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(1) Trees retained, preserved, or replaced within all applicable residential, commercial, or industrial zoned properties, whether part of a formal subdivision or any development or redevelopment permit, shall be preserved within tree tracts or a tree conservation easement, regardless of the size or number of lots. Property owners are responsible for the viability of protected trees, including normal care, maintenance, and pruning, so that such trees can achieve their 30-year maturity goals. Should a protected tree become an at-risk tree or become diseased to the point that it must be removed or die, the property owner is responsible for replacing the protected tree with a tree or trees that will achieve the original canopy coverage for which the protected tree was planted to achieve. Trees removed from either a tree tract or easement shall be replaced pursuant to the tree replacement requirements in CMC 18.45.080(2).

(2) There shall be no minimum tree tract size or percentage of land required to be devoted to tree preservation or tree enhancement. The tree tract shall be designed and sized appropriately to protect the critical root zone associated with all trees designated for retention, preservation, and replacement, at full mature age, pursuant to the provisions of CMC 18.45.080; however, the following measures are required:

(a) Location of Tree Tract or Tree Conservation Easement. Tree tracts or easements shall be located according to the priority location list in subsection (5) of this section.

(b) No portion of a tree tract shall be less than 20 feet in width.

(3) Designation. Any application and/or plan required for new development shall show all significant trees designated for protection. These areas may be shown by labeling them as “significant trees” or such other designation as approved by the Director. Protected vegetation, including protected trees, shall not be modified, harmed, or removed except as provided in this section.

(4) Preservation. An approval for new development shall require the significant trees to be retained are permanently preserved within a tract, easement, or other permanent protective mechanism. The location, purpose, and restrictions of these protected areas shall be shown on the face of the deed, plat, binding site plan, covenant, or similar document, and shall be recorded with the King County Recorder’s Office or its successor. The recorded document shall include the requirement that the protected areas shall not be removed, amended, or modified without the written approval of the City.

(5) Priority Location of Tree Tracts. Placement of tree tracts is encouraged in certain areas to enhance their viability and to complement natural and environmental features of the property. The priority locations below are encouraged for placement of all trees in designated tree tracts. When such tree tracts are located according to the following priority, a subdivision or development is eligible for up to a one percent reduction in the tree retention percentage requirement outlined in CMC 18.45.080.

(a) Priority Locations for Tree Tracts.

(i) Adjacent to identified critical areas and critical area buffers.

(ii) Adjacent to existing public or private parks.

(iii) Adjacent to existing trails or trail systems.

(iv) Adjacent to existing stands of significant trees on adjacent property boundaries.

(v) Adjacent to existing stormwater retention systems.

(vi) Adjacent to significant wildlife habitat areas.

(vii) Adjacent to contrasting land uses where establishing a tree buffer will enhance both properties and reduce potential impacts of dissimilar land uses.

(6) Maintenance of Tree Tracts. All tree tracts required under this code shall require a permanent maintenance agreement to be approved by the City on forms provided by the Director, which designates the private homeowners association, property owner association, or other private entity responsible for said maintenance of trees. All tree tracts shall provide a guarantee for reasonable accessibility for future tree maintenance.

(7) Pacific Northwest Native Trees Required. Any tree(s) to be planted as part of the requirements of this chapter to fulfill tree tract, tree conservation easement, tree preservation or tree enhancement plan standards for residential, commercial or industrial property, when sufficient trees do not exist on site, shall be Pacific Northwest native trees included on the City-published list; however, the Director may approve climate-appropriate, drought-tolerant alternatives if they demonstrate there is a reason not to use native trees. In addition, they shall be at least two-inch caliper and shall contain a mix of at least 60 percent coniferous trees.

(8) Three-Year Survivability. Any original or replanted trees required under a tree tract requirement, tree conservation easement or tree enhancement plan as part of the provisions of this chapter shall survive at a rate of 90 percent of the required trees for at least three years from either the date of issuance of the freestanding tree removal permit or tree clearing permit, the date of acceptance of final construction in a subdivision plat, the date of final occupancy for any development or redevelopment permit, or the date of final occupancy for any building permit, whichever is applicable. Required trees that do not meet the 90 percent survival rate for three years shall be replanted at the property owner’s expense. Such replanted trees shall then be required to again survive for three years or be replanted at the owner expense. A financial guarantee for all planting or replanting of required trees under this chapter may be required, as determined by the Director, on forms acceptable to the City as prescribed in Chapter 14.105 CMC. Tree planting or replanting shall occur between October 1st and May 1st of each year, unless written approval is granted by the Director and reasonable provisions are made for irrigation and survivability of replanted trees. Tree planting may be deferred to the next appropriate planting season upon written request and approval by the Director. (Ord. 02-21 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 05-20 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 04-08 § 2)