Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Seattle Department of Planning and Development Continues Faux Public Comment Process"

Steve Zemke (Majority Rules Blog):
The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is continuing a rigged phony public involvement process in seeking comment on its proposed plan to deregulate tree protection in Seattle. DPD's posting of a "Summary of Comments Received on DPD Tree Regulations" does little if anything to clarify the issues involved in trying to protect trees in Seattle or help in drafting real urban forestry and tree protection legislation.

The problem starts with the fact that the very people who produced the summary are opposed to tree regulations and proposed to deregulate all tree protection for the City in their draft document. They ignored the Seattle City Council's resolution #31138 urging development of a proposal to increase tree protection and chose to propose the opposite by wiping out the existing protections for mature trees and tree groves and proposing instead to "provide incentives and educate people to save trees". They cited no examples of where this has worked elsewhere.

Now, rather than publishing the actual letters and comments of those that gave input on their proposal, like other cities have done (eg see Shoreline's public comments on their tree protection proposal here) , DPD choose instead to anonymously publish what seems to be their edited "notes" of so called public meeting comments and and written comments. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Steve Zemke is tracking this issue like a hound dog and I keep having to play catch up with him. Lest you think Steve is some crackpot, check out this article in the Seattle Times, from May, 2009: "Seattle's tree management needs revising, the city auditor says."

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