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Tree Permits

The City Council has established goals of preserving and improving the urban forest canopy of Takoma Park.  To achieve these goals, the City has established a number of regulations on how trees may be treated on private property.  These requirements apply to ‘Urban Forest Trees’, which are defined below.   It is important to understand the City’s regulations before removing , pruning, or conducting any project within 50 feet of an Urban Forest Tree.

Definition of an Urban Forest Tree

An urban forest tree is a tree in the City which:

  1. Has a trunk  measuring 24 inches or more in circumference (7 and 5/8 inches diameter) at 4.5 feet above ground level; or
  2. Is required to be planted or maintained, pursuant to governmental order, agreement, stipulation, covenant, easement, or a tree protection plan, or as a condition of issuance of a tree permit; or
  3. Is planted with government funding or under a government program

See here for helpful information on how to measure the trunk size of a tree:  How to Measure a Tree

Appeal Process

Upon the Urban Forest Manager’s decision to provide Preliminary Approval or Denial for a Tree Removal Permit or Tree Protection Plan Permit, a 15-day appeal period commences.  During that period, a citizen may appeal the decision according to the following:

  • Any citizen can appeal a Preliminary Approval for a Tree Removal Permit.
  • An appeal of a Preliminary Approval of a Tree Protection Plan Permit may only be submitted by an owner of an adjoining property on  which there is an urban forest tree that is likely to be substantially impacted by the project activities.  See Code Section 12.12.085.E.3.
  • An applicant may appeal the Denial of either a Tree Protection Plan Permit or a Tree Removal Permit.

All Notices of Appeal must be submitted in writing to the Urban Forest Manager.  A Notice of Appeal for a Tree Protection Plan Permit must allege the particular facts pertinent to the Code-defined standards that are the basis of the appeal.  Additional facts beyond what are included in the Notice of Appeal may be brought to the appeal hearing.  To become familiar with these standards review Code Section 12.12.085.

Notices of Appeal must be sent to the Urban Forest Manager.  Potential appellants are encouraged to contact the Urban Forest Manager in advance to see if their concerns can be alleviated by an explanation of the rationale used in making the permit determination.  Appeal proceedings are very costly in Staff/Tree Commission time and legal expenses paid to the City Attorney.

The following determinations are not eligible for appeal:

  • The number of trees required for replanting.
  • A determination that a tree is dead or hazardous.

Appeals are heard by the Tree Commission, which is made up of community members selected by the City Council. The hearing is quasi-judicial in nature. The Tree Commission’s decision will be communicated within 30 days of the hearing. An Appellant can take the matter to Circuit Court and file a judicial review petition within 30 days of the Tree Commission’s decision.

Table of Contents for Urban Forestry

 

Tree Removal Permit

Before removing an urban forest tree on private property, you must apply for and receive in writing a Tree Removal Permit.  Please see the link here for everything you need to know about Tree Removal Permits: Tree Removal Permit

Tree Impact Assessment and Tree Protection Plan Permit

Before beginning a construction, landscaping or tree pruning project near or on an urban forest tree, you must first confirm whether or not you need to apply for a Tree Impact Assessment and a Tree Protection Plan Permit.  Please follow this link to read more about the  process for applying: Tree Impact Assessment and Tree Protection Plan Permit

Tree Permit Staff Contact

Marty Frye, Urban Forest Manager
Phone: 301-891-7612
Email: urbanforestmanager@takomaparkmd.gov

Current Tree Removal Applications

All removal applications granted preliminary approval must be posted for a period of 15 days to allow for public comment. Current pending applications are listed below. Any resident of Takoma Park may appeal a preliminary approval during the posting period. If no appeal is received during the posting period, a tree removal permit will be issued. If an appeal is received, the matter will be scheduled for a Tree Commission hearing. If you would like to appeal a preliminary approval listed below please provide a written request  to the Arborist before the end of the posting period:

Tree Removal Permit Preliminary Approvals

Tree Location AddressAppeal Deadline DateDBHTree Location Relative to HouseSpecies of Tree
7110 Poplar Ave9/27/202227Back rightBlack Walnut
7000 Woodland Ave9/28/202210Right sideNorthern Catalpa
7215 Holly Ave10/6/202217.5Back rightJapanese Falsecypress
7101 New Hampshire Ave10/7/202218Front leftLittle Leaf Linden
7101 New Hampshire Ave10/7/202220Back centerNorway Spruce
7101 New Hampshire Ave10/7/202220Back centerNorway Spruce
6719 Poplar Ave10/8/202218.8Back leftBlack Walnut
6913 Westmoreland10/11/202210Front centerBlack Walnut
303 Hilltop Rd10/11/202211.5Front rightBoxelder
*DBH = Diameter at Breast Height: trunk diameter in inches measured at 4.5 feet from ground

Pending Tree Appeals

AddressNumber of TreesType of AppealDiameter*Tree TypeTree LocationHearing Date / LocationTree Commission Ruling
7205 Flower Avenue1Tree Removal Permit45.7SycamoreBack Center12/7/21 - 7:00 - Zoom - Contact Urban Forest Manager for detailsTree Removal Permit Denial Affirmed- Memorandum Decision and Order
*Diameter at breast height.

Table: Pending Tree Removal Appeals. Marty Frye, Urban Forest Manager, maintains this table. (MartyF@takomaparkmd.gov)


Need Help?

Please direct your questions and concerns related to tree permits to:

Marty Frye

Urban Forest Manager

Public Works

301-891-7612MartyF@takomaparkmd.gov

Tree Permits Sections

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