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Since December 2021, Trees4Livability has been working with the City of Bellevue to strengthen tree codes. We have over 1500+ signatures in support of our Tree Code Petition. Work is going on right now with the City Council, City Staff and Planning Commission to update tree codes. We need ongoing public support to show the need to push this work forward. Check below for a list of ways you can support this work, and keep Bellevue's trees around for the next generation!
Speak at the Planning Commission!
Speak at the Planning Commission about the importance of the Tree Canopy Code Amendments. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in Conference Room 1E-113 at Bellevue City Hall and on Zoom. Sign up between 5:30 and 6:20 pm on meeting days here.
Speak at the City Council!
Speak to the Bellevue City Council about your support of the Tree Canopy Code Amendments. City Council meets Mondays at 6 pm in City Hall Council Chamber. Sign up to speak in person or virtually before 5 pm on meeting days.
Signatures and comments on our Tree Code Petition are sent regularly to the City Council. Sign and share the petition to keep pressure on the City to make lasting change.
Trees4Livability is 100% volunteer and community supported. We can amplify our message with support from our community. Donations allow us to host community events, educational opportunities and internship programs. Our campaign is designed to strengthen tree codes in Bellevue.
Trees4Livability attends the Eastgate Block party to promote improving tree codes.
Trees4Livability attends the Community Listening Session with City Leaders to promote improving tree codes.
Trees4Livability presents regularly at City Council meetings to promote improving tree codes.
We have millions of square feet of office space being built in downtown Bellevue. Large companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Symetra, T-Mobile, Appito, OfferUp, Smartsheet, and K2 attract new residents to Bellevue. Amazon's new office, for example, will be completed in 2025 and brings 25,000 jobs and significant demand for housing.
We are a city of transplants. We welcome people from all over the world. We need new and more diverse housing options, but this does not need to come at the expense of our tree canopy. We need to strengthen tree codes in 2023 to preserve our city for current and future residents of Bellevue. Today, old homes are being torn down, and new larger homes are being built in their place. In the process, large quantities of significant trees are coming down. These trees take many decades - or in some cases, many lifetimes, to grow.
In Bellevue, developers can cut down five significant trees without a permit. A significant tree is defined as 8" in diameter. These trees take approximately 25 - 45 years to grow. Additionally, we have no special protections for Landmark Trees that are 100 - 150 years old. Read more about this on the city's website.
You can imagine how quickly these regulations could change the face of our community. You can see it, already...if you look around.
Bellevue's tree code needs to be updated to include:
Bellevue allows developers to cut down 5 Significant Trees without a permit and has no special protections for Landmark Trees which take 100-150 years to grow. Bellevue is the only city in the region with such lax policies. Residential areas of Bellevue have 65% of our city's tree canopy, and stricter regulations are needed to protect our neighborhoods livability and character. Trees4Livability is fighting to protect and enhance tree canopy for current and future residents of our city.
We are a city of transplants. We welcome people from all over the world. However, growth brings with it additional demand for housing - which under current laws - often results in senseless destruction of our tree canopy. We have millions of square feet of office space being built in downtown Bellevue. Large companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apptio are drawing new residents. Amazon's office, for example, will be completed in 2025, housing 25,000 jobs and increasing demand for housing. With increased development comes increased destruction of tree canopy with our current lax regulations.
Development does not need to come at expense of tree canopy. We can have a city with beautiful trees and more diverse housing options. We need 2000+ signatures to show the City Council we're serious about meaningful tree code changes in 2023! New development is coming, and without action this year we risk losing large numbers of Significant and Landmark Trees in our neighborhoods. We need your voice. Please sign and share our petition.
Other major municipalities in the Puget Sound region define significant trees as 6" in diameter.
With 5 fewer trees, 50% of the trees from the pictured home would be gone. Imagine what a difference that would make in the feel of the street, the neighborhood, and the community.
These trees are not replaceable within our lifetimes. Once they are gone, it is unlikely they will come back.