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A. Purpose statement. The purpose of this Chapter is to establish a process and standards to provide for the protection, preservation, replacement, proper maintenance and use of trees, associated vegetation and soils located in the City of Vancouver in order to:

1. Promote the general welfare of the City by maintaining canopy coverage provided by trees for their functions as identified in section B;

2. Preserve and enhance the City of Vancouver’s environmental, economic, and social character with mature landscapes;

3. Promote site planning, building, and development practices to prevent indiscriminate removal or destruction of trees and vegetation and avoid unnecessary disturbance to the City’s natural vegetation;

4. Comply with the requirements of the Forest Practice Rules pertaining to land use conversion activities;

5. Implement the goals and objectives of the City’s Comprehensive Plan; and

6. Implement the goals and objectives of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

7. Implement the goals and objectives of Low Impact Development from the Washington State Department of Ecology as required in the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit.

B. Rationale. Whereas the City finds trees and vegetation are important elements of the physical environment which protect public health, safety and general welfare as follows through:

1. Increasing the air quality with the absorption of air pollutants, assimilation of carbon dioxide and generation of oxygen, and with the reduction of excessive noise and mental and physical damage related to noise pollution;

2. Minimizing the adverse impacts of land disturbing activities and impervious surfaces on runoff, soil erosion, land instability, sedimentation and pollution of waterways, thus, minimizing the public and private costs for stormwater control/treatment and utility maintenance;

3. Cost-effective protection against severe weather conditions with cooling effects in the summer months and insulating effects in winter;

4. Providing habitat, cover, food supply and corridors for a diversity of fish and wildlife; and

5. Economic support of local property values and contribution to the region’s natural beauty and enhancing the aesthetic character of the community. (Ord. M-4179 § 78, 10/17/2016; Ord. M-3643, 01/26/2004; Ord. M-3286 § 1, 1997)