Eastsiders want better tree protections

Trees Destroyed by DR Horton

Eastside residents are still furious with DR Hornton developers for deliberately destroying mature trees for thier new development, going against the plans they submitted, and against the city tree ordinance.
Judy Taylor sent this to us: 
from Gyna Bivens, District 5.

Dear Judy,
This is the information I have for now I am hoping for more, who knows. Build us a great presentation to the community, council votes in August for the Bond money that would provide for persons to protect our TREES. Get people excited to join us to speak for the trees that provide the oxygen we must have for life.
It is your love of this city that keeps you rolling.
I believe it is important that desires of the citizens be heard in a timely fashion.
This is the precise time that city staffers are building the budget that will be voted on in August. Some of the things we want to have in place to protect trees will cost money. That is why I hope people will actually drive to City Hall and share their ideas about how we can prevent what happened to the trees never happens again. Please feel free to share these points that are gaining traction:
1. We want no more closed door deals made with violators. We respect the right that staff should be allowed to negotiate talks should be published so that the public can attend if they so choose. City staff members are intelligent, but it is amazing what can happen if the people are allowed to weigh in on these discussions. The time for citizens to have their say is DURING the discussions—not afterwards.
2. All applications for development must be put on the city’s website. That at least gives citizens a heads up that development is coming.
3. The 2-person inspection team must be increased because it is imperative that in-person tree inventory must be done by staff or city trained volunteers. Some cities and counties are using drones to help in inspection related tasks. We want to see STAFF handing this visual inspections—not the developers. Telling citizens to help report suspected violations is not good enough. The DR Horton problem had been reported, but the trees are still gone. There are no rapid response teams to go after tree clearing violators. That’s why increasing the 2 person inspection team is important.
4. Let us consider offering incentives to developers who are good stewards of preserving our trees with creative innovative plans.
Gyna M. Bivens, President & Executive Director
North Texas Leaders & Executives Advocating Diversity www.northtexaslead.org . 817.352.1675