Take Action: Portland Tree Code Revisions Move to Next Step

City of Portland staff have now forwarded their proposed Tree Code (Title 11) Amendments on to the next step of public process: a joint public hearing in front of the City’s Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) and Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). 

Despite extensive public support for removing all zoning exemptions – the proposal disappointingly retains the exemption for some industrial land owners from important tree protection regulations.

We need your continued advocacy to help ensure the UFC and PSC remove this unfair exemption, which negatively impacts some of the City’s most important natural resource areas along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and Columbia Slough and hurts adjacent vulnerable communities. The City has stalled on addressing this issue for more than a decade while industrial land owners have continued cutting trees with no accountability and the time is now to remove the exemptions for Heavy Industrial (IH) zoned lands. Click here for more background information.

Take Action

  1. Submit written testimony. See talking points below!
  2. Sign up to testify alongside other advocates at the virtual public hearing on Tuesday, September 8 at 2 p.m. Deadline to sign up is 5 p.m. on Monday September 7. Sign up.

Click here to view the map of potential changes.

A photo looking up at the tree canopy with the sun filtering through the trees.
Gorgeous leaf canopies in the Portland area. Photo by Wil C Fry.

Talking Points

    • Express appreciation for the extensive analysis, reception to community concerns, and initial steps staff has taken to remedy some of the major flaws of the Tree Code (Title 11) in the proposed code amendments. 
    • Support the proposal to reduce tree size threshold for required tree preservation as it will mean many more trees will receive greater protections and will lead to many more large trees to be retained in our communities
    • Urge the Commissioners to eliminate exemptions for ALL commercial and industrial zones INCLUDING HEAVY INDUSTRIAL (IH). Every zone type in the City should play a role in protecting and growing our urban tree canopy – especially in light of our climate crisis. It is a false narrative to pit trees against industrial land availability and jobs, and if industrial land owners cannot retain trees onsite they should be required to mitigate offsite to ensure that neighboring communities (many of them diverse and/or low income) are less impacted.
    • Protecting trees on industrial lands is essential to achieve the City’s commitment to build climate resilient equitable communities. Eliminating all commercial and industrial zone exemptions for Title 11 will help the City move closer to its tree canopy goals and aid in ensuring that it is more equitably distributed. 

Thank you for advocating for Portland’s tree canopy and the environmental and community benefits it provides.