Revised policies may encourage developers in Cedar Park to retain more trees on their properties.
Cedar Park City Council unanimously voted to amend the city’s landscaping and tree-mitigation requirements March 14. Council Member Michael Guevara was absent from the meeting.
The city requires developers make up for trees removed from a property during subdivision or site development by planting new trees on the site, by planting them on public property or by paying a fee, according to city documents.
“Our tree and landscape process really comes into play for planning and development in multiple … steps of the process,” Cedar Park Planning Manager Melissa McCollum said at a Feb. 28 council meeting. “For with subdivision plats … we have tree survey requirement[s]that happen at both residential and commercial plats. For site development, which is really showing where buildings and structures are going on land, tree preservation and tree surveys come into play then as well as our landscape plans, showing which trees they’re going to mitigate for.”
Previously, the city required hardwood trees with a 16-inch diameter 1 foot above the ground or above to be mitigated. City Council made several amendments, including lowering the size of trees to be mitigated to 8 inches in diameter one foot above ground.
The fees-in-lieu of mitigation were raised from $300 to $450 per inch for heritage trees, which are 26 inches or more in diameter 1 foot above the ground. The fees were set as $150 per inch for 8- to 18.9-inch trees and $300 per inch for 19- to 25.9-inch trees. Previously, 16- to 25-inch trees required a fee-in-lieu of $100 per inch, according to city documents.
You can read about all of the approved amendments below.
Reporting contributed by Marisa Charpentier