Lewes tree committee considers tree protection ordinance

August 15, 2023

The Lewes Planning Commission’s Tree Ordinance Subcommittee continued working on a draft of a proposed tree protection ordinance at its Aug. 8 meeting.

The goal of the ordinance is to protect existing trees during construction of major and minor subdivisions, site-development plans and new construction of residential dwellings. 

The ordinance would require developers to follow guidelines for protecting the drip line of a tree. A drip line is defined as the area encircling the base of a tree, delineated by a vertical line extending from the outer limit of a tree’s branch tips to the ground.

Developers would not be permitted to disturb the roots or soil within the drip line, and would have to keep construction equipment out.

There was some concern the requirements might be too harsh and would not give any incentive to follow the rules.

“We’re making this so tough, including penalties. Who would want to save a tree?” asked subcommittee member Melanie Moser. 

“For those people who want to save a tree on their property, we’re giving them a detailed guideline that will save their tree,” said subcommittee Chair Debra Evalds.

The subcommittee is also considering guidelines for the correct species, size and minimum number of trees that would be required on lots with new construction.

Evalds is scheduled to present the draft proposal to the Lewes Planning Commission at its meeting Wednesday, Aug. 16.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter