Monday, Oct. 5, 2015    Login | Register           

PTC may sack tree ordinance as waste of time

Peachtree City’s tree removal permit may become a relic of the past.

It has been ineffective at stunting the numbers of trees removed from the city since it was implemented in 2004, city staff said. Beyond that, administering the program has become especially tedious, requiring two staff visits per site, documentation and other procedures that have taxed the city’s code enforcement department.

Since the permit procedure was enacted, the city has processed more than 7,000 tree removal permits for over 43,000 trees in a six-year timeframe. City Manager Bernie McMullen pointed out that the city has not kept track of how many trees were planted in the same time frame, as some residents when taking trees out are also re-landscaping and add more trees.

The city averages about five tree removal permits a day, and it takes up a half-day’s work for one of the city’s two code enforcement officers, said Community Development Director David Rast. Those officers have been focusing on quality of life issues particularly in some of the city’s older neighborhoods, officials said.

The city does not charge a fee for the permit and, moreover, does not have the authority to prevent any tree from being removed, Rast said.

“It’s a lot of work for very little benefit,” Rast said.

Although the ordinance attempts to protect specimen and “protected” tree varieties, the homeowner may still remove the tree if a certified arborist writes a letter noting that it may fall or be diseased, which makes it in the homeowner’s best interest to take the tree down, Rast said.

Doing away with the tree permit process seemed to be the consensus of council, and Rast is expected to bring the matter back up formally for a vote at a January City Council meeting.

Rast said the city should keep its requirements intact for tree removal companies to register with the city and also be bonded and insured. Doing so should prevent a scenario that happened several years ago when a timber company went to a city subdivision and took down hundreds of good trees, then left the mess of the bad ones behind as a headache for the residents, he said.


Ad space area 4 internal

Sponsored Content


Writer’s block I knew one day it would happen. After 14 years and over 700 columns, something that strikes fear into this writer has finally arrived at our house: Writer’s block.


The Coweta Fairgrounds’ James E. McGuffey Nature Center will be the site of the first Fall Tree Festival, hosted by the Coweta Master Gardener Extension Volunteers Sunday, Oct. 25, 2-4 p.m.


Starr's Mill, Northgate and East Coweta are all unbeaten at the midpoint of the football season after their wins Friday night. Northgate is 6-0 while the other two teams are 5-0.


Sibling Class is a one-hour class for siblings, ages 2-10, accompanied by an adult. Topics include what to expect when Mom is in the hospital and when the baby comes home.