Did you know – housing development projects in Portland are required to plant one tree for every unit of housing. Sometimes that’s more trees than there’s room for around the development, such as with the recent proposed development of 171 residential units at 52 Hanover Street in Bayside.
When that happens, the developer pays a fee instead – $400 per unplanted tree – and that money goes into a fund for planting trees all around the City. At 52 Hanover, 29 trees will be planted, and $56,800 will go into the City’s general tree fund. That money won’t necessarily result in any new trees planted in Bayside.
The BNA is asking the Planning Board to require that all the tree fund money from 52 Hanover Street be allocated to only plant trees in Bayside. Bayside doesn’t have a lot of green spaces and many streets have few if any trees. We need all the help we can get!
The BNA sent the below letter, to the Planning Board for the March 23, 2021 public hearing on the 52 Hanover Street project. This is in conjunction with a broader effort to protect and enhance Bayside’s green spaces in order to ensure sustainability, equity and livability as the neighborhood changes and develops.
The BNA’s Letter to the Planning Board requesting tree fund allocation to Bayside
To Chair Mazer, Planning Board members, and Planning Department staff,
Regarding the Level III Site Plan, Subdivision and Conditional Use application for 52 Hanover Street, the most recently posted site plan proposes the planting of 21 street trees, and fees in the amount of $60,000 to be paid in lieu of planting the balance of 150 trees.
The Board of Directors of the Bayside Neighborhood Association (BNA) and the undersigned community stakeholders ask that as a condition of any potential approval, the totality of these funds be allocated for use exclusively within the Bayside neighborhood, bounded by Marginal Way, Franklin Street, Congress Street and Forest Ave. The applicant, Tom Watson, has expressed his wholehearted support of this condition.
Such a condition has precedent in a similar Planning Board decision on August 18, 2020 to restrict the street tree funds from Avesta’s 210 Valley Street project for use in the vicinity per staff’s Proposed Motions for the Board to Consider, page 17, XII. C. 2. – “The applicant shall contribute a fee in lieu of approximately $22,000 for the required 55 street trees, to be used for landscape improvements along the lower Western Promenade.”
Without your action the tree funds from 52 Hanover would go into the city-wide tree fund and would not necessarily benefit the neighborhood that would be home to this significant proposed development.
A quick look at the City’s tree map makes it clear that many Bayside streets are severely or completely lacking the greenery that is vital to creating and maintaining a healthy, livable neighborhood and a thriving, sustainable urban ecosystem. Poor and underserved urban neighborhoods with high minority populations, such as Bayside, are particularly likely to have few trees and green spaces, and are especially vulnerable to their absence and loss.
Other prior Bayside development contributions, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, have gone to the general city tree fund, yet Bayside remains tree-poor. The neighborhood recently experienced the dramatic loss of several healthy, mature trees, removed to make way for a different development. Others were removed due to disease. Young replacement trees have died of post-planting neglect.
The BNA is planning a street tree survey and will work with the City arborist to identify opportunities for tree planting. Should project approval be granted for 52 Hanover Street, we ask that you help ensure the future of Bayside’s trees by allocating the required tree fund fees solely for use in Bayside.
President, Bayside Neighborhood Association
Bayside Neighborhood Association Board of Directors
Deborah van Hoewyk
Community Members & Organizations
Ellen Bailey, President, East Bayside Neighborhood Organization
Cynthia Cochran, VP, East Bayside Neighborhood Organization
Fork Food Labs
Peter Leavitt, Leavitt and Sons Deli
Mary Beth Morrison
Elizabeth Parsons, past president, West End Neighborhood Association
Nathan Szanton, The Szanton Company
The Bayside Neighborhood Association (BNA) brings members of the Bayside community together. BNA brings conversations about Bayside to Bayside and to the greater community in a way that organizes, informs, and empowers residents; social service and other organizations; local businesses; and city representatives to form meaningful and long-term partnerships. BNA preserves and promotes safety, multi-cultural diversity, housing, and carefully planned social, economic, and physical development in this unique urban community.