The city of Atlanta will host a tree ordinance update meeting Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Road in Buckhead.

The city is considering making changes to its tree ordinance for the first time in 20 years, and in June it hosted four meetings (one in each of Atlanta’s four quadrants) to get residents’ input on the plan.

Although the Neighbor could not attend the June 6 meeting at Trinity, Buckhead resident Lisa Frank, owner of the Frank Relations public relations company, was there and provided information on the meeting.

Frank said residents wanted to tell their stories on topics like:

♦ Enforcement of the existing tree ordinance is inadequate.

♦ Fees developers pay to remove trees are way too low.

♦ Clear-cutting residential lots is leading to bad flooding on nearby properties.

District 8 Atlanta City Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit, who represents part of Buckhead, attended the meeting and was interviewed by the Neighbor.

“Atlanta has a lot of things that are unique to it, and (two) of those things are the (overall) tree canopy and essentially the tree canopy from old-growth forests,” he said. “That makes Atlanta really special, and we need to preserve that. We are losing that as we grow. We need to be sure we have a tree ordinance that is able to protect our trees and also balance the need for individuals who are not doing construction to take out a tree every once in a while and to do construction in a responsible manner.

“We need the development plan to be dictated by the land, not the other way around. So you should look at the land and decide what the appropriate development is for that lot, and not come up with a plan and make the lot conform to that plan.”

For those who can't attend the Nov. 7 meeting, another one is set for Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Pkwy. in Atlanta.

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

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