Village of Nyack Tree Committee
MINUTES of MEETING 7/8/15
Attending: Marcy Denker, Bill Schmidt, and Sandra Baptista
1. NEXT STEPS FOR REVIEW OF ORDINANCE AND CURRENT PROCEDURES
A. GOALS AND DATES
As we discussed during the last month’s meeting on June 10th, the Tree Committee has been asked to evaluate the ordinance and current procedures for tree removals and replacements and to develop a set of recommendations to improve the process. Marcy will talk to Don Yacopino (Building Department) and Peter Klose (Chairman of the Planning Board) about next steps. We’re aiming to complete our ordinance review and evaluation by mid-September.
B. TREE EVALUATION
Consulting arborists are brought in to conduct tree evaluations. Tree Committee members may want to develop more expertise. The ISA Plant Guide for Plant Appraisal explains the process for evaluating tree value. The Arborists’ Certification Study Guide is another resource.
C. TREE ORDINANCE
Marcy has already identified and extracted the relevant pages in the Green Infrastructure report addressing tree protection standards. She will share them with committee members and begin drafting the code checklist over the next two weeks. Our task is to research existing codes and identify distinct categories and topics of interest. For example, site plan review requirements include tree protection standards. Nyack’s Village Code is available online at: http://nyack-ny.gov/village-code/. Other code examples to consider include: Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Upper Nyack, South Nyack, Clarkstown, Pasadena, and Red Hook. We’ll need to identify what is valuable in these existing codes and think about how these can be adapted and tailored for Nyack. We’ll develop a checklist of what to look for, identify problems, and develop a structure. We should also ask Peter and Don to inform us of what they are most concerned about.
Bill discussed tree removal restitution guidelines. He observed that we’re losing a lot of tree canopy in Nyack. As we work on a planting plan, the NYC plan can serve as an example. Marcy explained that as we develop a planting program we’ll need to develop a species list, determine species values, and think about the species distribution that is desirable. We now have information about tree locations and the current species distribution from the recent inventory. We know, for example, that there are lots of young trees and Norway Maples. More than 10% are Norway Maples. A tree fund for planting is needed. One possibility would be to include a tree fund in the capital budget.
Bill pointed out that a tree trust is relatively easy to set up. People can make tax-deductible donations to the tree trust, and contractors can pay into it as restitution. A tree trust can fund memorial trees and their maintenance. Bill will provide more information about tree trusts. Marcy noted that there is already a park conservancy, and Mayor Jen White is interested in developing a donor list to fund it.
2. LOVE EM AND LEAVE EM
Upper Nyack Elementary is a good location for a demonstration project. Chrissy is in a good position to facilitate this activity.
Reminder to Chrissy to submit her bio and photo for the website.