Listen to podcast: The future of Dallas’ trees

The City of Dallas is working on revisions to its tree ordinance, changes that could affect residents’ concerns about mature trees in their neighborhoods, and impact developers’ ability to uproot trees in order to construct new properties. Sandy Greyson, a former city councilman and regular Advocate columnist, wrote on this topic in September 2009, then again in a two-month series in March and April 2010.

Greyson recently stopped by our offices to speak more on the issue. She brought along Bob Curry, the city’s Northeast District Manager in the Department of Code Compliance. He is also the chairman of the Urban Forestry Advisory Committee, which is one of the groups suggesting tree ordinance changes to the city. Greyson was on the original task force during the first major go-round of the tree ordinance in 1994. Both Curry and Greyson are also involved in the local nonprofit Save Open Space, which advocates for the preservation of open spaces. Curry is president and Greyson is on the board.

In the podcast, Curry mentions a couple of sites that we’ve discussed quite a bit on Back Talk: Timbercreek on Northwest Highway and Skillman, which was once an apartment complex shrouded in trees and will soon become a double-decker Sam’s Club and Walmart (Greyson mentioned the developer’s efforts to stall tree mitigation in a Back Talk post); and the former Willow Creek/Lakeside apartments at Walnut Hill and Central, a site that was cleared to make way for the mixed-use development Glen at Preston Hollow, which recently went under.

Curry estimates that any updates to the tree ordinance would be made sometime in the fall, after the 2010-11 budget is determined. The best way to weigh in, Curry and Greyson say? Contact your councilman. Listen to the Advocate radio podcast for more details, and stay tuned to Back Talk for updates.

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