I'm the Executive Director of the Austin Heritage Tree Foundation and I need
your help to save 6 heritage trees and 1 protected tree that will be removed
at the Green Water Treatment Plant. The case is going to Austin's city
council tomorrow, around 6 pm. City staff is asking city council to approve
an ordinance approving a waiver to remove these 7 trees, bypassing the
heritage tree ordinance!
Please, email or call these people tomorrow (the earlier the better), and
ask that the 6 heritage trees and 1 protected tree at the Green Water
Treatment Plant be saved and that the Heritage Tree Ordinance be followed by
the city and the Green Treatment Plant developer (Trammel Crow), same as
every citizen has to do:
Mayor Leffingwell, 512-974-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org (staff Amy
Everheart 512-699-2693 cell, Nancy Williams)
Chris Riley, 512-974-2260, email@example.com
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> (aide Leah Bojo 512-974-1379, Lewis
Mike Martinez, 512-974-2264, email@example.com (aide Andrew
Sheryl Cole, 512-974-2266, firstname.lastname@example.org (aide Michael
Bill Spellman, 512-974-2256, email@example.com
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> (aides Heidi Gerbracht and Barksdale
Kathie Tovo, Kathie.email@example.com
Laura Morrison, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Johns, 512-974-7802, Director of the Economic Growth Redevelopment
Services Office (EGSRO), email@example.com
Sue Edwards, 512- 974-7906, Assistant City Manager-development,
Brent Lloyd, 512-974-2974, Attorney, City Legal, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc Ott, 512-974-2200, City Manager, email@example.com
Greg Guernsey, 512-974-7668, Planning and Development Review department
(including City Arborist Office), firstname.lastname@example.org
The city removed 47 trees during the plant demolition 2 years ago, but saved
and protected these 7 trees with fences, and even installed irrigation and
watered these trees, so the city intended to save them. But, now the city
is asking city council to approve an ordinance granting the developer
(Trammel Crow) a waiver to remove these 7 trees as part of the Green Water
Treatment Plant deal. There has been no process at all. No administrative
process, the City Arborist has not been involved, and no public vetting.
The worse part is that these trees could be easily saved. They are very
close to the sidewalks, so they could be incorporated in the design of the
buildings and landscape, just as the city has required more than 2,000
developers to do so far, and just as all these developers, without a single
exemption, have done.
The Heritage Tree Ordinance requires the developer to try to design around
the tree, and if this can't be done, then the variance to remove the
heritage tree is granted. But, in this case, the developer has not even
tried to design to save the tree. There is no design at all. The city says
that they entered an RFP in 2008 before the Heritage Tree Ordinance was
approved, that the contract (Memorandum of Agreement) overrides city code.
We think that the city needs to abide by the Heritage and Protected Tree
Ordinances just like they require every developer and citizen to do. In
addition, the Protected Tree ordinance was valid in 2008, but the trees are
not being preserved, and are not even being mitigated at the proper rate.
Please, understand that we don't want mitigation. We want for the Heritage
Tree Ordinance to be followed and for these heritage trees to be saved. We
want for the City of Austin to stand up honest and fair, and abide by its
This can impact the entire state of Texas! Last year, there were 4 bills
that could have weakened heritage tree ordinances at the legislature, but
they were not passed. But several senators made it very clear that they
will be looking very closely at any municipality that breaks their own
heritage tree ordinance. This will expose Austin to scrutiny and heavy
criticism from the legislature!
Please, help these trees!
Thanks so much!
Austin Heritage Tree Foundation
Go to this link for more information: