The tree doesn’t always fall. On the site of one of the proposed developments mentioned in Scott’s earlier story, at 1114 14th Avenue, the current scheme calls for replacing the existing six-unit building with a duplex and a triplex for a total of five units. This is a change from the developer’s earlier proposal. According to the Department of Planning and Development decision approving the Land Use application (No. 3009237) “(t)he site was originally designed with a triplex and two single family units, but a large cedar tree located on the northeast portion of the site is considered exceptional,and is required to be retained. Revising the eastern portion of the design with a duplex instead of two single family units allows the tree to be preserved.”
“Exceptional” trees,the definition of which is set forth in a five page DPD “Director’s Rule” http://www.seattle.gov/dclu/codes/dr/DR2001-6.pdf are protected. “Exceptionalness”, in general, depends on species and size. In the case of the development on 14th Avenue the tree in question is a Western Red Cedar which is a species “sometimes” considered exceptional if it is big enough.
Looking at the site and the tree, different people will come to different conclusions as to whether or not this was a good result.
DPD is re-writing the tree protection rules. New regulations will change the definition of what qualifies as an exceptional tree. To learn more details, the e-mail address for the DPD contact person is [email protected].
On the other hand, the existing building which seems to have had more living units (six) than the five units that will replace it, will apparently fall.