Send a Message to Washington State Senators

Amend HB 1110 to Protect Urban Forests

The Missing Middle has landed in the Washington State Senate! After passing the House, HB 1110 has/had its first hearing in the Senate Housing Committee on Friday, March 17. We urge you to take action to add protection for our urban forests.

By overriding local zoning regulations to allow 6-plexes on most Seattle lots, HB 1110 is intended to provide needed housing and to decrease automobile carbon emissions.

HB 1110 is largely a free-market approach to dealing with our housing and carbon pollution problems. It has its origins with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank. As such, careful oversight and sincere public outreach is required to ensure that citizen and environmental concerns are addressed. For this reason, we urge you to contact your Senators to urge that they include amendments to ensure the protection of our urban forests, natural areas and open space.

We urge the Senate to adopt the following amendments:

  1. Require street trees be planted and maintained for all single and multi-family housing. If there is no parking strip, then the building must be set back to allow for street trees.
  2. Require that a tree inventory and landscape plan be conducted prior to development being approved.  Maximize tree retention and new trees  during development to meet health, climate resilience and environmental equity goals.
  3. Require that cities have plans in place to achieve tree canopy goals and report progress to the public annually.
  4. Require that areas containing multi-family housing  also contain a natural area / play area for children (i.e. neighborhood lot-size or pocket parks) within a 5-minute walk without crossing arterial. Tree groves should be a high priority for creating neighborhood parks.
  5.  Incentivize renovation and re-use of existing housing before demolition and reconstruction. This will reduce large tree removal and also result in far less CO2 emissions and waste.
  6. Ensure that local tree ordinances are not overridden.

Let’s create healthy communities with both more housing, neighbors and trees! 

Please send an email today to urge the Senate to add the proposed amendments listed below to HB 1110.