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[00:00:01]

GET ROLLING.

DOES THAT SOUND GOOD? YEAH.

[CALL TO ORDER]

ALRIGHT, LET'S DO THIS.

WHAT TIME IS IT? 6 0 1, 6 OH OH, UM, SIX O'CLOCK ON FEBRUARY 2ND, 2022.

UH, UH, THIS IS VICE-CHAIR ROMBERG CALLING THIS MEETING TO ORDER.

UM, AND, UH, LET'S HAVE A ROLL CALL.

I'LL GO THROUGH HERE.

UM, CHAIR GUERRERA HERE.

COMMISSIONER THOMPSON.

HOLD ON, COMMISSIONER BRISTOL HERE.

THIS IS HARD WHILE I'M DOING THIS LIVE ROMBERG HERE.

COMMISSIONER BRIMER IR COMMISSIONER BEDFORD EAR COMMISSIONER BARRETT, BIG SLUR.

AND I GOT A NO ON THAT ONE.

COMMISSIONER SCOTT, I DON'T KNOW ON THAT ONE.

AND COMMISSIONER KORESH, YOU KNOW, ON THAT ONE, IS THAT ENOUGH TO HAVE A QUORUM? ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU GUYS.

[4A. Name: 7715 1/2 West State Highway 71, C14-85-288.23(RCA)]

I THINK THE FIRST ITEM UP TO BUSINESS IS I WAS GOING TO HAVE A MOTION TO POSTPONE ITEM FOUR, A I MOVE THAT WE POSTPONE ITEM FORAY, WHICH IS 701 5 AND A HALF WEST STATE HIGHWAY 71 C 14 DASH EIGHT FIVE DASH 2 8 8 DOT TWO THREE.

UM, THE APPLICANT HAS REQUESTED A POSTPONEMENT TO A LATER MEETING TO WORK OUT SOME, UH, CONVERSATIONS WITH ADJACENT LANDOWNERS.

I BELIEVE I'LL SECOND.

ALL RIGHT.

SECOND BY BRISTOL.

ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE, OR RAISE YOUR HAND.

THAT'S INCLUDES ME.

IT LOOKS LIKE THAT'S UNANIMOUS.

ALL RIGHT.

GOOD US FOR MAKING TIME HERE.

[1A. Approval of the January 19, 2022 Environmental Commission Regular Meeting Minutes]

OKAY.

UM, FIRST ITEM IS A REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF LAST MEETING'S MINUTES.

UM, DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THE JANUARY 19TH, 2022 MEETING MINUTES THAT WERE DISSEMINATED MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES SECOND BY BEDFORD.

IS THAT RIGHT? ALL RIGHT.

ALL THOSE.

SORRY, ALL THOSE IN FAVOR? RAISE YOUR HAND OR SAY AYE.

AYE.

I'M GOING TO ABSTAIN SINCE I WAS NOT PRESENT, UH, COMMISSIONER, UM, RANDBURG, BECAUSE WE ONLY HAVE SIX PEOPLE PRESENT.

WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO, UH, PASS THAT I WILL VOTE FOR, UH, AS WELL, CARRIES SIX.

OH, ALRIGHT.

[2. ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER UPDATES]

UM, NEXT UP IT LOOKS LIKE WE'VE GOT TWO EIGHT ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER UPDATES, AN UPDATE FROM OUR ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER ON THE DISCHARGE OF ACIDIC WASTE INTO THE TRIBUTARY OF HARRIS BRANCH CREEK.

UH, ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER COIN, UH, THE, THE, THE, THE MIC IS YOURS.

UH, THANK YOU.

UH, KATIE COYNE, ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER.

GOOD EVENING COMMISSIONERS.

UM, WE JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE CAME TO YOU WITH A GENERAL SUMMARY AND WITH SOME DETAILS OF, OF THIS EVENT, ESPECIALLY WITH IT GETTING SOME, SOME PRESS.

SO ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 14TH, SAMSUNG NOTIFIED TCEQ AND THE NATIONAL RESPONSE CENTER OF A LARGE DISCHARGE OF ACIDIC WASTE ORIGINATING FROM THE SAMSUNG AUSTIN SEMICONDUCTOR FACILITY INTO THEIR STORMWATER CON AND, AND ALSO INTO AN UNNAMED TRIBUTARY OF HARRIS BRANCH CREEK IN NORTHEAST AUSTIN ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 18TH, TCEQ NOTIFIED WATERSHED PROTECTION OF THE INCIDENT THAT SAME DAY STAFF VISITED THE SITE MET WITH THE PRIMARY CONTACT AT, SINCE SAMSUNG VERIFIED THAT THE STORM WATER POND WAS VALVE SHUT TO ISOLATE THE SPILL REMAINING IN THE POND.

UH, THE EPA WAS NOTIFIED AND IS OVERSEEING TCEQ PROCESS.

TCQ IS CURRENTLY THE LEAD AGENCY FOR THIS INCIDENT, UH, NOTIFICATION FROM TCEQ STATED THAT OVER A PERIOD OF AS LONG AS 106 DAYS UP TO 763,000 GALLONS OF ACIDIC WASTE REACHED THE STORMWATER POND ON THE SAMSUNG PROPERTY AND IMPACTED THE NEARBY TRIBUTARY OF HARRIS BRANCH CREEK.

THIS IS, UH, WASTEWATER FROM SAMSUNG'S INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES THAT REPORTEDLY COMPRISED ARE COMPRISED OF SULFURIC ACID, HYDROGEN PEROXIDE, AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE, AND AIR CONDITIONING CONDENSATE.

THE WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT'S ROLE IN THIS INCIDENT IS TO INVESTIGATE AND DOCUMENT ANY IMPACTS

[00:05:01]

TO SURFACE WATER AND PASS IT ALL INFORMATION AND DATA COLLECTED TO TCEQ WATERSHED PROTECTION IS PERFORMING WEEKLY SURVEYS OF THE EFFECTED TRIBUTARY TO MONITOR WATER QUALITY PARAMETERS, INCLUDING PH UNTIL ALL REMEDIATION IS COMPLETE.

THE AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT ENGINEERING, UH, DIVISION CONDUCTED A SITE INSPECTION OF THE SAMSUNG FACILITY, UH, UNDER THEIR HAZARDOUS MATERIAL STORAGE PERMIT ON JANUARY 31ST AFT OBSERVED THE FAILED INFRASTRUCTURE THAT RESULTED IN THE SPILL AND CONFIRMED THE WASTE.

CHARACTERIZATION AMT IS OVERSEEING SAMSUNG'S PLANS TO IMPROVE SPILL MONITORING IN TERMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, UH, THE WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT SURVEY DOWNSTREAM OF SAMSUNG STORMWATER POND AND OBSERVED IRON STAINING WITHIN THE CHANNEL.

THE TRIBUTARY CONSISTENT WITH A LOW PH ENVIRONMENT BEGINNING AT THE STORMWATER POND ON THE SAMSUNG PROPERTY AND CONTINUING DOWN THE TRIBUTE TRIBUTARY TO THE CONFLUENCE OF HARRIS BRANCH CREEK.

SO THAT'S APPROXIMATELY A MILE AND A HALF TCEQ REPORTED THAT SAMSUNG MEASURED PH LEVELS IN THE TRIBUTARY BETWEEN THREE AND FOUR, WHICH IS FAR BELOW NORMAL LEVELS FOR SURFACE WATER BY WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19TH, WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT STAFF FOUND THAT PH LEVELS HAD RETURNED CLOSE TO NORMAL, UH, WITH VALUES RANGING FROM 6.7 TO 8.5 WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT STAFF FOUND REMAINS OF DEAD AQUATIC SPECIES AND VIRTUALLY NO SURVIVING AQUATIC LIFE WITHIN THE ONE AND A HALF MILE STRETCH OF THE UNNAMED TRIBUTARY FROM THE SAMPLE SUNG STORMWATER POND TO HARRIS BRANCH CREEK.

THIS INCLUDED VERTEBRATES LIKE FISH AND MACRO INVERTEBRATES.

UH, THIS INDICATES THAT THAT DISCHARGE HAD A SIGNIFICANT SHORT-TERM IMPACT ON THE AQUATIC COMMUNITY AND ECOLOGY OF THE TRIBUTARY, NO IMPACTS WERE NOTED WITHIN THE MAIN BRANCH OF PARIS BRANCH CREEK, UH, WITH HEALTHY AQUATIC LIFE PRESIDENT, NO IRON STAINING TO INDICATE A SIGNIFICANT DROP IN PH HAD OCCURRED THERE AT THIS TIME.

IT'S TOO EARLY TO KNOW WHAT THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS TO THIS AREA WITHIN THE TRIBUTARY MIGHT BE, BUT IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT ALL LG AND BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES ARE GONE.

UH, OUR SCIENTISTS BELIEVE THAT IT WILL TAKE ON A SCALE OF SIX MONTHS TO TWO YEARS TO RECOVER TO PRINCEVILLE CONDITION DUE TO THE COMPLETE LOSS OF ECOSYSTEM NETWORK, MEANING THAT ALL TROPHIC LEVELS IN THAT MILE AND A HALF SECTION OF TRIBUTARY WILL HAVE TO REBUILD, UH, DURING RECOVERY DUE TO THE STATE NEW STATE OF THE CHANNEL.

IT'LL, IT'LL PROBABLY GO THROUGH A LOT OF BOOM AND BUST PHASES, INCLUDING HAVING SOME OUT ALGAE BLOOMS, UM, AND DOMINANCE OF A LOT OF PIONEERING AND OPPORTUNITIES, OPPORTUNISTIC SPECIES.

IT'S GOING TO BE REALLY VULNERABLE AT THAT TIME TO, UH, INVASIVES, UH, AND IT MIGHT GET STUCK IN ALTERNATIVE STABLE STATES IF THAT OCCURS.

UH, WE KNOW THAT RESTORATION ASSISTANCE MAY BE NECESSARY IN TERMS OF PUBLIC NOTIFICATION.

UH, THE CITY UNDERSTANDS THAT TCEQ IS THE LEAD AUTHORITY AND HAVE YIELDED TO THEM FOR ALL COMPONENTS OF THE RESPONSE, INCLUDING COMMUNICATION TO THE PUBLIC WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT, NOTIFIED DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP AND THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL THROUGH OUR OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTION PROCESS, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO NOTIFY OUR CHAIN OF COMMAND PRIOR TO THE NOTIFICATION OF MAYOR AND COUNCIL WATERSHED PRODUCTION CONDUCTED IMPORTANT WORK TO COLLECT ACCURATE INFORMATION FOR THIS COMMUNICATION INITIAL WORK INCLUDED INTERVIEWS WITH SAMSUNG CORRESPONDENCE, WITH TCQ COORDINATION, WITH PARTNERING DEPARTMENTS AND TRAVIS COUNTY AND MULTIPLE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS OF THE RECEIVING WATERWAY TO EVALUATE IMPACTS IN TERMS OF OUR LONG-TERM, UH, KNOWLEDGE, UH, IN TERMS OF RADIATION, WE'RE LOOKING AT, UM, CURRENTLY RECEIVING DAILY UPDATES FROM SAMSUNG ON THEIR MEDIATION PROCESS AT THE STORMWATER POND.

UH, AND WE WILL INSPECT THE POND FOR INTEGRITY ONCE THE REMEDIATION IS COMPLETE AND BEFORE IT IS ALLOWED TO BE PUT BACK INTO SERVICE, SAMSUNG HAS REPORTED TO US THAT THEY'RE WORKING ON PLANS FOR RESTORATION AND LONG-TERM MONITORING OF THE TRIBUTARY AND SOME IDEAS THEY'RE CONSIDERING OUR QUARTERLY WATER QUALITY MONITORING FOR THE ONE TO TWO YEARS, ADDING NATIVE PLANTS TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY AND SUPPORT RETURN OF INVERTEBRATES, CREATING ADDITIONAL RIFFLE AND POOL HABITATS FOR INVERTEBRATES IN THE TRIBUTARY AND POTENTIAL OFFSITE, INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL.

I'LL STOP THERE.

UH, WE'RE TRYING TO GIVE YOU AS MUCH INFORMATION AS WE HAVE, AND I AM JOINED BY THIEN MAUER AND RYAN HEBREW, AS WELL AS TECHNICAL EXPERTS ON THIS.

SO I'M HAPPY TO TRY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU ALL MIGHT HAVE.

WHY DON'T YOU, WHY DON'T WE JUST RAISE HANDS AND WE'LL KIND OF GO THROUGH EVERYBODY, BUT RAISE YOUR HAND.

IF YOU GUYS HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR KATIE OR THE TEAM, PLEASE PRIMER, GO FOR IT.

OKAY.

UH, THANK YOU FOR YOUR, UH, REPORT.

KAY IS VERY THOROUGH.

I APPRECIATE YOUR, UH, YOU KNOW, BEING HERE ON THIS IS IF I HEARD YOU CORRECTLY, THERE WAS, UH, APPARENTLY SPILLS GOING ON FOR QUITE A WHILE.

UH, IS THERE ANY REASON WHY

[00:10:02]

THERE WAS A DELAY IN REPORTING IT TO EVERYONE? KATIE? I THINK YOU'RE, YOU'RE MUTED STILL, SORRY.

UH, TO OUR KNOWLEDGE, WE KNOW IT COULD HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR UP TO 100, SIX DAYS.

WE DON'T KNOW NONE OF THOSE PH LEVELS.

UM, I CAN DEFER TO RYAN, HE BRINK, UH, POTENTIALLY TO SPEAK A LITTLE BIT MORE INTO THE WAY, UM, THESE SYSTEMS ARE MONITORING AND THE WAY THAT REPORTING USUALLY OCCURS.

ARE YOU THERE? OKAY.

RYAN OR THING? UH, IF YOU WANT TO MAYBE ANSWER THAT QUESTION OR IF YOU'RE HAVING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY, WE CAN, UH, MAYBE GO TO PENN AND THEN TRY TO LOOP BACK AROUND TO YOU COMMISSIONER.

UH, I CAN PROBABLY ADDRESS THAT QUESTION.

AND I THINK OUR CLIENT SUPERVISOR FOR A WATERSHED PRODUCTION SPLIT RESPONSE, UM, OUR UNDERSTANDING FROM SAMSUNG IS THEY WERE AWARE THAT THEY WERE MADE AWARE OF THE, OR THEY DISCOVERED THE INCIDENT ON JANUARY 14TH WAS, WHICH IS WHEN THEY NOTIFIED TCQ AND DOING SOME CALCULATIONS BASED ON PUMP AROUND THE TIME I BELIEVE IS WHEN, UM, THEY DETERMINED THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN GOING FOR AS LONG AS 106 DAYS.

BUT THEY, UH, FROM, FROM WHAT THE INFORMATION WE RECEIVED FROM THEM, THEY WERE NOT AWARE OF THE SPILL BEFORE JANUARY 14TH.

SO I GUESS MY QUESTION IS, IS THERE A WAY WE CAN, OR THAT THEY CAN IMPROVE THEIR MONITORING OF THEIR DISCHARGES? SO WE DON'T HAVE TO WAIT, YOU KNOW, THREE MONTHS TO FIND OUT IF THERE'S A DISCHARGE LIKE THIS, YOU KNOW, IF THEY CAN DO SOMETHING THAT'S A LITTLE MORE REAL-TIME.

UM, IT MIGHT, I WAS IN MY DISCUSSIONS, UH, YESTERDAY WITH, UH, AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT ENGINEERING, WHICH IS HOLDS THAT HAZARDOUS MATERIAL OR PERMITS SAMSUNG FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS STORAGE.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE WORKING WITH SAMSUNG TO HAVE IMPROVED MONITORING IN THESE AREAS WHERE THE FAILURES OCCURRED SO THAT THEY WOULD HAVE A FASTER FEEDBACK LOOP AND, AND HOPEFULLY CATCH ANY SPILLS IMMEDIATELY RATHER THAN AFTER THE FACT.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

WELL, ONE WOULD HOPE.

THANK YOU THOUGH.

APPRECIATE YOUR RESPONSE.

COMMISSIONER THOMPSON.

HOW ABOUT YOU GO FOR IT NEXT.

UM, THANK YOU.

IS THIS A HAZMAT SITE NOW? I'LL DEFER TO RYAN.

I KNOW RYAN WAS ABLE TO JOIN BACK IN ON, ON THAT QUESTION.

HELLO.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER THOMPSON FOR THE QUESTION.

UM, WHEN YOU SAY HAZMAT SITES, THIS, THIS FACILITY DOES STORE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, UM, BUT I'M NOT QUITE SURE EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN BY HAZMAT SITES.

IF THE SPILL, UH, CREATED A HAZMAT CONDITION, IT BASED ON, UH, WHAT WE UNDERSTAND IN THE REPORTS THAT WE'RE RECEIVING, UH, THE DISCHARGE WAS JUST ABOVE LEVELS TO BE CONSIDERED HAZARDOUS WASTE COMMISSIONER THOMPSON YOU'RE MUTED.

YEAH.

UH, ALUM, SORRY.

SO, UM, I UNDERSTOOD KENNY SAID THAT THEY HAD PROPOSED SOME SORT OF CLEANUP PLAN OR, UM, COULD YOU KIND OF ELABORATE ON WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? I MEAN, IT'S RAINING A LOT RIGHT NOW AND IT'S IN THE POND AND IT HAS JUST ENTERED HARRIS CREEK.

SO THAT'S MY CONCERN.

AND I'M WORRIED, UM, I'M WORRIED ABOUT THAT.

SO TO RESPOND QUICKLY ABOUT THAT, I THINK ANY, ANY REMEDIATION IS BEING LED AND SUPERVISED BY TCQ.

SO WE'LL NEED TO DEFER TO THEM ON ANY DETAILS OF WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE.

OUR CORE RESPONSIBILITY AS WATERSHED PROTECTION IS LOOKING AT, UH, SUPERVISING AND MONITORING OF THE TRIBUTARY ITSELF.

UM, BUT TO THE LEVEL HE'S COMFORTABLE.

UM, RYAN, IF YOU WANT TO RESPOND BRIEFLY TO THAT, I THINK THAT THAT WOULD BE FINE.

YES.

UH, TO TRY TO ADDRESS COMMISSIONER THOMPSON'S CONCERN ABOUT THE CURRENT, UH, RAIN EVENT THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING IN THE AREA.

UM, AND, UH, MS. SUGAR, IF YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT ANY POTENTIAL FURTHER DISCHARGES FROM THE POND TO THE TRIBUTARY DUE TO THIS RAIN EVENT, UH,

[00:15:02]

WHAT WE'RE OBSERVING AND WHAT WE'RE HEARING IN REPORTS IS THAT THE SPILL IS CONTAINED IN THEIR ONSITE POND.

AND THAT THEY'VE BEEN PUMPING THE, UH, CONTAMINATED WATER FROM THE POND TO THEIR, THEIR NORMAL WASTE STREAM FOR, FOR THIS WASTE TO THE SANITARY SEWER AS AUTHORIZED BY AUSTIN WATER, INDUSTRIAL WASTE AND SPECIAL SERVICES.

SO THEY HAVE THAT, UH, THE LEVELS DRAWN DOWN QUITE SIGNIFICANTLY IN THERE, THE STORMWATER POND.

AND I, I BELIEVE THAT THERE'S A LOW RISK OF, UH, THAT POND OVER TOPPING OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE LINES DURING THIS EVENT, IT IS VALVE SHUT STILL.

AND, UH, THE SPILL THAT WAS CONTAINED TO THE POND IS STILL CONTAINED.

OKAY.

UM, I GUESS MY NEXT QUESTION IS, IS, UM, STAFF GOING TO MONITOR JUST ONCE A WEEK OR ARE YOU PRETTY COMFORTABLE WITH THAT EVEN AFTER THE RAIN EVENT? I KNOW IT'S REALLY BAD WEATHER RIGHT NOW, SO I DON'T PARTICULARLY WANT THEM TO GO AT THIS MOMENT, BUT I'M JUST WONDERING, UM, IF WE HAVE RAIN MORE RAIN, WILL WE BE LOOKING AT OUR PART OF THE WATERSHED ARE PART OF THE TRIBUTARY AND THE CREEK TO MAKE SURE THAT IT DOESN'T FLOOD, THAT THERE IS NO MORE SPILL? IS THAT WHAT THE MONITORING IS FOR? I HAVE A LITTLE INFORMATION ON THAT.

MAYBE I CAN SPEAK TO THAT COMMISSIONER.

UM, I HAD STAFF GO OUT YESTERDAY AFTER THE RAIN EVENT THAT WE HAD ON MONDAY TO CONFIRM THAT, UM, WE DID NOT HAVE ANY, UH, DISCHARGES OUT OF THE POND THAT WE'RE ELEVATING PH AND OUR PH LEVELS WERE, UM, IN SIMILAR VALUES TO WHAT WE HAD, UH, THE WEEK BEFORE.

IN FACT, THEY WERE SOMEWHAT IMPROVED, BUT RAIN ALWAYS CAN CAUSE SOME STRANGENESS WITH PH, BUT WE DID NOT HAVE ANY DROPS IN PH.

SO I BELIEVE THE LOWEST PH ON SEEING FROM YESTERDAY IS 7.17, AND MANY OF THEM ARE TO EIGHT.

SO, UM, NO, NO CONCERNS FROM THE DATA YESTERDAY, WHICH, UH, AS OF NOW AS A LARGER RAIN EVENT THAN WHAT WE'VE HAD SO FAR TODAY, UM, IF MY PLAN IS, UM, SOME STAFF CHECK IT AGAIN ON FRIDAY AFTER THE, UH, THE STORM ROLLS THROUGH.

OH, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

AND JUST ONE LAST QUESTION.

UM, IF THEY'RE PUMPING IT OUT, I KNOW THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF RESIDUE ON THE BOTTOM OF IT, AND I KNOW THAT THIS IS TCE, HUGH IS DOING THAT.

SO I'M, UM, I'M QUITE CONCERNED THAT THAT IS CLEANED UP SO THAT, UM, WHEN THE POND IS FILLED AGAIN, UM, WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO NOT HAVING ANY RESIDUAL, I MEAN, ANY EFFECTS DOWNSTREAM.

SO THAT'S MY CONCERN.

IS THAT BEING ADDRESSED? YES.

I CAN SPEAK TO THAT.

THE WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT ACTUALLY DOES ISSUE A PERMIT FOR THIS STORM WATER POND.

AND BEFORE THAT POND IS ALLOWED TO BE PUT BACK INTO SERVICE TO TREAT STORM WATER, UH, WILL RECEIVE A FULL INSPECTION BY WATERSHED PROTECTION WITH ANY TYPE OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS OR, UH, FOR THE REMEDIATION THAT NEEDS TO OCCUR IN THAT POND BEFORE IT'S SUITABLE FOR SERVICE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, BRISTOL.

I THINK YOU HAD SOME QUESTIONS, CORRECT? I DID.

YEAH.

UM, FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS BRIEFING.

UM, IT'S, IT'S VERY INFORMATIVE AND, UM, IT HAS BEEN, UH, A POINT OF GREAT CONCERN, UM, ESPECIALLY AS THEY ARE BUILDING SO MUCH, UM, IN THAT AREA.

AND WE HAVE MORE RESIDENTS, UM, YOU KNOW, LIVING ALONG HARRIS CREEK THAN, UH, IN THE PAST.

UM, YOU SAID YOU'RE MONITORING ALL THE AQUATIC LIFE.

UM, ARE YOU MONITORING THE TERRESTRIAL LIFE AB AND LIFE? WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE AS WELL? UH, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, NO MONITORING OF TERRESTRIAL OR AVIAN LIFE HAS BEEN CONDUCTED.

IT'S BEEN LIMITED TO, UH, THE, THE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM AND THE RIGHT PAIRING CORRIDOR THERE.

UM, TO THE EXTENT THAT WE COULD MEASURE IMPACTS, I CAN ADD A SMALL AMOUNT OF INFORMATION TO THAT.

UH, ONE OF OUR BIOLOGISTS DID CONFIRM ON HIS INITIAL ASSESSMENT THAT, UM, THE SURVIVING CO UH, LIFE THAT WAS IN THAT CREEK WAS ACTUALLY THINGS THAT WERE ABLE TO GET OUT OF THE WATER.

SO HE DID OBSERVE FIT, UH, FROGS, UH, ON THE BANKS, BUT NOT DOWN IN THE CREEK.

AND THIS WAS ON A WEDNESDAY, THE 19TH, AS WELL AS, UM, INSECTS THAT COULD FLY.

SO, UH, THAT WAS W WE HAVEN'T SPECIFICALLY ASSESSED FOR ESTRIOL, BUT THE S UH, SORT OF NON OBLIGATE AQUATIC LIFE, WE'RE ABLE TO LEAVE THE CREEK.

AND WE'RE STILL EVALUATING WHEN, WHEN HE DID THE SURVEY.

OKAY, GREAT.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

I'M, I'M JUST, I'M THINKING OF THINGS

[00:20:01]

THAT EAT, UM, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY, UH, THAT LIFE THAT'S DOWN THERE, UM, YOU KNOW, OR HERONS AND, AND DIFFERENT BIRDS THAT FREQUENT THAT, UM, THAT BASIN, AND OF COURSE, THAT TRIBUTARY.

SO, UH, HOPEFULLY MORE TO BE DONE ON THAT AND PUTTING IT ON THE RADAR SO THAT WE HAVE THAT, UM, KNOWLEDGE BECAUSE, UM, YEAH, IT'S VERY CONCERNING ABOUT, ABOUT THIS BILL.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FROM COMMISSIONERS? YEAH.

CHAIR PLEASE.

YES.

THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THIS FORWARD.

THE, WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE AS THIS PROGRESSES AND AS Y'ALL GET INFORMATION, WOULD YOU PLEASE SEND IT FORWARD TO US IN A MEMO OR UPDATES AS IT PROGRESSES SO THAT WE KNOW HOW IT IS PROGRESSING AND WHAT, WHAT IS BEING DONE AND AT WHAT STAGE THAT WOULD REALLY BE WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU.

ABSOLUTELY.

MADAM CHAIR, AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S, OUR INTEREST IS KEEPING YOU ALL IN THE LOOP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE IS OUR CONNECTION TO COMMUNITY AND OUR, UH, ADVISERS.

SO I, I THINK, YOU KNOW, THAT IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT WE WILL KEEP IN MIND AND KEEP YOU ALL IN THE LOOP ON ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FROM COMMISSIONERS.

OKAY.

THANK YOU, KATIE, FOR THE BRIEFING.

UM, I ONLY HAD ONE QUESTION AND THAT WAS, UM, I WAS KIND OF LOOKING AT GOOGLE EARTH WHEN YOU WERE GIVING THE SUMMARY OF THE TRIBUTARY TO HARRIS BRANCH.

DOES SAMSUNG HAVE, OR DO WE KNOW IF THEY HAVE, IS THAT THEIR PROPERTY, OR DO THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THAT PROPERTY TO DO ANY OF THE, YOU KNOW, UH, TENTATIVE, UM, REFERRAL POOL COMPLEXES, OR, YOU KNOW, THE, THE, THE VARIOUS THINGS THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT DOING, DO THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THAT LAND OR, UM, UH, AUTHORIZATION TO DO IT? THIS, THIS MAY, UH, THIS MAY PUNT, THIS MAY PUNT TO YOU, RYAN, CAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE, UH, KATIE'S MAYBE A LOST CONNECTION.

SURE.

GO, GO AHEAD.

GO AHEAD.

WE DID LOOK INTO THE PROPERTY OWNERSHIP ALONG THE UNNAMED TRIBUTARY TO HARRIS BRANCH CREEK AND HAVE IDENTIFIED THAT IT APPEARS TO BE A VARIETY OF, UH, PRIVATE LANDOWNERS ALONG THAT STRETCH OF CREEK.

UH, I CAN'T SPEAK ANY FURTHER TO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SAMSUNG AND THOSE PROPERTY OWNERS.

THERE ARE SOME DRAINAGE EASEMENTS THAT THE CITY WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO, BUT THAT'S ALL WE KNOW AT THIS TIME IN TERMS OF PROPERTY OWNERSHIP.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

YEAH, I MEAN, I, I GUESS I WOULD MAYBE JUST ASK THAT AN UPDATE BE THAT ANY OF THAT BE INCLUDED WHEN YOU GUYS ARE KEEPING US UP TO SPEED ON, I WOULD IMAGINE THOSE PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD BE INCENTIVIZED TO HAVE SAMSUNG COME IN AND CLEAN IT UP.

UM, BUT JUST, YOU KNOW, IF THAT ENDS UP BEING, UH, A BOTTLENECK, PLEASE KEEP US POSTED.

ABSOLUTELY.

UH, THANKS SO MUCH COMMISSIONERS, APPRECIATE THE CHANCE TO BRIEF YOU ON THIS.

THANK YOU.

UM, ALL RIGHT, WITH THAT, LET'S MOVE ON TO ANOTHER BRIEFING, UH, ITEM

[3A. Briefing on rule changes to Environmental Criteria Manual Section 3.5—Daniel Priest, Naomi Rotramel, and Keith Mars, Development Services Department Community Tree Preservation Division]

THREE, A STAFF BRIEFING ON THE RULE CHANGES TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA MANUAL SECTION 3.5.

UM, LOOK, LOOKS LIKE WE'VE GOT DANIEL PRIEST, NAOMI AND KEITH, UM, ALL HERE TO TALK TO US.

UM, THANK YOU FOR COMING IN GUYS.

UM, WHO WANTS TO TAKE THE HELM? THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

THANK YOU, CHAIR.

UH, THIS IS KEITH MARS WITH THE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

UH, I'M JOINED BY, UH, NAOMI ROACH, THE CITY ARBORIST AND DANIEL PRIEST.

ONE OF OUR STAFF THAT HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL ON BRINGING SOME OF THESE RULE CHANGES, UH, FORWARD.

UH, I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT OUR RULES, UH, WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THAT KIND OF REALLY GROUND THIS, UH, THIS COMMISSION AND SOME OF THE, HOPEFULLY SOME OF THE PLAIN LANGUAGE OF, OF WHAT IT IS CITY STAFF DO.

UH, AND THEN WE'LL PASS THIS ALONG TO DANIEL PRIEST.

UH, HE'LL GO THROUGH THIS POWERPOINT PRESENTATION FOR YOU.

WE PRESENTED SIMILAR MATERIAL FOR THE URBAN FORESTRY SUB-COMMITTEE AND AT THE REQUEST OF THAT SUB COMMITTEE WHERE BRINGING THIS MATERIAL BEFORE THE FULL COMMISSION, UH, NOTE, THIS IS JUST A BRIEFING.

SO THERE'S NOT AN EXPECTATION OF AN ACTION AT THE END ON THE COMMISSIONS PART.

UH, SO I'M GOING TO BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHEN STAFF REFERS TO RULES.

WHAT USUALLY WE'RE REFERRING TO MOST, ALWAYS REFERRING TO, UH, IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA MANUAL.

THAT IS THE, THE COMPANION TO THE CODE.

AND WHEN WE SAY THE CODE, WE MEAN THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE.

SO THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE IS CITY POLICY.

IT IS CALLED THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OR BOOK OF ORDINANCES FOR A REASON.

THAT'S WHERE THE POLICY MAKERS, UH, UH, PASS ORDINANCES SUCH AS OUR CITY'S PROTECTED TREE ORDINANCE, HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE, UH, ET CETERA.

[00:25:01]

AND THOSE ORDINANCES GO INTO THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE IN ORDER TO ACTUALLY ENFORCE THOSE ORDINANCES, THOSE LAWS, UH, THE ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE OF CITY GOVERNMENT.

SO CITY MANAGER DOWN, UH, ARE TASKED WITH CREATING RULES THROUGH A RULE MAKING PROCESS TO ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT THAT POLICY.

UH, POLICY SAYS, GO PROTECTED HERITAGE TREES RULE SAY, WELL, THIS IS HOW YOU GO ABOUT PROTECTING TREES, SUCH AS PROTECTING WHAT WE CALL THE CRITICAL ROOT ZONE OR HOW MUCH PRUNING CAN ONE DO BEFORE IT'S CONSIDERED REMOVAL.

WHAT ARE SOME EXCAVATION TECHNIQUES THAT WOULD BE COMPLIANT WITH THE RULES SO THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY FULFILL A CODE, A BRIEF HISTORY ON THE TREE RELATED RULES AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA MANUAL.

UH, THEY HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH SIGNIFICANT UPDATES, BOTH IN CONTENT AND, AND PRESENTATION QUITE SOME TIME, MEANING, UH, DECADES.

THIS IS NOW OUR THIRD ITERATION OVER THE PAST, UH, ROUGHLY TWO YEARS OF BRINGING FORWARD, UH, SOME, SOME RULE, UH, RULE IMPROVEMENTS.

UM, WE ARE REALLY TRYING TO MAKE A BIG FOCUS ON PLAIN LANGUAGE CONTENT THAT IS MEANINGFUL, UH, THAT COMMISSIONERS, THE AVERAGE OFFS TONIGHT, UH, THE END USER, BE IT A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT OR A HOME BUILDER MAY, MAYBE CAN COMPREHEND THE MATERIAL, UM, SO THAT STAFF CAN DO THEIR JOB AND ULTIMATELY TREES CAN BE BETTER PROTECTED.

SO, UH, I HOPE THAT HELPS KIND OF GROUND YOU IN WHAT ARE RULES, WHAT ARE WE BRINGING FOR YOU BEFORE YOU TONIGHT AND WHY THIS IS PART OF, UH, OF YOUR COMPREHENSION, ESPECIALLY AS IT RELATES TO HOW THE CITY GOES ABOUT ITS BUSINESS OF ENFORCING OUR CITY'S TREE REGULATIONS.

UH, SO WITH THAT SAID, I WILL, UH, PASS IT ON, UH, TO DANIEL PRIESTS AND AT THE END, UH, UH, NAOMI ROACH AND MEL AND MYSELF WILL BE, UH, WE'LL BE AVAILABLE FOR QUESTIONS ALONG WITH DANIEL.

SO DANIEL, YOU WANT TO TAKE IT FROM HERE, PLEASE? THANK YOU, KEITH.

AND, UH, THANK YOU, COMMISSIONERS.

UM, I AM GOING TO GO AHEAD AND, UH, JUST LAUNCHED INTO THIS POWERPOINT NOW.

SO, UH, UH, SET THIS UP PRETTY WELL, BUT WE ARE, WE'RE LOOKING TO UPDATE THIS ONE SECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA MANUAL.

UM, SO THE CHANGES THAT WE ARE PROPOSING TO MAKE, UM, BASICALLY FALL INTO ONE OF THREE BROAD CATEGORIES.

UM, SO THERE'S SOME OUTDATED MATERIAL IN THERE, UM, AN ACCURATE MATERIAL THAT'S IN THERE.

UH, WE NEED TO TAKE OUT, UM, THERE'S ALSO, IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE THIS PARTICULAR SECTION OF THE RULES WAS THAT DATED.

AND SO, UM, WE NEED TO UPDATE THE RULES JUST TO KIND OF ACCOMMODATE SOME, UH, NEW TECHNOLOGY, SOME NEW CONSTRUCTION METHODS, AND, UH, ALSO ADDRESS SOME, SOME URBAN FORESTRY CONCERNS.

AND THEN FINALLY, UH, WE ARE REWRITING AND REORGANIZING THESE RULES, UH, JUST TO BETTER ALIGN THEM WITH CODE.

UM, SO HERE IN A SECOND, WE'LL GET INTO A LITTLE MORE DETAIL ON EACH OF THESE, UM, BUT WANT TO KIND OF BACK UP HERE AND, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT THIS FOR, UH, KIND OF FROM THE VIEW FROM 30,000 FEET, UM, WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT, UH, THIS IS THE KIND OF THE AUTHORIZING LANGUAGE AND CODE THAT GIVES THE CITY ARBORIST THE AUTHORITY TO SET RULES.

AND SO, UM, CODE SAYS CDR, UH, NEEDS TO MAKE RULES THAT ARE GOING TO TELL YOU HOW TO PROTECT TREES DURING DEVELOPMENT, A SDR, VERSUS GOING TO DETERMINE WHAT CONSTITUTES REMOVAL, UH, GOING TO IDENTIFY THE ROOT AREAS THAT, UH, REQUIRE PROTECTION.

AND THEN IT'S GOING TO, UM, IDENTIFY MITIGATION FOR THE REMOVAL OF PROTECTED TREES.

SO THE, THE GENERAL GENERAL IDEA HERE IS IF IT'S A, IF IT'S A REGULATED TREE, IF IT'S A PROTECTED OR HERITAGE TREE, UM, YOU CAN'T, UH, YOU CAN'T REMOVE IT WITHOUT A PERMIT.

WE CAN ONLY ISSUE A PERMIT TO MEET CERTAIN APPROVAL CRITERIA THAT'S SPELLED OUT IN CODE.

UM, WHEN THE, WHEN THE TREE IS REMOVED, YOU KNOW, THAT IS A, THAT'S A LOSS TO THE URBAN FOREST.

AND SO THERE HAS TO BE SOME MEASURES, UM, TAKEN TO MITIGATE FOR THAT IMPACT TO THE, UH, TO THE URBAN FOREST.

SO, UM, WHENEVER I USE THE TERM MITIGATION IN HERE, UM, IT IS SPECIFICALLY IN THAT CONTEXT, IT'S REFERRING TO MEASURES THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE THE URBAN FOREST WHOLE, UM, FOR THE APPROVED REMOVAL OF TREES.

UH, SO, AND, UH, ON THE SUBJECT OF REMOVAL, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CODE SPECIFY SPECIFICITY CODE SPECIFIES, UM, ON THIS, UH, AS FAR AS WHAT REMOVAL IS, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY CUTTING DOWN A TREE OR UPROOTING A TREE IS REMOVAL OF A TREE, BUT CODE ALSO SPECIFIES THAT PRUNE THAT OVER PRUNING OF A TREE OR DAMAGE TO THE ROOT SYSTEM, UH, FALLS INTO THE CATEGORY OF REMOVAL.

[00:30:01]

WE REFER TO THOSE AS REMOVAL BY IMPACT, UM, AS OPPOSED TO, YOU KNOW, STRAIGHT UP, STRAIGHT UP REMOVAL.

AND SO WHAT WE ARE A LOT OF THE, A LOT OF WHAT IS IN THESE RULES IS REALLY KIND OF ZEROING IN ON THAT, ON THAT QUESTION OF REMOVAL BY IMPACT.

UM, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN DEVELOP AROUND A TREE, YOU KNOW, BUILD A HOUSE NEXT TO A TREE.

YOU DON'T CUT THE TREE DOWN, BUT YOU'VE DONE SUCH DAMAGE TO THE ROOT SYSTEM.

YOU KNOW, TWO, THREE YEARS FROM NOW THE TREE, THE TREE WILL DECLINE AND DIE.

SO WE REALLY WERE, WE'RE LOOKING KIND OF AT THE FUTURE, YOU KNOW, THE FUTURE IMPACTS TO THE TREES AS WELL AS WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE GROUND RIGHT NOW.

AND SO, UM, KIND OF LOOKING AT, UH, SECTION THREE OF THE, OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA MANUAL.

SO, UH, SECTION THREE IS WHERE, UH, IS WHERE ALL OF THE RULES PERTAINING TO A TREE REGULATIONS, UM, AT LEAST AS FAR AS ITS, UH, UH, TIES BACK TO, UH, TO THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE LIVES.

SO ANYTHING, ANYTHING INVOLVING TREE PRESERVATION, ANYTHING INVOLVING MITIGATION FOR TREE REMOVAL, UH, IS LOCATED HERE IN SECTION THREE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA MANUAL.

AND THERE'S SOME, THERE'S SOME ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IN HERE THAT, UH, GOVERNANCE THINGS LIKE, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU PREPARE AN APPLICATION, UM, HOW YOU SHOW TREES ON, YOU KNOW, ON APPLICATIONS.

WE ALSO GET INTO, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU, YOU KNOW, THE PROPER PROTECTION METHODS FOR TREES, YOU KNOW, ON AN ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION SITE.

AND THOSE ARE ALL QUESTIONS THAT ARE ADDRESSED IN SECTION THREE, BUT THAT ARE ALSO OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF THIS PARTICULAR UPDATE.

SO, UM, YOU CAN SEE HERE KIND OF IN THE CONTEXT OF THE, OF THE UPDATE, THE YELLOW, UH, STRIKE THROUGH IS THIS IS THE SUBSECTIONS THAT ARE BEING COMPLETED.

WE PROPOSED TO COMPLETELY REMOVE.

AND THEN THE RED ONES ARE THE ONES THAT ARE GOING TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY REWRITTEN, AND THEN DRILLING DOWN ON SECTION 3.5.

YOU CAN SEE THIS IS THE CURRENT WAY THAT IT IS ORGANIZED.

SO WE GOT FOUR SUBSECTIONS, UH, THE FIRST ONE DEALS WITH SIGNIFICANT TREE IDENTIFICATION.

UH, THE SECOND ONE, UH, WHICH IS REALLY KIND OF THE HEART OF THE, OF THE, OF SECTION THREE, UH, DEALS WITH TREE PRESERVATION CRITERIA.

THIS REALLY GETS INTO WHAT IT MEANS TO, TO PRESERVE A TREE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO, UH, TO KILL A TREE.

UM, 3, 5, 3 IS A KIND OF, UH, IS A SECTION THAT PROVIDES SOME, SOME SUGGESTIONS ON WAYS THAT, UH, THAT BUILDERS MIGHT, YOU KNOW, MIGHT COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS.

AND THEN THE LAST SECTION, UH, ADDRESSES MITIGATION.

AND YOU CAN SEE THAT, UM, CURRENTLY THERE ARE FIVE DIFFERENT, UH, METHODS IDENTIFIED AS, UH, AS, UH, POSSIBLE METHODS.

AND SO IN OUR PROPOSED CHANGES, YOU CAN SEE THAT WE HAVE BROKEN OUT THE SECTION ON PRESERVATION, UH, TO EXPAND A LITTLE BIT ON SOME, ON SOME FLEXIBILITY ON SOME, SOME DIFFERENT OPTIONS, UH, FOR, UH, FOR PRESERVATION.

AND THEN, UH, WE HAVE COMPLETELY ELIMINATED 3, 5, 1 AND 3, 5, 3, AND THEN IN SECTION 3, 5, 4, WE HAVE, UH, WE CHANGED UP THE ORGANIZATION AND, UH, HAVE, UH, THERE'S A COUPLE OF SECTIONS THAT PREVIOUSLY WERE IN MITIGATION THAT HAVE MOVED UP INTO 3, 5, 2.

SO THAT'S A, THAT'S KIND OF THE, KIND OF THE, KIND OF THE VIEW FROM ABOVE, UH, WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT NOW, GETTING INTO A LITTLE MORE DETAIL.

WE'LL, WE'LL TAKE THIS, TAKE THIS, UH, A SECTION AT A TIME.

SO FIRST THING WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE DELETING, UH, OUTDATED AND INACCURATE CONTENT.

SO THE FIRST STEP, THE FIRST THING WE'RE DOING HERE, UH, THE CURRENT SECTION 3, 5, 1, UH, DEALS WITH, UH, SIGNIFICANT TREE IDENTIFICATION.

UH, WE'RE GETTING RID OF THIS BECAUSE THIS IS A, THIS IS A METHODOLOGY THAT DOES NOT, THAT THAT IS, UH, NOT USED NOW.

UM, IT HAD HAD THE SECTION HASN'T BEEN REALLY USED IN, IN AT LEAST A COUPLE OF DECADES.

IT'S KIND OF A, IT'S KIND OF A LEFTOVER FROM AN EARLIER KIND OF AN EARLIER TIME OF RULES.

UH, AND IT REFLECTS AN APPROACH TO, UM, TREE ASSESSMENT THAT IS NOT ACTUALLY CONSISTENT WITH THE WAY THAT CODE TALKS ABOUT TREES.

THAT CODE TALKS ABOUT TREES, UM, AS EITHER REGULATED OR NOT REGULATED.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF REGULATED TREES, YOU TREES ARE TO BE TREATED OR DEALT WITH ON IT ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.

YOU'RE NOT, YOU'RE NOT RANKING TREES, YOU'RE NOT, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE NOT ASSESSING THEM AGAINST EACH OTHER.

WHEREAS THE SIGNIFICANT TREE IDENTIFICATION IS REALLY KIND OF ASSESSING, ASSESSING THE URBAN, YOU KNOW, KIND OF A GROUP OF TREES AS A WHOLE, YOU KNOW, IN WHICH ONES ARE, WHICH ONES, YOU KNOW, ARE BETTER CONDITION AND MORE DESIRABLE, WHICH ONES ARE LESS DESIRABLE.

AND SO IT'S, IT'S A USEFUL, UH, IT WOULD BE A USEFUL SET OF GUIDELINES, UH, FOR CERTAIN FUNCTIONS, BUT IN TERMS OF ENFORCING, YOU KNOW, ENFORCING THE TREE PROTECTION ORDINANCE, IT'S NOT REALLY USEFUL.

AND HASN'T BEEN USED IN A LONG TIME.

HOWEVER, WE, WE ROUTINELY GET QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS SECTION BECAUSE APPLICANTS WILL SEE IT IN THE RULES AND WANT TO KNOW

[00:35:01]

WHAT THEY NEED TO DO WITH THIS.

AND SO, UM, IT'S JUST IN TERMS OF CLARITY FOR EVERYONE, UH, WE'RE PROPOSING TO JUST REMOVE IT.

SO THE SECOND THING WE ARE LOOKING TO GET RID OF IS A SECTION 3, 5, 3.

SO THIS, UH, THIS IS THE SECTION THAT DEALS WITH DESIGN CONSTRAINTS AND ALTERNATIVES.

UM, SO THIS IS A, THIS IS A SECTION THAT, UH, DOESN'T REALLY CONTAIN ANYTHING IN THE WAY OF REQUIREMENTS, UH, FOR DEVELOPERS OR FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING AROUND TREES IN ANY WAY.

UM, WHAT THIS, UH, WHAT THIS REALLY GETS INTO IS, UH, DIFFERENT SUGGESTIONS FOR WAYS THAT BUILDERS MIGHT COMPLY WITH THESE REGULATIONS END UP THE, THE PROBLEM WITH THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS THAT, UH, WE ARE, YOU KNOW, THE CITY HARPER'S PROGRAM AND, YOU KNOW, IN, IN GENERAL IS NOT, UH, IS NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF TELLING OTHER PROFESSIONS HOW TO, YOU KNOW, HOW, HOW TO ACHIEVE WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO BUILD.

WE'RE IN THE BUSINESS OF SAYING, THIS IS HOW YOU PROTECT A TREE.

AND SO THERE ARE, THERE ARE SUGGESTIONS IN HERE THAT MAY BE OUT OF DATE THAT MAY NOT BE CONSISTENT WITH OTHER CITY DEPARTMENT REQUIREMENTS.

UM, THERE MAY BE SOME CREATIVE, SOME FORWARD-LOOKING WAYS OF MEETING PRESERVATION THAT ARE PRECLUDED BY SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS THAT ARE GIVEN HERE.

SO PRESENTING THIS, UM, GIVES, GIVES, GIVES THE, YOU KNOW, THE MATERIAL HERE KIND OF THE, A SENSE OF, OF, YOU KNOW, BEING A PRIORITY, WHEREAS, UM, IT'S, IT'S, IT ISN'T NECESSARILY THE BEST WAY TO DO IT.

SO, UM, WE'RE GETTING RID OF THIS JUST TO, UH, REALLY FOCUS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF CODE AND, UH, AND LET, YOU KNOW, LET THE DESIGN PROFESSIONALS FIGURE OUT HOW TO, HOW TO DESIGN THEIR PROJECTS.

UM, AND THEN THE FINAL ONE OF THESE IS, UH, WE'RE GETTING RID OF, THERE'S AN APPENDIX A, TO, TO SECTION THREE, A WHICH DEALS WITH, UH, REMEDIAL TREE CARE.

SO REMEDIAL TREE CARE IS, UM, A SITUATION WHERE, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE, YOU KNOW, YOUR BUILDING, YOU'VE GOT A PROJECT GOING AND, UM, YOU DAMAGE THE TREES IN SOME RESPECTS, YOU KNOW, YOU, YOU IMPACT THEM TO A, TO A LEVEL THAT, YOU KNOW, UH, REQUIRES, UH, REQUIRES PROFESSIONAL CARE.

SO TO PREVENT THE DEATH OF THE TREE.

AND, UM, SO RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A, UM, OUR, OUR GUIDELINES AROUND TREE PROTECT OR TREE, UH, TREE PRESERVATION.

AND AROUND THE, THESE PLANS, THEY ACTUALLY LIVE IN TWO DIFFERENT PLACES.

THERE'S A SECTION IN THREE, FIVE, AND THEN THERE IS THIS, UH, THERE'S THIS SECTION IN APPENDIX P SIX.

AND, UH, THE, THE TWO SETS OF INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT CONSISTENT WITH EACH OTHER.

UM, AND SO, UH, AND THIS, UH, PIECE SIX ALSO ACTUALLY GIVE SOME INSTRUCTIONS THAT ARE NOT CONSISTENT WITH BEST ORAL CULTURAL PRACTICE.

UM, SO BETWEEN THAT AND THE NEED TO CONSOLIDATE, WE'RE JUST PROPOSING TO STRIKE, UH, P SIX ALTOGETHER AND CONSOLIDATE THAT MATERIAL IN THE MAIN BODY OF THE, OF THE MANUAL, WHERE IT'S GOING TO BE MORE ACCESSIBLE AND, AND, AND JUST, UH, KIND OF, UH, THAT WAY PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO LOOK AROUND IN DIFFERENT PLACES TO, TO GET A SENSE OF WHAT THE, WHAT THE REQUIREMENTS ARE.

SO THE SECOND CATEGORY OF CHANGES THAT WE ARE PROPOSING IS GOING TO FALL INTO THE CATEGORY OF, UH, LIKE NEW TECHNOLOGY, NEW CONSTRUCTION METHODS, UM, ADDRESS, UH, URBAN FOREST, AND ALSO SOME URBAN FORESTRY CONCERNS.

SO, UH, THE FIRST OF THESE IS WHAT WE ARE CALLING LOW IMPACT EXCAVATION.

UH, SO THE LAST TIME THAT THIS SECTION WAS UPDATED IN 2011, THERE WAS A P UH, SOME PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY CALLED AN AIRSPACE, UM, WHICH IS, IT'S BASICALLY A HIGH POWER COMPRESSED AIR GUN.

IT'S A REALLY EFFECTIVE WAY OF DIGGING, DIGGING WITHOUT DAMAGING ROOTS.

AND, UM, THAT IN THE, IN THE DECADES, SINCE, UH, THIS WAS LIKE THE LAST TIME THAT IT HAS BECOME A REALLY CRITICAL PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY, UH, FOR, UH, FOR, FOR WORKING AROUND TREES AND FOR HELPING, UH, YOU KNOW, TREES AND DEVELOPMENT, CO-EXIST, IT'S NOT ADDRESSED AT ALL IN RULES RIGHT NOW.

UM, AND SO WHAT WE ARE, WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE ADDING A SECTION ON A LOW-IMPACT EXCAVATION THAT KIND OF LAYS OUT SOME GUIDELINES FOR, THIS IS HOW YOU WOULD, THIS IS HOW YOU WOULD USE THIS TO WORK AROUND TREES.

UM, HERE'S SOME OF THE REQUIREMENTS, UH, THE OTHER PIECE OF THIS IS, UM, THERE ARE, UM, INCREASINGLY, YOU KNOW, AS, YOU KNOW, AS THE COST OF LAND AND AUSTIN HAS GONE UP, THERE'S A LOT MORE PRESSURE TO, UH, TO GET, YOU KNOW, BUILDINGS AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO TREES.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS, UM, HAS COME INTO INCREASING USE AROUND THIS IS THE, UH, THE USE OF, UH, ELEVATED OR, UH, SUSPENDED FOUNDATIONS.

UM, SO YOU'LL HEAR THESE REFERRED TO AS CANTILEVERED FOUNDATIONS OR ARE SPANNING THE ROOT ZONE.

UM, BUT THE IDEA IS THAT YOU, UM, YOU KNOW, NORMAL, YOU KNOW, NORMAL SLAB FOUNDATION REQUIRE EXCAVATION OF THE ENTIRE AREA OF ROOTS.

UM, WITH ONE OF THESE TYPES OF FOUNDATIONS, THE, THE, THE SLAB IS ANCHORED OUTSIDE OF THE, UH, THE, THE RESTRICTED AREA NEAR THE TREE.

UM, BUT IT CAN, BUT SPANS IT.

AND SO YOU WERE ABLE TO

[00:40:01]

DEVELOP CLOSER TO THE TREE WITHOUT DAMAGING THE ROOT ZONE.

AND SO IT'S A WAY OF, YOU KNOW, IT'S A WAY OF HELPING TREES AND BUILDINGS TO CO-EXIST.

UM, WE DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE ANY GUIDANCE ON THIS.

UM, IT HAS BECOME MORE, UH, MUCH MORE COMMON IN THE LAST DECADE.

AND SO WE ARE, UH, WE WERE JUST PUTTING OUT SOME RULES AND KIND OF GIVING SOME GUIDANCE AS TO WHAT SOME OF THE REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE.

UM, THE NEXT THING IS WE ARE, UM, WE'RE ADJUSTING OUR LIST OF MITIGATION EXEMPT SPECIES.

UM, SO THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS HERE.

UM, THIS IS, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK WOULD, WOULD COME IN, WOULD BE CALLED AN INVASIVE SPECIES LIST.

THE WAY IT'S CURRENTLY SITUATED THE, UM, THE TERM INVASIVE IS ACTUALLY REGULATED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS.

UH, WE CAN'T USE IT WITHOUT PUTTING IN A DISCLAIMER THAT THE STATE OF TEXAS IS WHO ACTUALLY DETERMINES WHAT AN INVASIVE SPECIES IS.

AND SO JUST TO NOT EVEN GO THERE, WHAT WE ARE DOING IS, UH, WE'RE JUST REFERRING TO THESE AS MITIGATION EXEMPT SPECIES.

SO THIS IS A LIST OF TREES THAT FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER, UM, OUR URBAN FOREST IS BETTER OFF IF WE PRIORITIZE REMOVING THEM.

UM, SO THIS WOULD BE THINGS LIKE, UH, THE GASTRONOME CHINABERRY, CHINESE TALLOW, UM, THE TREES THAT THESE TEND TO GET OUT INTO THE GREEN SPACES AND TAKE OVER.

THEY, UH, THEY, THEY TEND TO DOMINATE WHENEVER THEY GET OUT OF CONTROL.

AND SO, UM, WE ARE RENAMING THIS, THE MITIGATION EXEMPT SPECIES, UH, JUST TO SPECIFY THAT WE DO NOT REQUIRE MITIGATION FOR THE REMOVAL OF THESE SPECIES.

THE OTHER WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE ADDING ARIZONA ASH TO THE LIST.

SO ARIZONA ASHES, A REAL COMMON, UH, LANDSCAPE TREE AROUND TOWN, THEY WERE REALLY COMMONLY PLANTED BACK IN THE SEVENTIES AND THE EIGHTIES.

THEY'VE GOT A REAL BAD REPUTATION.

UM, THE REASON THAT WE ARE ADDING THERE'S TWO REASONS WE'RE ADDING THEM TO THIS LIST.

THE FIRST IS THERE'S AN INVASIVE PEST CALLED EMERALD ASHMORE.

IT'S A LITTLE, IT'S A LITTLE GREEN BEETLE THAT, UH, UM, IS FIRST FIRST TO FOUND ON THE EASTERN SEABOARD ABOUT A DECADE AGO IS SPREADING THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

WHEN IT MOVES INTO AN AREA, IT BASICALLY KILLS ALL THE ASHES.

UM, IT IS GOING TO GET TO AUSTIN SOMETIME IN THE, UH, IN THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS, UH, WHEN THAT HAPPENS, UM, UH, ALL OF THE ASHES IN, IN TOWN THAT ARE NOT, YOU KNOW, PROTECTED WITH INSECTICIDE ON A REGULAR BASIS ARE GOING, ARE GOING TO DIE.

AND WHENEVER THAT HAPPENS, UM, THAT'S A PUB, THAT'S A PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN.

UH, TREES KILLED BY EMERALD ASH.

BORER TEND TO BE MORE BRITTLE, UM, TENDS TO BE MORE OF A RISK FOR, UH, FOR A TREE WORKERS.

AND IT ALSO TENDS TO OVER KIND OF OVERWHELM URBAN FORESTRY BUDGETS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE A HUGE GLUT OF, UH, OF REMOVALS ALL HAPPENING AT ONCE.

AND SO, AS PART OF MANAGING OUR RESPONSE TO THIS, WE ARE LOOKING TO, UH, TO REALLY, UH, PRIORITIZE REMOVING THESE.

THE OTHER ISSUE HERE IS THAT A WHOLE LOT OF THESE TREES WERE VERY BADLY DAMAGED, UH, IN THE WINTER STORM LAST YEAR.

AND SO LIKE, UH, LIKE A CONSIDERABLE PERCENTAGE OF THESE TREES ARE ACTUALLY ACTIVELY DANGEROUS RIGHT NOW AS A RESULT OF THE DAMAGE THAT THEY TOOK.

SO BETWEEN, UH, THE COMING, UH, PESTA COMING PAST IN THE, IN THE CURRENT, UH, CONDITION, WE'VE DECIDED THAT IT'S IN EVERYBODY'S INTEREST.

IF WE JUST REALLY, UH, EASE THE KIND OF EASE THE REMOVAL OF THESE TREES BY NOT REQUIRING MITIGATION.

SO, UM, AT THIS POINT, THE, THE, THE BENEFITS TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND TO THE, UH, INTO THE URBAN FOREST REALLY OUTWEIGH, UM, THE MARGINAL BENEFIT OF, OF THAT.

WE MIGHT GET A LITTLE MITIGATION HERE AND THERE FOR A FEW OF THESE TREES THAT AREN'T ALREADY, UH, IN HAZARDOUS CONDITION.

SO THE FINAL CATEGORY, YES, UH, KEITH MAHER HAS DEVELOPED SERVICES ME AND HEY, DANIEL, WOULD YOU, UH, JUST FOR SOME OF OUR, ESPECIALLY SOME OF OUR NEWER COMMISSIONERS, WOULD YOU MIND SITTING BACK FROM MITIGATION AND JUST KIND OF GIVE THEM A BIT OF AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT, WHAT IS THIS MITIGATION? WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THAT, BY THAT TERM AND WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO ACHIEVE? YEAH.

NO, THANK YOU.

YEAH.

AND, UM, THE, UH, AND THAT'S, THAT'S GREAT BECAUSE I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS A LITTLE BIT IN THIS SECTION, BUT, BUT, UH, BUT I'LL BACK UP AND KIND OF CLARIFY WHAT MITIGATION MEANS.

THE, UM, SO I REFERRED EARLIER TO MITIGATION AS THE ACT OF, YOU KNOW, ANYTHING THAT CAN MAKE THE URBAN FOREST WHOLE, UM, WHAT MITIGATION USUALLY TAKES THE FORM OF IS PLANTING NEW TREES.

SO WE HAVE FORMULA, WE HAVE FORMULAS IN THE EXISTING ECM.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE CARRIED OVER, UM, THAT BASED ON THE SPECIES, BASED ON THE CONDITION, OR BASED ON THE SIZE OF A TREE IN QUESTION, WE HAVE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF MITIGATION.

UM, SO CAN YOU GIVE A SENSE OF THE RANGE? UM, THE, THE KIND OF THE STANDARD WOULD BE AN INCH FOR AN INCH.

SO FOR EVERY INCH OF TRUNK DIAMETER OF A TREE THAT IS APPROVED FOR REMOVAL, UM, WE WILL REQUIRE THE PLANTING OF ONE INCH OF NEW TREES.

UM, AND THIS THAT CAN, THAT CAN GO UP OR DOWN DEPENDING ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS.

SO THE TREES THAT ARE CONSIDERED PRETTY LOW PRIORITY, UM, UH, NOT NATIVE, NOT WELL ADAPTED TO THIS, UH, TO THIS AREA.

UM, WE MIGHT REQUIRE MITIGATION FOR THOSE THAT 25% OR 50%.

[00:45:01]

SO IT'D BE ONE INCH FOR EVERY FOUR INCHES OF TREES THAT ARE BEING REPLACED.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT, UH, WE REQUIRE A GREATER AMOUNT OF MITIGATION FOR HERITAGE TREES.

SO, UM, THE HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE IS A SUPPLEMENTAL ORDINANCE TO THE ORIGINAL TREE PROTECTION ORDINANCE.

IT IDENTIFIES A, A SUBSET OF TREE SPECIES THAT HAVE A HIGHER LEVEL OF PROTECTION, UM, THAT REQUIRES, UH, IT IS HARDER TO GET PERMISSION TO REMOVE THESE TREES BASICALLY.

AND, UH, AND GOING ALONG WITH THAT, WE, WE ASSESS A GREATER LEVEL OF MITIGATION FOR THOSE TREES.

UM, SO NORMALLY MITIGATION TAKES THE FORM OF TREE PLANTING.

UM, WE ALSO, UM, UH, WELL, WE'LL, WE'LL, WE'LL TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE DIFFERENT OPTIONS, UM, UH, IN ADDITION TO TREE PLANTING, BUT, BUT TREE PLANTING IS THE MAIN FORM, AND THEN THERE'S, THERE ARE SOME OPTIONS WHEN TREE PLANTING CANNOT MEET THE MITIGATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A GIVEN SITE.

SO YOU HAVE, UH, YOU HAVE X NUMBER OF INCHES TO PLANT, AND THERE IS JUST NOT ENOUGH SPACE ON THE SIDE TO PLANT THE PLANT, THE NUMBER OF INCHES YOU WOULD HAVE TO.

SO THEN WE, WE HAVE SOME ALTERNATIVE METHODS FOR, UH, FOR MITIGATION.

SO, UM, LEADING INTO THAT, WE ARE, ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE LOOKING TO DO IS REORGANIZE, UH, SECTION 3.5 INTO TWO SECTIONS PRESERVATION AND MITIGATION.

AND SO THIS IS, THIS IS REALLY ATTEMPTING TO ALIGN US AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE WITH CODE.

SO IN CODE, UM, IF YOU'VE GOT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAD A REGULATED TREE, UM, AND YOU'RE, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE DESIGNING A PROJECT AROUND THAT TREE, YOU'VE GOT ONE OF TWO BUCKETS, YOU CAN PRESERVE THE TREE WHERE YOU MITIGATE FOR THE TREE.

SO, UM, BY, BY REORGANIZING AROUND THOSE TWO, WE ARE REALLY, WE'RE TRYING TO TIE US BACK TO CODE, UH, MAKE THE RULE, MAKE IT MORE TRANSPARENT AND AWARE OF THE RULES ARE COMING FROM.

SO THIS IS REALLY GOING TO CLARIFY THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE RULES TO A, TO CODE.

UM, AND IT'S PART OF THAT.

THE, UH, THE SECOND CATEGORY THERE IS CURRENTLY MATERIAL, UH, IN THE SECTION THAT COVERS MITIGATION THAT IS ACTUALLY PERTAINS MORE TO PRESERVATION OF TREES.

SO RIGHT NOW, UM, EARLIER I REFERRED TO THE FIVE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF MITIGATION THAT WERE SHOWN, UH, IN THE CURRENT ORGANIZATION.

WELL, UH, ONE OF THOSE IS TRANSPLANTING.

SO, UM, TRANSPLANTING OBVIOUSLY IS A, IT'S A WAY OF TAKING A TREE, MOVING IT ELSEWHERE ON THE SITE TO PRESERVE IT.

IT'S A FORM OF TREE PRESERVATION.

UM, IT'S NOT MITIGATION, YOU'RE NOT TRANSPLANTING A TREE TO MAKE UP FOR THE REMOVAL OF OTHER PROTECTIVE TREES ON SITE.

UM, YOU'RE TRANSPLANTING THAT TREE, YOU KNOW, TO PRESERVE THAT TREE.

SO IT MAKES MORE SENSE FOR IT TO LIVE IN THE OTHER SECTION.

NOW, THE SECOND ONE THAT WE'RE MOVING, I REFERRED TO THIS EARLIER IS THE SECTION ON A TREE CARE.

UH, SO REMEDIAL TREE CARE IS A WAY OF MEETING PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS.

IT'S A WAY OF ADDRESSING, UH, ADDRESSING DAMAGE THAT OCCURS TO TREES DURING THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.

AND, UM, IT'S A, AGAIN, IT'S, IT'S A, IT'S A FORM OF PRESERVATION.

YOU YOU'VE GOT A TREE THAT'S BEEN DAMAGED RATHER THAN MITIGATING FOR IT, RATHER THAN TREATING IT AS A REMOVED TREE THAT HAS TO BE MITIGATED FOR, WE LOOK AT IT AND WE SAY, ACTUALLY THE DAMAGE TO THIS TREE IS SUCH THAT, YOU KNOW, WE CAN DO, WE CAN, YOU KNOW, DO XYZ, CORRECT THE DAMAGE THAT HAS HAPPENED, AND THEN WE CAN, UH, AND THEN AT THAT POINT, WHAT WE CAN DO IS, UH, WE'LL HAVE A TREE THAT'S, YOU KNOW, THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE HEALTHY.

UM, SO, UH, THE TREE, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT TREE CARE HAS LIVED IN THE MITIGATION SECTION HAS LED TO SOME CONFUSION AROUND, UM, WHETHER OR NOT MONEY SPENT ON TREE CARE CAN BE CREDITED AS MITIGATE TOWARDS MITIGATION.

AND SO WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE JUST TAKING IT OUT OF MITIGATION, PUTTING IT WHERE IT BELONGS, UM, AND HOPEFULLY GETTING RID OF, OF THAT CONFUSION ALTOGETHER.

AND THEN FINALLY, WE ARE CHANGING UP SOME THINGS ABOUT, UH, THE MITIGATION RULES THEMSELVES.

UM, AND SO NOTHING QUITE AS NOT NO CHANGES QUITE AS BIG HERE AS THE OTHER ONES, BUT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE, UM, ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE WANTING TO, WE'RE WANTING TO DO IS TO ENCOURAGE THE PRESERVATION OF, UH, SMALL, UNREAL, UNREGULATED TREES ON THE SITES.

UH, SO THE WAY TO THINK OF THIS, AS YOU KNOW, YOU'VE GOT A SAY, YOU'VE GOT A COMMERCIAL SITE.

UM, WE REGULATE EVERY TREE ON THAT SITE THAT IS EIGHT INCHES DIAMETER AND LARGER.

AND SO ANY OF THOSE TREES THAT YOU REMOVE, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME BACK IN AND REPLANT REPLACEMENTS.

HOWEVER, THERE ARE A LOT OF VALUABLE, VALUABLE TREES ON THAT SITE THAT DON'T RISE TO THE LEVEL OF BEING PROTECTED.

UM, AND JUST FROM A CULTURAL STANDPOINT, FROM AN URBAN FORESTRY STANDPOINT, WE WOULD ALWAYS RATHER PRESERVE TREES ON SITE THAN PLANT NEW ONES.

AND SO WHAT THIS CLARIFIES AND PUTS DOWN IN RULES IS THE, WOULD BE THAT WAS A FORMULA FOR, UH, IN HOW TO GET MITIGATION CREDIT FOR PRESERVATION OF EXISTING TREES

[00:50:01]

ON SITE.

UM, AND, UM, AS OPPOSED TO HAVING TO COME IN AND PLANT, AND SPECIFICALLY WHAT WE'RE LOOKING, WHAT WE'RE HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS IS TO, UH, PROVIDE SOME INCENTIVE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF STANDS OF, OF SMALL NATIVE TREES.

UM, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, THAT HAS, UH, THAT KIND OF GETS DROPPED SOMETIMES IN THE CURRENT RULES.

AND SO W WE WANT TO REALLY GIVE AN INCENTIVE TO, UM, TO PEOPLE TO PRESERVE SOME OF THOSE THINGS THAT WOULDN'T OTHERWISE GET PRESERVED.

UM, AND SO THE OTHER THING WE'RE DOING IS WE ARE ADDING SOME QUALIFYING CRITERIA FOR ALTERNATIVE MITIGATION.

WHAT THIS MEANS IS RIGHT NOW, THERE'S, THERE'S BEEN CONFUSION AS TO, WELL, HOW MANY, YOU KNOW, HOW MANY TREES IS TOO MANY TREES ON THE SITE? UM, WHAT ARE THE, WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA BY WHICH, YOU KNOW, SOMEONE QUALIFIES FOR ALTERNATIVE MITIGATION? SO, UM, I'LL SAY A WORD ON THAT ALTERNATIVE MITIGATION.

YOU KNOW, IF YOU CAN'T FIT ALL THE TREES YOU NEED TO PLANT TO MEET YOUR MITIGATION REQUIREMENTS, UM, ONE OF THE OPTIONS IS, UH, WE HAVE WHAT'S CALLED THE URBAN FOREST REPLENISHMENT FUND AS THE, BASICALLY A DEDICATED FUND, UM, THAT YOU, THAT IF YOU, IF YOU WERE PAYING MITIGATION, YOU PAY INTO THIS FUND.

UM, OUR URBAN FORESTRY PROGRAM ADMINISTERS THIS FUND AND THEY USE IT TO, TO, UH, THEY USE IT TO FUND A TREE PLANTING TREE EDUCATION, UM, ANYTHING BENEFITING THE URBAN FOREST, IT CAN BE, CAN BE PAID FOR OUT OF THAT FUND.

SO, UM, SO THE IDEA IS THAT, YOU KNOW, IF, EVEN IF THE TREES AREN'T GETTING PLANTED ON SITE, THE MONEY GOES INTO THE FUND AND THE TREES GET KIND OF GET DISTRIBUTED THAT WAY.

UM, THEY USE A, UH, USE, UH, UH, KIND OF A TREE PLANTING PRIORITY MAP, UM, TO IDENTIFY NEIGHBORHOODS THAT, UH, THAT ARE LACKING IN TREES AND REALLY TRY TO FOCUS OUR EFFORTS THERE IN PARTICULAR.

SO AGAIN, WE'RE JUST LOOKING TO CLARIFY THE CRITERIA BY WHICH APPLICANTS CAN PAY INTO THAT FUND IN LIEU OF, UH, OVER PLANTING THEIR SITE WITH MORE TREES THAN IT CAN REALLY SUPPORT.

UM, AND THEN THE FINAL THING WE, UH, IN THIS CATEGORY, UM, UH, THE STATE OF TEXAS PASSED A LAW ABOUT THAT KIND OF ADDRESSES, UH, MITIGATION CREDITS, UH, A FEW YEARS AGO, WE HAVEN'T UPDATED THE RULE SINCE THEN.

AND SO WE'RE JUST ADDING A REFERENCE SO THAT APPLICANTS KNOW THAT THAT'S A THING.

AND THEY KNOW WHAT SECTION OF CODE IN THE STATE CODE TO REFER TO.

UM, BEYOND THAT WE HAVE, UH, WE'RE ADDING A REQUIREMENT FOR SPECIES DIVERSITY AND MITIGATION PLANTINGS.

UM, RIGHT NOW, IF YOU HAVE, ONCE YOU, IF YOU'VE GOT, IF YOU GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU HAVE A HUNDRED INCHES OF MITIGATION AND IT HAS TO BE PLANTED, UM, YOU HAVE TO PLANT FROM A VARIETY OF SPECIES, AND THIS IS JUST TO ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY.

UM, YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T WANT TO, YOU DON'T WANT AN URBAN FOREST THAT IS COMPLETELY COMPOSED OF ONE OR TWO SPECIES, UH, BECAUSE THEN, YOU KNOW, AN EXOTIC PEST COMES IN A DISEASE, UH, SOMETHING THAT, SOMETHING THAT FOCUSES ON THAT PARTICULAR SPECIES, AND YOU CAN REALLY SUFFER A LOT OF DAMAGE TO THE OVERALL URBAN FOREST.

SO, UH, WE REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE, UH, YOU KNOW, UH, DIVERSITY OF PLANTING.

AND SO WHAT WE ARE DOING IS IN ADDITION TO THAT, UH, EXISTING REQUIREMENT, UM, WE ARE SETTING A LOWER THRESHOLD WHERE SOME, SOME DIVERSITY IN PLANTING IS REQUIRED.

AND THEN THE OTHER THING WE WERE DOING IS JUST STANDARDIZING STYLE AND SPILLING THROUGHOUT THE DOCUMENT.

UM, NOT THE KIND OF THING.

WE WOULD NORMALLY HAVE AN UPDATE JUST FOR THAT, BUT SINCE WE'RE IN THERE MAKING CHANGES, WE WERE GOING GONNA, WE'RE GOING TO GO AHEAD AND, UH, JUST TO IMPROVE THE WAY IT READS.

SO, UM, THAT IS, THAT'S KIND OF THE SUMMARY OF EVERYTHING.

AND I'M GOING TO CLOSE WITH A FEW, JUST A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE TIMELINE HERE.

THAT'S, UH, WE ARE, UM, RIGHT NOW WE HAVE JUST LAUNCHED A PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PAGE, UH, THROUGH OUR PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE.

UH, SO THIS IS UP ON SPEAK-UP AUSTIN.

UM, WE HAVE THE PROPOSED RULES IN THEIR ENTIRETY AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT RIGHT NOW.

SO, UM, THEY'RE GOING TO BE UP THERE THROUGHOUT THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY.

THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO, TO COME IN, LOOK AT HIM, COMMENT ON THEM.

SO WHEN THAT, WHEN THAT, WHEN THAT, UH, PUBLIC FEEDBACK PERIOD CLOSES AT THE END OF FEBRUARY, WE'RE GOING TO SIT DOWN AS A TEAM AND WE'LL LOOK AT THAT FEEDBACK AND SEE IF WE WANT TO MAKE ANY ADJUSTMENTS TO ANY ADJUSTMENTS TO THE PROPOSAL.

RULE CHANGES, UH, WOULD BE APPROPRIATE.

UM, IF ANY, IF AT THAT TIME WE MAKE ANY SIGNIFICANT THERE'S ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES.

UH, THEN WE WOULD, YOU KNOW, WE'RE CERTAINLY AVAILABLE TO COME BACK AND BRIEF THE COMMISSION ON, UH, KIND OF WHAT THE, WHAT THE UPDATE TO THE UPDATES WOULD BE.

BUT, UM, THAT'S A, THAT'S A PROCESS THAT WOULD UNFOLD OVER THE MONTHS OF MARCH AND APRIL RIGHT NOW, WHERE YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A SUBMISSION TO THE RULES MANAGER, UM, ON MAY 3RD, UH, THAT WOULD BE FOR THIRD QUARTER, THAT'D BE THE THIRD QUARTER, UH, RULES, DEADLINE.

UM, WE, OF COURSE WE CAN PUSH THAT BACK FURTHER IF IT'S NECESSARY, BUT RIGHT NOW THAT'S, THE TARGET IS TO, UH, HAVE THE, HAVE THE RULES IN THEIR FINAL FORM SUBMITTED FOR FORMAL INTERDEPARTMENTAL REVIEW, WHICH IS WHAT KICKS OFF THE KICKS OFF THE ADOPTION PROCESS.

AND, UM, WHICH WOULD, WHICH WOULD FINALLY END, UH, I WANT TO SAY SOMETIME IN NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER.

UM, SO THAT IS, UH, THAT'S

[00:55:01]

EVERYTHING I'VE GOT IN THE PRESENTATION, AND I GUESS WE'LL, UH, WE'LL OPEN IT UP FOR QUESTIONS NOW.

OKAY.

I'M GOING TO WAIT A SECOND TILL I CAN SEE THE COMMISSIONERS, UM, COMMISSIONER BARRETT.

WE WANT YOU TO GO FIRST.

WE'LL GO ALPHABETICAL.

HI, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE DETAILED BRIEFING.

UM, I HAVE A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE CITY TRACKS, UM, AT TREE PRESERVATION SUCCESS RATE, I JUST KIND OF MADE, I JUST KINDA MADE THAT TERM UP, BUT, UM, BUT I'M THINKING, IS IT BASICALLY LIKE AFTER DEVELOPMENT OR CONSTRUCTION HAS TAKEN PLACE WHERE THEY'VE, UM, PRESERVED THE TREE? UM, BUT YOU KNOW, THERE, THERE HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTION AROUND THAT AREA.

AND I WAS JUST WONDERING IF THERE'S SOME TYPE OF DATABASE THAT CAN BE USED TO HELP INFORM THESE OF THESE STEPS, THESE TYPE OF ROLE CHANGES GOING FORWARD TO SEE SORT OF IMPACTS OR THE SUCCESS RATE OF TREE SURVIVAL LIKE OVERTIME.

YEAH, WE, UM, SO WE, WE DO TRACK, WE DO TRACK THE, KIND OF THE RATE OF REMOVAL, YOU KNOW, KIND OF THE RATE OF REMOVALS, WHICH TREES HAVE BEEN REMOVED.

UM, WE DON'T HAVE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND NAOMI, OR FEEL FREE TO JUMP IN IF, IF, UH, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING I DON'T, BUT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, WE DON'T HAVE A FORMAL PROCESS FOR, UH, GOING IN KIND OF AFTER THE FACT AND TRACKING, YOU KNOW, THE SURVIVAL RATE OF, UH, UH, OF THESE TREES AFTER THAT, I WOULD, I WOULD LOVE THAT INFORMATION IT'S, UH, BUT, UM, BUT AS OF NOW, WE DON'T HAVE A PROCESS IN PLACE FOR, UH, GOING BACK AND KIND OF SYSTEMATICALLY ASSESSING THAT CITY ARBORIST.

UM, WE DID ATTEMPT TO, UM, TRACK ON A PRIVATE PROPERTY ON, UM, MAINLY SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES, BUT WE RAN INTO DIFFICULTIES GETTING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

AND THEN, UM, KEITH, UH, OUR FORMER CITY ARBORIST AS WELL, UH, CAN SPEAK TO THAT AS WELL AND HOW OUR URBAN FORESTRY GROUP DOES TRACK OUR CANOPY.

I CAN AMIE KEITH MARA TO A SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

SO A COMMISSIONER, WE, I WOULD SAY WE, THE BEST, UH, BEST I CAN GIVE YOU IS WE ACTUALLY TRACK, WE TRACK IT FROM A BROADER PERSPECTIVE.

WE TRACK IT THROUGH CANOPY COVER.

UH, WE, WE KNOW THAT WE, THE CITY DOES A PRETTY GOOD JOB AT PROTECTING TREES, UH, WITHIN OUR JURISDICTION.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT, THAT OUR RE THE CITY'S TREE REGULATIONS ONLY APPLY WHERE WE CAN ZONE PROPERTY.

SO IT DOESN'T APPLY AN EXTRA TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION.

OUR MOST RECENT DATA SUGGEST THAT WE ARE ACTUALLY MAINTAINING OUR CANOPY COVER IN THE CITY.

UH, WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS THAT WE ARE LOSING CANOPY COVER IN THE EXTRA TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION.

UH, THE CORRELATION IS OBVIOUSLY VERY COMPLEX THERE.

UH, WE DO KNOW ON OUR PERMANENT RECORDS, THAT HERITAGE TREE PRESERVATION RATE, UH, IS BETWEEN 90 AND 95% PROTECTED TREE PRESERVATION IS AROUND 75%.

AND THEN TOTAL INCHES THAT THE CITY IS ABLE TO, UH, TO REGULATE.

WE PRESERVE, UH, WE PRESERVE MORE THAN, THAN HALF OF THOSE TOTAL, UH, TOTAL INCHES OF TREES.

AND, AND KEEP IN MIND, THERE'S OVER 33 MILLION TREES, UH, WITHIN THIS CITY.

UM, SO I THINK OUR, OUR CAMP RECOVER ANALYSIS SUGGESTS THAT THE, THE ORDINANCES ARE, ARE PRETTY EFFECTIVE AT WHAT THEY DO.

THANK YOU.

UM, YEAH, THAT'S THAT THAT'S, THAT HELPS, UH, UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS MORE.

UM, NOW I HAVE A QUESTION ON WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT WHAT'S THE HYPOTHESIS FOR WHY THE PROTECTED TREE SUCCESS RATE IS LESS THAN THE HERITAGE TREE.

SO PART OF, PART OF THAT IS, UH, THE HERITAGE TREES HAVE A HIGHER LEVEL OF PROTECTION.

UH, YOU'VE HEARD THIS, THIS COMMISSION HAS HER CASE AS PART OF THE SHIFT THERE'S THERE ARE LESS, THERE ARE, THERE ARE LESS OF THOSE TREES THAN THERE ARE OF A PROTECTED, I WOULD SAY ALSO TOO, ONE OF THE BIG DISTINCTIONS.

AND WE HAVE, WE HAVE A HARD TIME GRAPPLING WITH THIS.

THE CITY CODE SAYS ANY TREE THAT IS 19 INCHES IN DIAMETER OR LARGER.

IF YOU CAN JUST PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND THE TREE IS REGULATORY PROTECTED.

HOWEVER, THAT TREE MAY ALSO BE A DEAD OR DYING, UH, ARIZONA ASH.

IT COULD BE IN AN INVASIVE SPECIES AT THE ACT THAT THE CITY IS ACTUALLY WANTING TO CONTROL.

WHEREAS THE HERITAGE TREES ARE VERY SPECIFIC.

THERE'S ONLY

[01:00:01]

A HANDFUL OF