On September 12, COSA’s Development Services Department (DSD) hosted its second Tree Discussion meeting with stakeholders and customers.  At the meeting, City Arborist Mark Bird reviewed the outcome of the recently completed Special Session of the Texas Legislature, previous topics from the first Tree Discussion meeting and current topics of interest related to DSD processes for implementation of the tree and landscape ordinances. 

The State House of Representatives and the Senate passed H.B. 7 in the 2017 regular legislative session; however, Governor Abbott vetoed the bill.  During the Special Session, a modified version of the bill was passed and signed into law.  The bill will go into effect December 1, 2017.

The bill should have no impacts to the current or past tree ordinances since the San Antonio tree ordinance does not apply to existing residential one-family or two-family dwellings.  That is, no permits or coordination with the City are required by owners to remove a tree on a residential property (when construction is complete).  In addition, the 100% credit for mitigation tree planting offered by the City is above what is granted by H.B. 7 (50% for residential and 40% commercial).

Additional topics covered at the tree discussion meeting were the latest on tree notes that identify master tree permits and tree save areas on plats, a Plat Note Committee update, and Information Bulletins related to Root Protection Zone and Tree Applications for Geotechnical site work.

To learn more about the City of San Antonio’s tree preservation policies, visit  sanantonio.gov/DSD/Constructing/Tree .

- COSA Development Services Department