(1) Tree Retention and Preservation for All Zones. The following tree retention and preservation percentages apply to all uses or future uses located within residential, commercial, and industrial zoned properties unless exempt pursuant to CMC 18.45.050:
(a) R-1 Zoned Lots. A minimum of 30 percent of the significant trees shall be retained within areas unconstrained by critical areas and outside shoreline jurisdiction.
(b) R-4 and R-6 Zoned Lots. A minimum of 25 percent of the significant trees shall be retained within areas unconstrained by critical areas and outside shoreline jurisdiction.
(c) R-8 and R-18 Zoned Lots. A minimum of 20 percent of the significant trees shall be retained within areas unconstrained by critical areas and outside shoreline jurisdiction.
(d) CC, GC, MC, MHO, NC, TC, and I Zoned Lots. A minimum of five percent of the significant trees shall be retained within areas unconstrained by critical areas and outside shoreline jurisdiction.
(e) Lakepointe Urban Village Area (RCMU, MR, R-12 and R-6) – Per Section 18.4 and Exhibit N of the Lakepointe Urban Village Development Agreement (Ord 02-2017, as amended), on-site tree retention within the Lakepointe Urban Village is governed by this chapter, except tree retention requirements under this chapter shall be aggregated and assessed to the Lakepointe Urban Village site as a whole and provided that a minimum of 20 percent of the existing canopy area outside of critical areas and their buffers shall be retained, and at least 15 percent of the significant trees located within the existing tree canopy area of the commercially zoned land shall be retained at a 2:1 ratio.
(2) Tree Replacement Required. Any significant tree lawfully removed pursuant to the provisions of CMC 18.45.050, Exemptions from tree permits, or CMC 18.45.060, Permits and permit requirements, shall be subject to the following replacement requirements unless specified within this chapter:
(a) Each significant tree shall be replaced by one replacement tree;
(b) Each landmark tree shall be replaced by two replacement trees;
(c) Each heritage tree shall be replaced by three replacement trees;
(d) Replacement coniferous trees shall be at least four feet in height;
(e) Replacement deciduous trees shall have a caliper of at least two inches;
(f) In order to restore and enhance a site as nearly as practicable to its preremoval character and function, replacement trees shall be primarily conifer and native species to Washington;
(g) Nonnative replacement trees shall be recommended by a qualified arborist as having characteristics suitable to the proposed location of planting, or shall be otherwise approved by the City;
(h) The condition of replacement trees shall meet or exceed current American Nursery and Landscape Association or equivalent organization standards for nursery stock;
(i) Financial guarantees for replacement trees may be required consistent with the provisions of Chapter 14.105 CMC;
(j) Installation of required replacement trees shall be in accordance with the International Society of Arboriculture best management practices for arboriculture including, but not limited to, soil assessment, sampling, amendments, and conservation, which ensure the tree’s long-term health and survival;
(k) The Director may consider smaller-sized replacement trees if the applicant can demonstrate that smaller trees are more suited to the species, the site conditions, and the purposes of this section, and that such trees will be planted in sufficient quantities to meet the intent of this section;
(l) Replacement trees that are less susceptible to laminated root rot shall be considered for tree replacement. Douglas fir trees shall not be allowed as a replacement species, but may be planted on tree farms. Leyland Cyprus, Arborvitae, and Vine Maple tree species shall not be counted towards required tree replacement. The following less susceptible trees may be used as replacement trees:
(i) Coast redwood,
(ii) Incense cedar,
(iii) Ponderosa pine,
(iv) Jeffrey pine,
(v) Lodgepole pine,
(vi) Knobcone pine,
(vii) Sugar pine,
(viii) Western white pine,
(ix) White bark pine,
(x) Limber pine,
(xi) Sitka spruce,
(xii) Western red cedar,
(xiii) Alaskan cedar, and
(xiv) All hardwoods;
(m) All replacement trees shall, upon planting, be designated as significant trees regardless of their size. Replacement trees shall not be removed after planting. Exemptions to allow for tree removal, as provided in CMC 18.45.050, do not apply to replacement trees;
(n) Tree replacement in conjunction with tree removal within critical areas shall be consistent with the replacement ratios required in this section;
(o) Tree replacement within the shoreline jurisdiction, as regulated by Chapter 16.05 CMC, has the potential for different replacement ratios. Additionally, a shoreline letter of exemption is likely to be required for tree removal and planting within the shoreline jurisdiction.
(3) Incentives. The following incentives are available for higher levels of landmark or heritage tree preservation and for tree replacement:
(a) Landmark Trees or Heritage Trees. The permanent preservation of a healthy landmark or heritage tree pursuant to this section shall receive a tree retention credit as follows:
(i) One hundred fifty percent tree credit for a landmark tree or 200 percent credit for a heritage tree pursuant to the following provisions:
(A) Preservation of a landmark or heritage tree must be part of a continuous canopy adjacent to an environmentally critical area and associated buffer;
(B) Preservation of a landmark or heritage tree must be part of a continuous canopy adjacent to a public park and/or other protected open space; or
(C) Preservation of a landmark or heritage tree must be part of any other on-site and/or off-site continuous canopy.
(ii) One hundred twenty-five percent credit for a landmark tree or 150 percent tree retention credit for a heritage tree pursuant to the following provisions:
(A) Preservation of a landmark or heritage tree must provide relief from identified environmental impacts;
(B) Preservation of a landmark or heritage tree must provide perimeter connectivity and/or off-site screening;
(C) Preservation of a landmark or heritage tree must be able to be incorporated into required landscaping; or
(D) An isolated cluster of landmark or heritage trees.
To qualify for this incentive, all landmark or heritage trees proposed for permanent preservation shall be outside of any environmentally critical area and associated buffer.
(b) Retention of Trees in Excess of Requirements and Located Outside Critical Areas and Associated Buffers. The permanent preservation of a healthy significant tree pursuant to this section shall receive a tree replacement credit as follows:
(i) Every additional significant tree retained over the required retention percentage required by subsection (1) of this section shall be rewarded a tree credit equal to one replacement tree.
(ii) Every additional landmark tree retained over the required retention percentage required by subsection (1) of this section shall be rewarded a tree credit equal to two replacement trees.
(iii) Every additional heritage tree retained over the required retention percentage required by subsection (1) of this section shall be rewarded a tree credit equal to three replacement trees.
(c) Retention of Healthy Trees Not Meeting Size Requirements in the Definition of a Significant Tree. The permanent preservation of a healthy tree pursuant to this section shall receive a tree replacement credit as follows:
(i) A tree replacement credit shall be awarded for the retention of a coniferous tree not meeting the definition of a significant tree, but is a minimum of four feet in height.
(ii) A tree replacement credit shall be awarded for the retention of a deciduous tree not meeting the definition of a significant tree, but has a minimum caliper of two inches.
(4) Location for Tree Replacement – On Site. The location of replacement trees shall be located on site unless an alternative replacement location is appropriate and warranted, approved by the City in the City’s sole discretion, and the alternate site is consistent with a report produced by a qualified arborist and peer reviewed by a qualified professional to ensure land capability. Unless approved for one or more of the alternatives set forth in subsection (5) of this section, replacement trees shall be planted on the site from which significant trees are removed and may be approved for the following areas on site:
(a) On-site replacement trees approved to be located within delineated environmentally critical areas and associated buffers shall receive a 150 percent credit toward the tree replacement requirement. The planting of replacement trees within a delineated critical area and associated buffer may be allowed if such replacement is consistent with Chapter 18.65 CMC.
(b) On-site replacement trees approved to be planted adjacent to a critical area buffers shall receive a 125 percent credit toward the tree replacement requirement.
(c) On-site replacement trees approved to be located within the perimeter of a stormwater facility shall receive a 100 percent credit toward the tree replacement requirement.
(5) Location for Tree Replacement – Alternatives Sites Subject to City Approval. The location of replacement trees shall be consistent with a report produced by a qualified arborist. Replacement costs, including materials plus labor, shall be at the applicant’s expense. When on-site replacement cannot be completely achieved, the following alternatives may be considered, subject to City approval:
(a) Off-Site Tree Replacement.
(i) The number of replacement trees shall be the same as described in subsection (2) of this section. Replacement costs (material plus labor) shall be at the applicant’s expense.
(ii) Allowable sites for receiving off-site replacement plantings may include public lands, open space areas, open space tracts, delineated environmentally critical areas and associated buffers. The planting of replacement trees within a delineated critical area and associated buffer may be allowed if such replacement is consistent with Chapter 18.65 CMC. A receiving site shall be within the Covington city limits, if the City determines off-site planting is appropriate and warranted. Trees to be replaced shall be subject to the financial guarantee provisions of Chapter 14.105 CMC.
(iii) Allowable sites for receiving off-site replacement plantings may include private properties and other properties owned by a homeowner association, including but not limited to open space areas, open space tracts, recreational tracts, delineated environmentally critical areas and associated buffers. An agreement between the receiving site and the sending site shall be executed and recorded against the title of both properties, and an easement shall be granted to the City allowing entry to the property to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and survivability of the trees. Trees to be replaced shall be contained within a tree protection easement and subject to the financial guarantee provisions of Chapter 14.105 CMC.
(b) Fee in Lieu. It is the City’s intent to preserve and replace trees on site. A fee in lieu of tree replacement may be allowed, subject to approval by the Director. The Director may allow up to 30 percent of the required replacement trees to be converted to a tree unit credit basis through payment of a fee in lieu of tree replacement. All fees shall be paid to the City prior to final site plan or final plat approval, or the issuance of a tree removal permit, or any permit authorizing removal of trees to be replanted pursuant to this chapter, whichever applies. In no case shall a tree credit in lieu replacement be less than $1,000 per tree. Funds generated by fees in lieu of tree replacement shall be used to fund the City’s urban forestry program with eligible costs including staff costs, land acquisition for the purpose of planting trees, professional services, public works, and any other costs associated with the City’s urban forestry program including, but not limited to, tree planting, tree maintenance, tree irrigation, sidewalk repair limited to those sidewalks specially damaged by trees, tree inventory technology, or tree planning administration.
(c) Landscape Restoration. Where appropriate, other measures designed to mitigate the loss of trees by restoring all or parts of the forest landscape and its associated benefits may be considered. Measures, as determined by the Director, may include, but are not limited to:
(i) Creation of wildlife snags from trees that would otherwise be removed;
(ii) Replacement of certain ornamental trees with native shrubs and ground cover;
(iii) Replacement of at-risk or short-lived trees with healthy new trees that have a greater chance of long-term survival;
(iv) Daylighting and restoration of stream corridors with native vegetation consistent with Chapter 18.65 CMC; and
(v) Protection of nonsignificant trees to provide for the successional stages of forest development.
(6) Tree Replacement Guidelines and Requirements. The following order of preference shall be considered for tree replacement:
(a) Replacement trees should be planted to reestablish or enhance tree clusters where they previously existed;
(b) Where possible, replacement trees should be planted adjacent to environmentally critical areas and the shoreline jurisdiction. Replacement trees may be planted within a designated open space tract, environmentally critical area tract, or shoreline buffer where it is determined by a qualified arborist in conjunction with a qualified biologist that such planting enhances and complements existing vegetation and environmental functions;
(c) Replacement trees shall be planted in locations appropriate to the species’ growth habits and horticultural requirements;
(d) Replacement trees shall be located away from areas where damage is likely;
(e) Replacement trees shall be located to provide screening of the development from adjacent properties, where appropriate;
(f) Replacement trees shall be planted in areas that connect or are adjacent to a designated open space tract or environmentally critical area tract or other open space, where appropriate;
(g) Replacement trees shall be integrated into the required landscape plans, if any, for a development; and
(h) Replacement trees to be planted next to or under power lines shall be selected with consideration of the trees’ maturation and maintenance requirements.
(7) Tree Maintenance. All required retention trees, replacement trees, and relocated trees shown on an approved permit, whether located on site or off site, shall be maintained in healthy condition by the applicant throughout the life of the project, unless otherwise approved by the Director in a subsequent permit or approval. Healthy condition can be achieved by employing, as appropriate, the following preventative measures, consistent with best management practices for maintaining the health of the tree:
(a) Trees shall not be topped;
(b) Excessive canopy raising shall not be allowed unless necessary to protect life and property;
(c) Visible deadwood on trees to be protected or relocated shall be pruned;
(d) Fertilizer shall be applied to enhance the vigor of stressed trees;
(e) Use of soil amendments and soil aeration in tree protection and planting areas;
(f) Application of mulch over tree dripline areas; and
(g) Proper water availability during and immediately after construction. (Ord. 02-21 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 05-20 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 10-10 § 3 (Exh. C); Ord. 04-08 § 2)