Tree DCP Amendment

Inner West Council has resolved to undertake a review of the Development Control Plan (DCP) controls relating to trees. Council’s three tree DCPs (from the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Leichhardt Councils) regulate the management of trees on private land and set out controls for determining tree pruning and removals via Permit Applications and Development Applications.

Read Council's Notice of Motion from 13 February 2018 - C0218 item 11

Read the Council minutes from 13 February 2018 - C0218 item 11

View over neighbourhood with many trees

Developing the DCP Amendment

Council has prepared a discussion paper which sets out principles and options to guide the development

Inner West Council has resolved to undertake a review of the Development Control Plan (DCP) controls relating to trees. Council’s three tree DCPs (from the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Leichhardt Councils) regulate the management of trees on private land and set out controls for determining tree pruning and removals via Permit Applications and Development Applications.

Read Council's Notice of Motion from 13 February 2018 - C0218 item 11

Read the Council minutes from 13 February 2018 - C0218 item 11

View over neighbourhood with many trees

Developing the DCP Amendment

Council has prepared a discussion paper which sets out principles and options to guide the development of the Tree DCP Amendment.

Read a summary of the issues here

Read the discussion paper here

Principles

Principles will form the foundation for the development of the Tree DCP Amendment and outline the broad topics for consideration. These principles are based on concerns raised by members of the public and Council.

  • Public safety – Trees on private land are managed to ensure public safety and risk is managed appropriately.
  • Protection of property – Trees on private land are managed to ensure protection of property.
  • Equity/ financial cost - Trees are there for the benefit of the community and the costs incurred by residents to maintain trees should be reduced.
  • Increased urban canopy – Trees are essential for creating liveable cities and urban canopy needs to be increased.


Options for amendment

The DCP Amendment options outlined below will be used in the development of an amended Tree DCP and will define the specific areas where changes will be made.

Principle
DCP Amendment options
Discussion areas
Public Safety
O1. Adjust the assessment criteria for tree removal on the basis of risk.
  • Risk management is about managing risk to an acceptable threshold.
  • Include a requirement that tree risk is to be assessed by an arborist qualified in risk assessment.

O2. Introduce a simplified “Informal” Tree Application for dead or dying trees.
  • Where a tree appears to be dead or dying, the applicant may submit a free “informal” tree application with photographs of the tree. Where the photographs provide sufficient information and staff do not have to attend the site, confirmation of approval to remove dead trees is confirmed via email or letter by staff.



Protection of Property
O3. Adjust the assessment criteria for tree removal around property damage.
  • Include in assessment criteria a requirement for the consideration of future structural damage.


O4. Allow for trees to be removed that are within 500mm of a primary dwelling.
  • Trees located within 500mm of a primary (main dwelling) structure may be removed without application to Council if the root system of the tree is clearly demonstrated to be causing damage*.
  • Only applicable to trees less than 300mm diameter at the base. 500mm is measured from the centre of tree trunk.
  • This does not apply to non-primary dwelling structures such as verandas/ patios, carports, detached garages, and ancillary buildings, cantilevered and pier supported structures such as balconies and decks.
*provided the owner of the land on which the tree is located is in agreement and gives written consent.



Equity/ financial cost

O5. Remove mandatory requirement for Arborist reports in HCA’s and Items
  • Arborist reports will only be required of applicants when there is the need to demonstrate a technical aspect of the application.

O6. Council develop a funding program for maintenance of trees on private property.
  • A grants scheme could be considered where Council provides funding to residents who have valuable canopy trees on their property and require assistance to maintain those trees.
  • This would be offered on a co-contribution basis and would be for pruning and maintenance works, not removal or building maintenance.

O7.Reduce the cost burden for those on lower incomes.
  • Pension card holders are offered a 50% discount on tree assessment applications.

08. Remove notification fees and consolidate notification process.
  • There is currently a notification fee of $220 for the ex Leichhardt area when a private tree is to be removed. This includes web, letter to surrounding residents and a physical notice on the property.
  • There is no notification for private tree removal in the Marrickville and Ashfield areas.
  • Propose to remove the fee, letter and physical notice components and expand web notification to whole LGA.



Increased urban canopy
O9. Set minimum targets in the LEP and DCP for canopy coverage based on land zoning ie. residential, commercial, industrial.
  • Canopy percentage targets for new development areas will provide a nexus for increased tree planting based on land zoning.
  • Town centres (B1 to B7) 15%
  • Medium to High density and industrial (R3, R4, IN1 and IN2) 25%
  • Low density and general residential (R1, R2) 40%

10. Set compulsory replanting requirements.
  • Compensatory planting is a critical consideration when deciding whether consent should be granted. Applicant to nominate tree for replacement with their application.
  • General residential development for properties that exceed 300sqm shall have a minimum of two (2) trees. Properties that have less than 300sqm shall have minimum of one (1) tree.


Have your say

Council is seeking your feedback on the principles and options. You can have your say

  • Online using the survey below
  • By mail, addressed to Inner West Council, PO Box 14, Petersham 2049. Please mark your letter 18/6398 Tree DCP Amendment
  • In person, at Council’s Customer Service Centres: Ashfield 260 Liverpool Rd, Leichhardt 7-15 Wetherill Street, Petersham 2-14 Fisher Street

Last day to provide feedback is Friday 14 September 2018


What happens next

Your feedback will be presented to Council in a report on 25 September 2018. Council will decide on final principles and options for the Tree DCP Amendment. These principles and options will be used to create a draft Tree DCP Amendment which will be on public exhibition for community comment later in the year. After the exhibition closes, your feedback will be reported to Council which will determine whether or not to make the changes to the DCP. If you have provided feedback during this process you will be advised of the dates of Council meetings where the matter is being discussed.

  • Council considered Tree DCP Harmonisation - discussion paper

    about 2 months ago

    Council considered an engagement report on the discussion paper at a meeting on Tuesday 25 September 2018. Council passed a motion to:

    1. Develop the DCP amendments on tree management unter the following principles:

    • Public safety
    • Protection of property
    • Equity/financial burden
    • Increase in urban canopy
    2. Prepare the draft Tree DCP taking into consideration the options within the discussion paper, and the feedback received from the community engagement

    3. Report the draft Tree DCP to Council prior to being placed on public exhibition

    4. Liaise with the Architectural School and Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology about any advice or assistance or partnership they can offer to assist Council in expanding and measuring tree canopy and green infrastructure

    5. Prepare a report about ways the Tree Management Grant System could be funded

    6. Consider an establishment of a Significant Tree register in the 2019/20 budget development process

    7. Report the level of Tree Canopy for the LGA against the Greater Sydney Commission's target of 40% on the Council website

    Council considered an engagement report on the discussion paper at a meeting on Tuesday 25 September 2018. Council passed a motion to:

    1. Develop the DCP amendments on tree management unter the following principles:

    • Public safety
    • Protection of property
    • Equity/financial burden
    • Increase in urban canopy
    2. Prepare the draft Tree DCP taking into consideration the options within the discussion paper, and the feedback received from the community engagement

    3. Report the draft Tree DCP to Council prior to being placed on public exhibition

    4. Liaise with the Architectural School and Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology about any advice or assistance or partnership they can offer to assist Council in expanding and measuring tree canopy and green infrastructure

    5. Prepare a report about ways the Tree Management Grant System could be funded

    6. Consider an establishment of a Significant Tree register in the 2019/20 budget development process

    7. Report the level of Tree Canopy for the LGA against the Greater Sydney Commission's target of 40% on the Council website