For a city which prides itself as being in the top tier of leafy American communities, shouldn’t it be concerned with trees throughout the city and not just those in areas that have experienced limited development? In the [Neighbor online July 16], it was reported that Sandy Springs officials boast an increase in our tree canopy. This is a good example of “devil is in the details.”
The numbers they boast have to do with a city average with most of the growth appearing in districts with very little development and over years of limited development due to the economic downturn. In no way does it reflect the effectiveness of city ordinances. Districts 3, 5 and 6 (from Wieuca [Road] north to Dalrymple [Road], where the majority of the city’s development has occurred) are a very different story. That canopy has deteriorated dramatically. Averages may be true but definitely deceptive.
Now, in District 4, major development projects are under consideration on wooded properties we’ve all loved and add to the “relaxed” ambiance of our city. Without stronger protections in our tree canopy ordinances, those trees will go, too.
Shouldn’t the goal of a city proud of its tree canopy be to protect it in all the districts with strong constructive ordinances that are workable for residents and developers? Other cities have accomplished this balance of ordinance construction and enforcement. Sandy Springs needs to do so, too, for the entire city.