BEND, OR -- The City of Bend is looking for volunteers for a new advisory committee to review tree regulations. It’s an effort to update codes for preservation of the urban tree canopy, balancing it with the need for new housing.
City Senior Planner Pauline Hardie says the committee will consist of experts and special interests, “There will be city of Bend community members. A member from our Human Rights and Equity Commission, one member of the Environment and Climate Committee, a member of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, and at least one arborist.”
Hardie tells KBND news they'll look at several options identified by Council, “They are interested in preserving, possibly, larger trees than what are required now. And then also look at alternatives to preserving trees including tree replacement, and a fee in lieu of preservation for the purpose of developing and protecting the city’s urban tree canopy.”
Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler said it’s important to make this plan now, “I don’t want to do any policies that are going to block needed housing that we really need right now. That’s the number one concern of our community. But at the same time, I think there are some changes that we can make to promote the urban tree canopy as a whole.”
The Tree Regulation Update Advisory Committee will be made up of 11 to 15 community members from a range of backgrounds and specialties.
“It’s a fairly simple application. You want to identify what membership you’re wanting to represent. So, if you’re an arborist you want to identify that. If you happen to be an affordable housing developer you want to identify that,” says Hardie.
Committee appointments will be made next month, with meetings scheduled through the summer. Applications are accepted now at the city of Bend website.