Humble City Council voted on Feb. 8 to approve a new tree preservation ordinance, which aims to protect green spaces within the city as development in the area continues to grow.

Two-minute impact

City Manager Jason Stuebe presented the new ordinance to council, which sets new minimum requirements for trees on commercial and residential developments, and requires new permits for tree removal efforts.

Under the new ordinance, new residential developments will have the following tree requirements based on lot size:

Lots 80 feet or greater in width
  • Front yard: three-tree minimum
  • Backyard: two-tree minimum
Lots 60-80 feet in width
  • Front yard: two-tree minimum
  • Backyard: one-tree minimum
Lots less than 60 feet in width
  • Front yard: one-tree minimum
  • Backyard: one-tree minimum
Current residential lots will not be required to meet the new minimum tree requirements, but permitting will be required to remove existing trees greater than 4 inches in diameter from residential properties.

Quote of note

“We acknowledge that development is going to happen, we absolutely support development, we encourage development," Stuebe said. "But we also don't like seeing wide swaths being cut down and clear cut for years on end before development actually happens."

What else?

Commercial properties will have similar requirements for planting trees in new developments. For street-facing commercial locations, a minimum of one tree every 40 feet along the roadway will be required, as well as one tree per 10 parking spaces in parking lots. The ordinance is effective immediately.