"Last year, Mayor Greg Nickels released the Urban Forest Management Plan, which aims to increase tree cover from 18 percent to 30 percent in 30 years.
An Emerald City Task Force was convened and in December released its tree-saving recommendations. Now the city is reviewing and updating its tree regulations, which offer weak protections.
Trees are valued for providing habitat to birds and other animals, controlling stormwater runoff, helping fight climate change and cleaning the air.
But while city leaders say they want to save trees, those critical of the Ingraham plan wonder if Seattle Public Schools missed that message.
David Tucker, district spokesman, said they'd like to preserve as many trees as possible, but it's not their primary mission.
"Our focus has to be what is going to best assist those students in progressing academically," Tucker said."
Well, okay, of course the focus is on academics but our schools are not isolated islands. They sit in neighborhoods.
Of course, the district is not stripping the area bare but will replace some of them (albeit with smaller trees that, of course, will take years to grow).
So could there be a compromise? Neighorhood:
"If the building was built on the nearby grassy site as some suggest, classroom daylight would be lost, more open space would be eliminated because the proposed two-story building would be spread over one story, and the addition would be much closer to the street. It also would cost more."
I guess you'd have to see the plans to see if what the district is saying is true. But naturally, we all have to believe the old district adage "it'll cost more not doing it our way" because they say it every time.
"Ron English, Seattle Public Schools' environmental officer, signed off on the draft environmental review of the project, determining it "will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment."
Neighbors challenged that assertion during a comment period ending March 19. They're also upset over feeling excluded from the planning process -- a frequent complaint in construction projects undertaken by the school district.
"This is public money. It's tax dollars," Zemke said. "We should have a voice."You think?