concrete guidelines for tree protection during the construction process. The ordinance was needed to broaden tree protections, especially for older trees, but also provides more mitigation options for developers.
Major changes to tree ordinance
The new ordinance is very similar to the old one, but does make some changes. The new tree ordinance:
- Designates a protected monarch tree category. A tree is designated a monarch tree by the forestry manager and is selected if it its diameter represents 80 percent of the diameter of a species' largest and healthiest tree in the City of Round Rock. A monarch tree can only be removed with City Council authorization.
- Requires that the removal of any tree 8 to 19 inches in diameter be replaced according to a 1:1 replacement ratio. Trees 20 inches or more in diameter must be replaced by a ratio of 3:1. For example, if an existing 12 inch tree is removed, 12 inches of tree replacement results. If an existing 20 inch tree is removed, 60 inches of tree replacement results.
- Excluding monarchs, allows for the removal of up to 30 percent of the total diameter inches of protected trees without replacement for subdivision infrastructure improvements and site plans on lots greater than 15,000 square feet.
- On undeveloped lots less than 15,000 square feet, establishes all trees 20 inches or more in diameter as protected trees.
- Increases the mitigation fee from $125 to $150 per caliper inch for tree removal if trees cannot be planted on the site.
Existing property owners
The revised ordinance will effect existing property owners only if there is a designated monarch tree on the homeowner's property. If the forestry manager has designated a tree on a homeowner's property as a monarch tree (see above for definition of monarch tree), the tree is protected and can only be removed with City Council authorization.