1DUCK – OneDecatur United Citizens Kaizen, newly-formed group, kicks off Citizens’ Rallies to develop Tree Protection Ordinance – Arbor Day – April 29 3:30pm
— Andrea Hoffmeier – 1DUCK Founder
DECATUR, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES, April 27, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — A grass-roots continual improvement coalition for accountability of the City of Decatur, Alabama’s “OneDecatur Comprehensive Plan” implementation is kicking off a series of Citizens’ Rallies for the development of a Tree Protection Ordinance, in collaboration with a Certified Arborist and other subject matter experts. Following the first rally at City Hall Friday, on Arbor Day – April 29th 3:30 – 5:00pm, the second rally coincides with the next City Council Meeting on Monday, May 2nd 5:30 – 6:30pm.
The growing City of Decatur, Alabama does not have a Tree Ordinance that goes beyond tree management on public, city-owned spaces. Best practices for other cities throughout Alabama include ordinances for the preservation and planned replacement of trees on private property.
1DUCK Founder, Andrea Hoffmeier explains, “This is not a protest or a demonstration, but a celebration of a process we have faith will be supported by the City of Decatur Government. In keeping with the positive nature of our efforts, we will even integrate an interfaith prayer into our Arbor Day event!
We are not suggesting that we develop a restrictive Tree Protection Ordinance that impedes private property rights. Our intention is to integrate tree preservation and replacement into the rezoning and site planning process for large scale, higher density developments, for the benefit of everyone involved. With the 50th Anniversary of Arbor Day, increased growth in the City of Decatur, NOW is a great time to close this gap in governance!”
The City of Decatur is frequently granting zoning changes, to allow high density developments on previously agricultural or single-family properties. 1DUCK supports this growth, as long as the conditions are in place for such developments to benefit the community as a whole.
The effort to create a Tree Protection Ordinance was prompted by the recent razing of four lots for building preparation on the site of a former nursery. All mature trees have been lost at this site, as no preservation was attempted, with no apparent requirement for tree replacement and streetscaping. Many other developments are underway, with zoning increases being granted frequently. Going forward, we ask for developers to preserve as many trees as possible and to be responsible for restorative streetscaping. We propose a Tree Protection Ordinance, with a tree inventory process and permitting to accompany increased zoning requests and plat approvals.
While employees and officials have suggested that tree planting by the City of Decatur is a solution to offsetting tree losses from development, this does not likely replace trees within the neighborhood impacted. Relying on City planted trees to mitigate tree loss from development also puts the burden on taxpayers, rather than funding tree planting through fees from developers, the major beneficiaries of the tree removal.
1DUCK is requesting that City Council provide time on meeting agendas to begin the collaborative process to create a Tree Protection Ordinance, with steps that might include:
1. Review Tree Protection Ordinances for guidance on best practices, including categorization of trees, from protected to heritage
2. Gather concerns and insights from ALL stakeholders, including:
a. Subject matter experts (i.e. Certified Arborists)
b. Private citizens
d. City employees
3. Draft a Tree Protection Ordinance which provides processes that might include:
a. Inventory and categorize trees as part of the rezoning process
b. Prioritize preservation first, based on category of tree
c. Inventory trees that must be removed for construction
d. Create site plan for trees to be preserved, based on best practices in construction
e. Require permits and fees for tree removal
i. Fund new plantings by the City through these fees
ii. Prioritize city plantings within neighborhood impacted by the development
iii. Provide credits for developer-invested streetscaping
1DUCK Members are not against growth. We celebrate a vibrant, growing City of Decatur. We are, however against increased density without the proper conditions in place. We advocate for sustainable development, which does, in fact, include the pursuit of growth, and is needed for Decatur to attract more manufacturers and other businesses that fuel jobs and growth. City Council has expressed the desire to build a younger citizenry; discerning millennials demand the many facets of a sustainably-focused community, including green spaces that are possible through the preservation and planting of trees.
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We are a grass-roots continual improvement coalition for accountability of the City’s OneDecatur Comprehensive Plan implementation, including infrastructure investment, such as multimodal access, improved street design, streetscaping and other components of a livable city. We also seek to restore originally published components of the plan, which detailed stakeholder engagement – two-way communication with citizens. Our rapidly growing Facebook Group is open to private citizens from all five districts in Decatur.
1DUCK Founder, Andrea Hoffmeier, is Co-Author of “A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability: Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility” (CRC Press 2016), Editor of the 17-volume United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Corporate Guidebook Series and holds a Masters in Sustainability from Harvard University. Hoffmeier explains, “The term ‘Kaizen’ in our name might seem odd and foreign, but it is a term broadly used in manufacturing and other industries throughout our region. This Japanese business term that roughly translates to “change for the better” or “continual improvement”. Kaizen is especially fitting, given that North Alabama is home to multiple Japanese manufacturers, including Mazda-Toyota, CCI, Koito Group, and Daikin. 1DUCK seeks to attract more employers like these, to help Decatur grow!”
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originally published at Environment - Reality Syndicate Viewers