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Phase 3 UFMP Tasks

Trees & Construction Operations Plan

From RFP: Trees and Sidewalks Operations Plan: Provide a clearly defined decision process for evaluating tree preservation or removal when constructing/reconstructing adjacent to existing trees. This plan also provides design standards to mitigate future damage to public infrastructure from trees.


Overview: The Trees and Construction Operations Plan (“TCOP”, “Operations Plan”) will be a product of the City of Tacoma Departments that work most directly with capital construction projects in the public right-of-way, in partnership with urban forestry consultants, and City staff with tree management and regulatory responsibilities. The departments identified to lead the development of this Operations Plan include the Environmental Services Department (“ESD”), Public Works Department (PWD), and Tacoma Water. The TCOP provides a framework for the actions and responsibilities that will help preserve, maintain, and enhance the condition of Tacoma’s urban forest, while prioritizing public safety and accomplishing the goals of the capital construction project. This Operations Plan will be developed to support the Citywide Urban Forest Management Plan, adopted by City Council in 2019.


Goals/Outcomes: The purpose of the Trees and Construction Operations Plan is to clarify responsibilities and work processes and to provide guidance on installation, repair, and maintenance of sidewalks, roadways, and street trees in public places in Tacoma. For this operations Plan, the term public place(s) is used to mean areas in the public right-of-way, as defined in Tacoma Municipal Code 8.30.020.)


Citywide Urban Forest Management Plan Outcomes: Public safety, increase operational efficiencies, facilitate short- and long-term sustainable urban forest planning, validate budgets and programs, ensure equitable distribution of green resources and services, and standardize methodology for asset management of the urban forest.


Objectives of the Operations Plan (Draft):


  1. Maintain public safety and limit liability during City-led capital construction projects.

  2. Support the City Council’s policy direction to consider both trees and sidewalks as essential infrastructure.

  3. Support City staff with the resources necessary to make tree evaluation/preservation a common practice in right-of-way construction work.

  4. Provide clear direction on how to allow sidewalks and substantial trees to coexist.

  5. Evaluate sidewalk repair approaches across a range of criteria including lifecycle costs and benefits as well as community costs and benefits.

  6. Explore, allow for, and implement alternative and/or innovative sidewalk repair approaches to preserve trees where feasible.

  7. Reduce lifecycle costs.

  8. Retain healthy, mature, and appropriately-sited trees whenever possible.

  9. Provide clear criteria for when tree removal is the best feasible option, when no other practicable alternatives exist.

  10. Establish criteria to assess viability of street trees (species, locations, space, maintenance, past/current conflicts, proximity to infrastructure).

  11. Manage expectations from the public, including establishing notification procedures for when work on or around trees is to occur, especially with tree removals.

Tree Risk Reduction Plan

From RFP: Tree Risk Reduction Plan: Prepare the City with a strategized course of action if/when a potentially hazardous situation presents itself, including threat of pests and diseases, severe storm damage, climate change and tree management on steep slopes. This may include recommendations for Municipal Code Modifications and design standards for performing work in these conditions.


Overview: The Tree Risk Reduction Plan (“TRRP”, “Risk Plan”) will be a product of the Tacoma Environmental Services Department (“ES”), developed in partnership with urban forestry consultants, City staff, and those with tree management and regulatory responsibilities. The TRRP provides a framework for the actions and responsibilities that will help preserve, maintain, and enhance the condition of Tacoma’s urban forest and maintain the safety of the public. This Risk Plan will be developed to support the Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan (2019).


Goals/Outcomes: The purpose of the Tree Risk Reduction Plan is to increase public safety, promote tree health and sustainability, and improve urban forest management efficiency—aligned with the 2019 Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan, the Urban Forest Manual, 2020 Trees and Sidewalks Operations Plan, City Standard Operating Procedures, and other efforts to support cooperative urban forest management. This Risk Plan focuses on trees in public places in Tacoma. (The term public place[s] is used in this Risk Plan to mean areas in the public right-of-way, as defined in Tacoma Municipal Code 8.30.020.)


Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan Outcomes: Public safety, increase operational efficiencies, facilitate short- and long-term sustainable urban forest planning, validate budgets and programs, ensure equitable distribution of green resources and services, and standardize methodology for asset management of the urban forest.


Measurable Goals of the Tree Risk Reduction Plan (Draft): Adequate/frequent tree monitoring, tree risk (hazard) reduction, urban forest resiliency, standardized and consistent tree risk prevention and response, maintained public safety.


Objectives to Meet Goals of the Tree Risk Reduction Plan (Draft):

  1. Systematic, routine monitoring and assessment of public trees with an emphasis on newly-acquired areas of tree maintenance responsibility (see 2019 Urban Forest Management Action Plan’s Appendix D, Right-of-Way Tree Maintenance).

  2. Trained and qualified staff to assess potential tree risks using industry standard/approved approaches.

  3. Tree planting decisions are based on canopy cover, street tree inventory data, equity, community input, maintenance responsibility, climate change, and existing and potential pest and disease concerns for enabling a resilient and vibrant urban forest.

  4. Urban forestry protocols and procedures in place for storm and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

  5. Explore strategies that enhance neighborhood aesthetic, tied to neighborhood-level urban forest management plans such as the 2020 Tacoma Mall Strategic Urban Forest Action Plan.

  6. Retain healthy, mature, and appropriately-sited trees whenever possible.

  7. Use established criteria to assess appropriateness of street trees (species, locations, space, maintenance, past/current conflicts, proximity to infrastructure).

  8. Align Trees and Sidewalks Operations Plan’s assessment protocols with the Risk Plan’s monitoring and assessment protocols.

  9. Communicate to property owners the importance of proper tree maintenance and monitoring.

  10. Implement the cost share program approved by the City for hazard tree assessments and explore other opportunities.

  11. Implement actions to support the Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan.

Sustained Funding Source Report

From RFP: Sustained Funding Source: Provide recommendations based on benchmarking and analysis for potential urban forestry program funding sources and partnership opportunities, including consideration of Special Assessment Districts or utility funding for urban forestry maintenance operations.


Overview: The Sustained Funding Source Report (“SFSR”, “Report”) will be a product of the Tacoma Environmental Services Department (“ES”), developed in partnership with urban forestry consultants. The SFSR provides a framework and recommendations for funding the City’s urban forestry program to achieve goals and strategies set forth in the 2019 Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan.


Goals/Outcomes: The purpose of the Sustained Funding Source Report is provide recommendations for urban forestry program funding sources. The Report will also provide existing and potential traditional and non-conventional partnerships. The Report will provide considerations for Special Assessment Districts and opportunities for funding City-led tree maintenance activities in newly acquired areas of the public right-of-way as recommended in the 2019 Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan. This Report will provide alternative funding options and maintenance approaches such as young adult training for the care of young and newly planted trees in public spaces. (The term public place[s] is used in this Operations Plan to mean areas in the public right-of-way, as defined in Tacoma Municipal Code 8.30.020.)


Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan Outcomes: Public safety, increase operational efficiencies, facilitate short- and long-term sustainable urban forest planning, validate budgets and programs, ensure equitable distribution of green resources and services, and standardize methodology for asset management of the urban forest.


Measurable Goals of the Sustained Funding Source Report (Draft): A budget portfolio that consists of diversified, sustainable, and dedicated funding source(s) for an urban forestry program.


Objectives to Meet Goals of the Sustained Funding Source Report (Draft):

  1. Identify existing funding structure.

  2. Identify elements of the internal and external urban forestry program requiring funding/budget.

  3. Identify alternative funding approaches and sources.

  4. Identify improvements in efficiency and levels of service within budget.

  5. Identify existing and potential partnerships.

  6. Identify alternative approaches to public tree maintenance and planting.

  7. Implement actions to support the 2019 Citywide Urban Forest Management (Action) Plan.

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