Feb 11 Update from Trees Sacramento

February 11, 2016

Dear Tree Advocates

Trees Sacramento continues to promote a strong tree ordinance with City Staff and Council members. Our letter was signed by six regional environmental organizations, supported by 10 neighborhood associations, and an additional 11 individual community leaders.  Staff has indicated that they hoped to take another version of the tree ordinance to the Law and Legislation Committee in March and to City Council in April 2016.  This version may include some of our recommendations but not others.

In a recent meeting with Council Member Jeff Harris, we were encouraged that some of our recommendations are being considered and some may be incorporated into the next revision of the Staff’s proposed ordinance.  There appears to be support at the City that  trees on city-owned properties would be treated equally with the same protections as city street trees.  Staff is reexamining the issue of requiring replacement and mitigation in the ordinance for removal of protected trees (rather than leaving this to the discretion of the director).

However, staff is still opposed to other important recommendations such as a notification of tree removals, requiring trees in all development projects, and making tree removal factors (criteria) objective and quantifiable.

Upper Land Park Neighbors, Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association,  Trees4Sacramento and ECOS also attended the Parks and Recreation Commission hearing when staff presented the tree ordinance changes they seek.  Most commissioners were strongly in favor of better notification of tree removals to community.  In addition, some members indicated they did not want to hear tree appeals because they lack expertise to make informed decisions.

We are making progress,  but we will have to wait and review the new draft ordinance and prepare a response when it is available.  

In particular we want to ensure that the ordinance revises support and are consistent with our General Plan policies and Climate Action Plan.  Our General Plan policies in question are underlined below:

ER 3.1.2 Manage and Enhance the City’s Tree Canopy

The City shall continue to plant new trees, ensure new developments have sufficient right-of-way width for tree plantings, manage and care for all publicly owned trees, and work to retain healthy trees. The City shall monitor, evaluate and report, by community plan area and citywide, on the entire tree canopy in order to maintain and enhance trees throughout the City and to identify opportunities for new plantings. (RDR/MPSP/SO)

ER 3.1.3 Trees of Significance

The City shall require the retention of City trees and Heritage Trees by promoting stewardship of such trees and ensuring that the design of development projects provides for the retention of these trees wherever possible. Where tree removal cannot be avoided, the City shall require tree replacement or appropriate remediation. (RDR/MPSP)

ER 3.1.4 Visibility of Commercial Corridors

The City shall balance the tree canopy of the urban forest with the need for visibility along commercial corridors, including the selection of tree species with elevated canopies. (RDR)

ER 3.1.6 Urban Heat Island Effects.

The City shall continue to promote planting shade trees with substantial canopies, and require, where feasible, site design that uses trees to shade rooftops, parking facilities, streets, and other facilities to minimize heat island effects. (RDR/PI)

ER 3.1.9 Funding

The City shall provide adequate funding to manage and maintain the city’s urban forest on City property, including tree planting, training, maintenance, removal, and replacement. (SO/FB)

 THANK YOU  for all your help in getting the improvements to the current staff ordinance.  BE AWARE — we will need your help for the upcoming two meetings  – to  get people to send support letters and attend these important meetings.

Trees Sacramento

trees4sacto [at] sbcglobal [dot] net

Please visit our Trees Sacramento page for more information about this issue.

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Regional Transit seeks input on fare increases

At the RT Board of Directors meeting held on January 25, 2016, RT staff presented a financial update and fare change proposal, which outlined a plan to increase fares by approximately 20 percent, effective July 1, 2016. The draft fare change proposal and Title VI Fare Equity Analysis are available for review at sacrt.com.

RT staff will present a recommendation to the RT Board of Directors on Monday, March 14, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the RT Auditorium (1400 29th Street at N Street).

The public is encouraged to provide feedback during the 30-day comment period from February 1 through March 1, 2016. RT will hold five open houses to discuss proposed fare changes and receive public comments. The public can also provide comments via an online survey, email, mail or phone.

Remaining Open Houses:

Tuesday, February 16
Noon to 7 p.m.
RT Auditorium
1400 29th Street, Sacramento
Accessible by light rail to the 29th Street Station, and Routes 38, 67 and 68

Wednesday, February 17
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Arcade Library
2443 Marconi Avenue, Sacramento
Accessible by Routes 25 and 26

Tuesday, February 23
Noon to 7 p.m.
Citrus Heights Community Center
6300 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights
Accessible by Routes 1, 23 and 95

Thursday, February 25
Noon to 7 p.m.
Cosumnes River College – Winn Center
8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento
(East entrance off of Bruceville Road)
Accessible by light rail to the Cosumnes River College Station, and Routes 54, 55 and 56

At the RT Board of Directors meeting held [on January 25, 2016], RT staff presented a financial update and fare change proposal, which outlined a plan to increase fares by approximately 20 percent, effective July 1, 2016.

Details of the proposal can be found online at sacrt.com. The proposed new fare structure is as follows:
Basic Single Fare – $3.00
Discount Single Fare – $1.50
Basic Daily Pass – $7.50
Discount Daily Pass – $3.75
Basic Monthly Pass – $120.00
Basic Semi-Monthly Pass – $65.00
Student Semi-Monthly Sticker – $30.00
Student Semi-Monthly Sticker (Free/Reduced Lunch) – $20.00
Senior/Disabled Monthly Sticker – $70.00
Senior/Disabled Semi-Monthly Sticker – $35.00
Paratransit Single Fare – $6.00
Paratransit Monthly Pass – Discontinued
Light rail single fare ticket time limit reduced from two hours to 90 minutes
Concerns about the adverse effects the proposal would have on the disabled community and ridership overall dominated the conversation late into the evening.

For more information, visit sacrt.com.

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Larry Greene to Speak to ECOS About the Paris Talks (COP21)

Thursday, January 7th, 2016 at 6:00pm
Location: Breathe CA, 909 12th Street, Sacramento, CA.

Larry Greene, Executive Director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) will be speaking about his time at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). Join ECOS’ Transportation, Air Quality and Climate Change (TAQCC) committee to hear about his experience.

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