Keeping Coupeville’s trees green and healthy
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
May 1, 2009 · 3:41 PM
Coupeville residents are working to make sure the green entryways to town don’t eventually fall to development.
To protect the aesthetically-pleasing flora, a citizen committee has been hashing out the language for a tree ordinance.
Coupeville Councilman Bob Clay, who is leading a committee along with Councilwoman Ann Dannhauer, outlined the goals of the tree ordinance during a workshop Tuesday evening between the Coupeville Town Council and the Coupeville Planning Commission.
He suggested that the ordinance should establish a Heritage Tree program, which provides recognition and protections for important trees and groves of trees.
“The idea is to protect the specimen,” Clay said.
Clay also mentioned the need to work with environmental agencies, improve expertise of local arborists and develop incentives, such as tax reductions, for private property owners to maintain tree cover and open spaces.
Coupeville resident Doug MacFayden emphasized the importance of an arborist to ensure proper trees are planted to assure the town’s green future.
“It is difficult to start trees in this micro-environment,” MacFayden said.
He said residents need incentives to plant trees and instruction on which ones work.
Mary Beth Budzynski, Buell Neidlinger, Ted Clifton and Rob Harbour also serve on the committee.
Clay said the ordinance will help increase the tree canopy within town and will help protect the entry ways, notably Highway 20, Patmore Road, Parker Road and South Main Street.
Clay also mentioned that the ordinance will include public property.
Members of both bodies were receptive to the work of the tree committee. But some officials had words of caution.
“There’s going to be a lot of concern when you designate locations,” Mayor Nancy Conard said.
Council member Molly Hughes added that views will also be an issue as the ordinance is being developed. Trees often fall when people want a better view of Coupeville’s scenic areas.
Residents attending the meeting suggested that tree clearing be prohibited during bird nesting season and that more teeth be added to the language concerning private property.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.