Portland considering raising fee to remove old trees - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland considering raising fee to remove old trees

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A new plan being reviewed by the Portland City Council could make it much more expensive for developers to remove old growth trees. (KPTV) A new plan being reviewed by the Portland City Council could make it much more expensive for developers to remove old growth trees. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Portland City Council is trying to save old trees in the city, and some commissioners believe the best way to do so is to hike up the fees for cutting down those trees.

The idea is to discourage developers from cutting down old trees, but some people say that cost may simply be passed on to homebuyers.

Many Portlanders feel very passionately about trees in their neighborhoods, and have staged protests across the city to save them.

One protestor even climbed into a massive fir tree at Southeast 41st and Clinton last year trying to keep it from being cut down.

Currently, there is a flat fee of $1,200 to remove a tree. This new proposal calls instead of a flat fee using one based on the size of the tree being removed.

Proponents say this would increase the cost to remove older trees, which have a larger diameter.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Southeast Portland resident Catherine Dalton said. “It’ll be curious to see how it ends up going and what people decide where the costs go. But it would be nice to save the big older trees.”

While this is a change many people in Portland would seem to welcome, there are opponents.

Paul Grove, a representative from the Home Builder’s Association, said that cost may be passed on to people buying the homes, or even discourage developers from building in certain areas.

“Now we’re looking at something that’s 36 inches in diameter which brings into play a number of trees that could potentially impact development,” he said. “And the unfortunate consequence of that, the unintended, I would think, is the impact to housing affordability.”

There were some fireworks in the council meeting Wednesday between Commissioner Fritz and Commissioner Saltzman over the role the Housing Bureau will have in all of this, so they tabled the discussion, pushing the vote on the new fee change.

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