Forest Friendly Development Practices

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Information about Forest Friendly Development Practices

Published on September 26, 2008

Author: watershedprotection

Source: slideshare.net

forest friendly development practices Photo source: The Noisette Company

Slideshow Content Identify trees and forests to protect Use site design techniques that conserve trees and native vegetation Minimize clearing of native vegetation Protect trees and soils during construction Protect trees after construction Plant trees at development sites

Identify trees and forests to protect

Use site design techniques that conserve trees and native vegetation

Minimize clearing of native vegetation

Protect trees and soils during construction

Protect trees after construction

Plant trees at development sites

Identify Trees and Forests to Protect Conduct an inventory of existing forest to identify species, condition, and ecological value Identify priority trees and forests for conservation Example forest stand delineation map

Conduct an inventory of existing forest to identify species, condition, and ecological value

Identify priority trees and forests for conservation

Conservation Priorities Rare, threatened or endangered species, specimen trees, other desirable species Trees greater than a specified size, champion trees, forest stands of a minimum specified size Trees and forest stands in good condition Trees or forest stands that are adjacent to existing forest, located in protected natural areas (e.g., floodplains), or provide direct benefits at the site (e.g., shading) Tip: Where it is not possible to protect individual trees, transplant them to another portion of the site instead

Rare, threatened or endangered species, specimen trees, other desirable species

Trees greater than a specified size, champion trees, forest stands of a minimum specified size

Trees and forest stands in good condition

Trees or forest stands that are adjacent to existing forest, located in protected natural areas (e.g., floodplains), or provide direct benefits at the site (e.g., shading)

Use Site Design Techniques that Conserve Trees and Native Vegetation Better Site Design techniques that can protect forests: Open space design Reduced street and ROW widths Reduced parking ratios Reduced lot frontages and setbacks Use natural areas for stormwater treatment Preserve stream buffers

Better Site Design techniques that can protect forests:

Open space design

Reduced street and ROW widths

Reduced parking ratios

Reduced lot frontages and setbacks

Use natural areas for stormwater treatment

Preserve stream buffers

Open Space Design Clusters lots on smaller portion of site to conserve natural areas Incorporates smaller lot sizes Minimizes total impervious area Provides community open space Promotes watershed protection

Clusters lots on smaller portion of site to conserve natural areas

Incorporates smaller lot sizes

Minimizes total impervious area

Provides community open space

Promotes watershed protection

Photo courtesy of Randall Arendt Open Space Development Conventional Development

Open Space Design Potential Barriers Possible Resolutions Smaller lots are less marketable Many studies indicate that open space designs can save in construction costs while having a higher market value Developers may be discouraged from using open space design because it requires a special exception or additional review process Communities can revise their subdivision or zoning ordinances to make open space design by-right

Millcreek subdivision in Lancaster, PA uses narrow streets, shorter setbacks, and sidewalks on one side of the street only to reduce impervious cover and conserve natural areas

Open space was conserved at the Millcreek subdivision by clustering lots

Minimize Clearing of Native Vegetation Clearing and grading of native vegetation should be limited to the minimum needed to: Build lots Allow access Provide fire protection A suggested limit of disturbance (LOD) is 5 to 10 feet outward from building pads

Clearing and grading of native vegetation should be limited to the minimum needed to:

Build lots

Allow access

Provide fire protection

A suggested limit of disturbance (LOD) is 5 to 10 feet outward from building pads

Site Fingerprinting

Entire Site Cleared Site Fingerprinting Used Source: ARC, 2001

Minimize Clearing Potential Barriers Possible Resolutions Preservation of trees during construction is prohibitively expensive. Minimizing clearing during construction and reduce earth movement and erosion and sediment control costs by up to $5,000/ acre (Delaware DNREC, 1997) Vegetation near homes can be a fire risk. In areas where clearing is required around a house, minimization of the entire site can still be achieved. This can be a challenge in wildfire areas. Greater clearing and grading maybe required to reduce risk of fires.

Protect Trees and Soil During Construction Delineate the critical root zone (CRZ): the essential area of tree roots that must be protected for the tree’s survival Install/enforce physical barriers to protect trees Use signs and visible flagging No construction, material storage, utilities, or vehicles allowed in protected zone Enforce penalties for violation Educate contractors Protect soils from compaction/use soil stockpiling

Delineate the critical root zone (CRZ): the essential area of tree roots that must be protected for the tree’s survival

Install/enforce physical barriers to protect trees

Use signs and visible flagging

No construction, material storage, utilities, or vehicles allowed in protected zone

Enforce penalties for violation

Educate contractors

Protect soils from compaction/use soil stockpiling

Protect Trees and Soil During Construction Methods to delineate the CRZ: Trunk diameter method Site occupancy method Minimum area method Dripline method Trunk diameter method

Methods to delineate the CRZ:

Trunk diameter method

Site occupancy method

Minimum area method

Dripline method

Trees are not adequately protected at this site, where construction materials are stored within the CRZ of trees

The critical root zone of this tree is physically protected from compaction and damage Photo source: The Noisette Company

Protect Trees During Construction Potential Barriers Possible Resolutions Additional cost of saving a tree outweigh benefits. Property values increased by 6-15% on both residential and commercial sites (Morales, 1980 and Weyerhauser, 1989) Single family homes in Athens, GA with an average of 5 trees/ home sold for 3.5-4.5% more than houses without trees (National Arbor Day Foundation, 1996)

Protect Trees After Construction Educate residents about protected areas Specify management of open space – use maintenance agreements, homeowners’ association (HOA) Tree and forest protection ordinances

Educate residents about protected areas

Specify management of open space – use maintenance agreements, homeowners’ association (HOA)

Tree and forest protection ordinances

Posting signs at the boundaries of forest conservation areas is an important method for informing and educating the public

Specify Management of Open Space Clearly specify how community open space will be managed Community association/HOA Conservation easement Transfer to land trust ownership Publicly owned land Designate a sustainable legal entity responsible for managing open space Specify native vegetation and restrict tree removal

Clearly specify how community open space will be managed

Community association/HOA

Conservation easement

Transfer to land trust ownership

Publicly owned land

Designate a sustainable legal entity responsible for managing open space

Specify native vegetation and restrict tree removal

As much open space as possible should be retained in a natural condition and lawns and playgrounds may not be counted towards this portion

The Cost of Open Space Management Open Space Management Strategy Annual Maintenance Cost Natural open space only minimum maintenance trash/debris cleanup $75/acre Lawns regular mowing $240-270/acre Passive recreation $200/acre

Open Space Management Potential Barriers Possible Resolutions Common areas, stormwater management, and other facilities can be expensive. Many of these costs can be offset by reducing the amount of paving on a site. Community association management of open space areas are not reliable Other options for management include donation to a land trust, conservation easements, and other strategies for maintaining the viability of community associations

Tree and Forest Protection Ordinances Provide specific criteria for long-term protection and maintenance of natural areas (e.g., restrict tree clearing except for safety reasons) Establish appropriate enforcement measures Designate an entity responsible for holding and managing forest conservation easements Model ordinances available at: www.stormwatercenter.net

Provide specific criteria for long-term protection and maintenance of natural areas (e.g., restrict tree clearing except for safety reasons)

Establish appropriate enforcement measures

Designate an entity responsible for holding and managing forest conservation easements

Model ordinances available at: www.stormwatercenter.net

Plant Trees at Development Sites Local roads Tree lawns Median strips Cul-de-sac islands Parking lots Parking lot islands Parking lot perimeter Home lawns Stormwater treatment practices (STPs) Wetlands Swales Filter strips Bioretention

Local roads

Tree lawns

Median strips

Cul-de-sac islands

Parking lots

Parking lot islands

Parking lot perimeter

Home lawns

Stormwater treatment practices (STPs)

Wetlands

Swales

Filter strips

Bioretention

Conventional development with no street trees

Trees planted in the tree lawn provide a canopy over the street when they mature

Trees planted in a median strip

A typical cul-de-sac is a large expanse of pavement with no vegetation

Trees can be incorporated into cul-de-sac islands

Where are all the trees?

Expanded parking lots island with trees that share rooting space

Trees in parking lots perimeter

Where are all the trees?

Trees planted on home lawns provide shade and other benefits at maturity

Typical stormwater pond with no trees

Stormwater dry pond with trees

Bioretention facility with trees

Plant Trees at Development Sites Potential Barriers Possible Resolutions Trees not allowed in STPs Cappiella, et al (2005) provides guidance on incorporating trees into STP design Subdivision standards specify narrow tree lawn and parking lot islands that will not support large healthy trees Use expanded tree pits to allow shared rooting space. Communities can revise codes to require larger planting spaces Trees not allowed because of overhead wires Communities can revise codes to allow utilities to be placed underground

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