Northwest NEWS

May 31, 1999

Editorial

Tree regs a danger to affordable housing

   After reading about Woodinville's concern for affordable housing, to the extent the city will waive all permit fees for the housing project near the North Bypass, I progressed to reading the city's determination of nonsignificance notice in the back of the May 17th Weekly for a different housing development.

   It appears that affordable housing in Woodinville is more threatened by the new "Tree Retention and Replacement" requirements than by permit fees. Besides the cost of working around existing trees to be retained plus replacing trees that are unavoidably removed.

   And not only are home buyers evidently to have no choice between sunshine and shade, but also they are going to be looking at unsightly tree remnants, judging by the following:

   "If trees that are not considered good candidates for retention are removed, they shall be cut to heights of 15' to 20' and the lower stems shall be left for cavity nesting for birds, rather than being cut at ground level."

   (It's likely that those high stumps, instead of decaying for birds, will sprout and re-grow into the very topped-trees that tree arborists warn against).

   It's all too true that unaffordable housing can be traced directly back to government regulations that just don't stop.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville