Northwest NEWS

August 24, 1998

Local News

News Briefs

  

Regs would prioritize retaining 'significant' trees

   WOODINVILLE--Large trees would take on higher importance in Woodinville, if new regulations come to pass.
  
   The city's Planning Commission has begun discussing new tree retention codes that would give "significant" trees priority over the layout of development, possibly requiring building, parking lot and sidewalk redesign on sites.
  
   The commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at City Hall on the proposal.
   The regulations would be an interim measure until Woodinville's Tree Board completes the Community Urban Forestry Plan, according to city planner Stephanie Cleveland.
  
   The key passage that she says would strengthen rules, reads, "preservation of significant trees shall have priority over development design and layout when there are feasible and prudent location alternatives on site for proposed buildings or improvements, as recommended by a certified arborist and required by the City Planning Director."
  
   But Cleveland said she and the city attorney are still trying to define "feasible," and other terms such as "danger tree."
  
   Replacement of "significant" trees, those deciduous and conifers with a diameter of at least 8-inches, would still be an option, but Cleveland said the city is trying to retain trees rather than replace them.
  
   Under the new regs, developers would have to provide tree retention plans with the numbers, size and types of trees to be planted at the earliest stage of the permitting process if required numbers of such trees couldn't be retained. Cleveland said plans that require permits would trigger the plan. The Planning Commission's recomendation will be passed to the City Council who will make the final decision.
  
  

Sales tax revenues higher than expected

   WOODINVILLE--City officials recently found out Woodinville will collect hundreds of thousands of dollars more in tax revenue in 1998 than anticipated.
  
   Finance Director Jim Katica said sales tax proceeds are $375,000 above projections made during last year's budget process.
  
   He said most of the excess was due to the continued strong economy and from the construction industry.
  
   The city had forecast it would collect $3.124 million in sales tax. Instead, it expects to collect $3.5 million for the year.
  
   Overall, the city anticipates over $1 million more in revenues than budgeted.
  
   Most of the excess comes from a beginning balance from the year before, though. But don't go asking City Hall for a loan. Katica says he will recommend using the surplus for unfunded Capital Improvement Plan projects.