UDO Day 28: Protecting Raleigh’s Trees

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Since Raleigh is the City of Oaks, it would be a little odd if there were no trees. The current code already has provisions that require the conservation of trees, but the creation of the UDO put all of those codes in one convenient place, Chapter 10.

As a whole, Chapter 10 deals with the conservation of natural resources, including stormwater management, flood-prone areas and erosion. Since the UDO dedicates almost 10 pages to the conservation of trees, we’ll give you some of the highlights.

The tree conservation ordinances are only applicable to a subdivision built on a tract of land that is 2 acres and larger. Two residential districts (R-1 and R-2) require 15 percent of the gross parcel area to be set aside for tree conservation, with all other districts requiring 10 percent.

To meet the conservation requirement, developers must save any resource management districts and locations containing healthy champion trees.

Greenways can be included in the conservation area, but space must be left for additional trail expansion. But greenways can only be used after a primary conservation area has been established. Heritage trees — trees with a trunk diameter of 12 inches — can also be considered part of the protected area after priority areas have been established.

Only healthy trees can be considered part of the protected area. Dying or infected trees cannot be counted toward the requirement.


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