A City of Fitchburg Tree Preservation Ordinance was passed in July 2023 after being worked on by the Tree Advisory Committee for several years. This ordinance fits into the Comprehensive Plan Policy 1.3.6, which instructs the city to develop a Tree Protection Ordinance, a Tree Diversity Plan, and a tree canopy of 30% in the Urban Service Area. Promoting desirable trees enhances and improves property values and quality of life in the City of Fitchburg by alleviating air and water pollution, conserving energy, providing a noise and visual buffer, providing wildlife habitat, mitigating the effects of climate change, and promoting health and safety of all residents.
The scope of the ordinance covers projects undertaken by the city on public land. The ordinance establishes requirements for all trees of 6" DBH (diameter at breast height) of desirable species in a preliminary plat to be surveyed and included in a tree preservation plan to be reviewed by the Plan Commission and City Forester. Not all desirable trees are expected to be saved - the Tree Preservation Ordinance is not intended to serve as a roadblock to future development projects in our community! Trees are the thing most often forgotten about in development, and the ordinance is simply a tool to include trees in the discussion during the preliminary platting process.