BEND, OR -- Bend City Council will discuss preserving tree shade, at a work session Wednesday. Updating the Urban Tree Canopy code has been on the list of Council goals since 2021, according to Mayor Melanie Kebler, “I heard in the 2020 election about this. And then of course, it was still an issue that community members are concerned about now. When you visually see a lot where a bunch of trees have been cut down, I think there is concerns about shade and heat effect. There is concern about carbon sequestration. There is concern about the value of large trees. And so, we just want to get the process started on finding out where council is at. What kind of action do we want to take, and how do we direct staff to take the next step.”
Kebler tells KBND News it’s important to find a balance for sustainable growth, “I don’t want to do any policies that are going to block needed housing that we really need right now. That’s a number one concern of our community. But at the same time, I think there may be some changes we can make to help promote the urban tree canopy as a whole.”
“Personally, I would love to see something in our code about replanting. If you do need to take trees down, either you replant new trees, based on how many trees you cut down. Or even pay into a fund that we can use to plant trees maybe in another place,” the mayor said.
Wednesday's work session starts at 5 pm, ahead of the regular council meeting.