Planning Department

February 28, 2019

Honorable Mayor and Councilors
City Manager
City Attorney
Clerk of Council

Subject: (REZN-11-18-2155) Request to amend the text of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) in to amend Section 4.6.12 Tree Protection and Planting Plan Requirements to amend existing paragraph F and Section 13.1.1 New Definitions for Sections to amend existing Definitions to read as follows:
(Explanation of Revisions)

1. Explanation of Revisions: Amend Section 4.6.12 (F).

Section 4.6.12 (F) Tree Protection and Planting Plan Requirements

F. Removal of protected trees.
      (a) It shall be a violation of this Article for any person, organization, society, association or corporation, or any agent or representative thereof, directly or indirectly, to cut down, remove, damage or destroy, or shall authorize the cutting down, removal, damage, or destruction of any protected tree, as defined in Section 13.1.1 hereof, or shall commit any act or authorize the commission of any act which physically removes a protected tree or causes a tree to die, such as damage inflicted upon the root system by heavy machinery, chemicals or paving, changing the natural grade above the root system and tree damage permitting infection or pest infestation unless such removal is specifically permitted in accordance with paragraphs (b) below.
      (b) Removal of Protected Trees: Any Beautification Plan Tree or Public Protected Tree or Exceptional Specimen Tree may only be cut with permission of the City Arborist or in the event of his denial, the Tree Board. Any Beautification Plan Tree or Public Tree which poses imminent danger to the public health, welfare or safety or any tree that needs to be removed on an emergency basis to restore public utility service may be removed with specific permission, authorization and approval from either the City Arborist, the Public Works Director, City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Mayor, Chief of Police or Chief of Fire & EMS.

2. Explanation of Revisions: Amend Section 13.1.1 (New Definitions).

SECTION 13.1.1 New Definitions.
      Protected Tree means a Beautification Plan Tree, a Public Protected Tree, or an exceptional specimen tree.

      Beautification Plan Tree is any tree or shrub planted in any one of the following circumstances: (a) as part of the Columbus Georgia Beautification Plan which was established by Resolution No. 576-08, as the same may be amended by future Council’s (b) in the State right of way pursuant to a DOT Special Encroachment permit or with the permission of GDOT;(c) pursuant to a landscape plan which is part of a streetscape beautification program approval by the Columbus Consolidated Government and funded by governmental or private funding or (d) any planting done by or with the permission or acquiescence of the consolidated government on right of way of a city street or state highway.

      Public Protected Tree means any tree located on lands owned by the consolidated
      government, its authorities or other constituent units (“CCG entities”) or any land upon which easements are imposed for the benefit of CCG entities, or upon which other ownership control may be exerted by CCG entities including rights-of-way, parks , public areas and easements for drainage, sewer, water and other public utilities, with a DBH of six inches or more.

      Exceptional Specimen Tree means any tree which upon application is determined by the Tree Board to be a unique and intrinsic value to the general public because of its size, age, historic association or ecological value or any tree designated a Georgia State Champion, United States Champion or World Champion by the American Forestry Association. The City Arborist shall keep a record of all specimen trees so designated and their location.

Additional Information:



The Planning Advisory Commission (PAC) considered this text amendment at their meeting on February 06, 2019. By a vote of 8-0, the PAC recommended approval.

The Planning Department recommends approval.


Rick Jones, AICP
Director, Planning Department