The Atlanta City Council’s committee on community development and human services has postponed a June 19 work session regarding the city’s tree protection ordinance.

In a news release, the council announced the work session, set for 11 a.m. at City Hall, has been postponed until Aug. 22 at 10 a.m., also at City Hall.

The city is planning to amend its tree protection ordinance, and some residents and tree activists have said the new ordinance will have less checks and balances to keep developers and homeowners in line when it comes to tree removal.

The city hosted a series of four meetings in early June, including one in Buckhead, to get the public’s input on the proposed ordinance amendment. The first draft of the amended ordinance is expected to be released in July.

Also, at its June 17 meeting, the council approved legislation directing the department of city planning to establish a pre-submittal team to conduct and coordinate consultations at the beginning of the permit review process in order to protect and preserve trees in Atlanta.

District 5 Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong, chair of the community development and human services committee, said the legislation as an important step forward.

“The revision of our current tree protection ordinance is an important next step in protecting our tree canopy,” she said in a news release. “The resolution passed (June 17) allows for the tree review process to occur at the beginning of the land disturbance or building permit process. Currently, the tree review process occurs near the end of the review process. We are pleased that city planning has agreed to immediately initiate this process change and look forward to receiving the proposed tree ordinance revision and hosting a work session in August.”

For more information on the proposed changes to the ordinance visit http://bit.ly/2WE16HV.

The city is accepting residents’ comments on the issue through July 17 and will hold its next public meetings starting at the end of July. To submit comments or ask questions, email Elizabeth Johnson at eajohnson@atlantaga.gov or urbanecology@peqatl.com.

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