To the editor:

For the past two weeks, Brookhaven’s proposed tree ordinance has been reviewed by the City Council, and it appears that they’re in a rush to adopt it as they claim, in order to have an enforceable ordinance.

DeKalb’s ordinance, which is currently in place, is ignored regularly as evidenced by recent clear cutting on Redding Way in Ashford Park, on Mabry Road in Historic Brookhaven and on two lots on Saybrook Road  in Silver Lake, to mention a few.

Interesting that at the last city council meeting, Brookhaven’s arborist claimed 25 years experience with DeKalb, yet its ordinance appears too complex for her to enforce.

While the proposed ordinance contains few improvements over DeKalb’s ordinance, the most serious flaws with the proposed ordinance do not concern private property owners, and in spite of explanations to the contrary, the ordinance does not promote preservation but is extremely developer friendly.

A recent slide presentation clearly states, “The purpose of these standards is to facilitate and promote canopy preservation and tree replacement as an integral part of land development and construction process in the City of Brookhaven.” This appears to be an admission that the rules must fit within the plans of those whose sole intention is to build and make money.

Replacement of significant trees with saplings and a tree fund into which developers can pay a pittance to almost completely deforest their property does not promote canopy preservation in any way and will surely rob Brookhaven of much of what makes our city such a unique and healthy place in which to live.

In a recent Brookhaven Neighbor article, Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams asserted that we must keep in mind that “homeowners like green grass and soccer fields.” If Brookhaven continues on its current deforestation path, children won’t be able to play on soccer fields or in their yards especially in summer months due to climate extremes.  And what will our children climb, two inch saplings?

If you would like to conduct your own comparisons, visit:

Please attend the special meeting on Tuesday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m.  And please call Mayor J. Max Davis and your City Council representative to request more time and weigh in on this crucial issue.

Lissie Stahlman

See also: 

Brookhaven considers tree code changes