2street trees to be replanted after removal, there is no assurance that the seedling stock will be of sufficient size, vigor, and maintained carefully after planting to permit best growth. Even under optimalconditions of tending many new street trees die and grow slowly. These species are all relatively slow-growing hardwoods. It will therefore be 2035 or later before replacement trees can be consideredcomparable in value to those removed, which assumes a best-case scenario of full survival, healthygrowth, and good development.It is the
of these street trees to the homeowners and city that will be impacted and will result inimmediate loss and will result in cumulative loss over the ensuing years. According to the DCDepartment of Transportation,
Assessment of Urban Forest Resources and Strategy
, 2010, the urban treecanopy, including street trees, provide many environmental andsocial benefits, including reducingstorm-water runoff and the city’s carbon footprint, improvingair quality, providing habitat for wildlife,contributing to savings on energy bills, increasingproperty values, and enhancing quality of life. While allof these benefits are important, I will focus on monetary values.A study in Portland, Oregon, by the USDA Forest Service showed that a tree in front of a home increasedthat home’s sale price by more than $7,000 and that it also increased the value of the homes around it.(Donovan, 2010). Other references from the USDA Forest Service state that healthy, mature trees addan average of 10% to a property's value. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources
states that the value of a lot with trees averages 5-7% higher than a lot without, and theincrease in value can be as much as 20%. While the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, who setthe industry standard for tree valuation methods, estimate that a mature tree can often have anappraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. These six trees and their canopy are stationed in closeproximity to seven households.Looking at just one of these homes, the house at 134 Adams St NW, can illustrate the value at stake andthe potential economic impact of removing the vegetation that is overlooked by the EA. This propertywas sold in February 2012 for $640,000. The home is bounded on its western side by 3 mature sugarmaples of 19”, 24”, and 24” diameters and approximately 50’ in height. Considering the range suggestedby the Maryland DNR, at the low-end of the potential range of 5-7% of the sale value, these trees maycontribute between $32,000 and $44,800 of the value of the property of that single residence. However,as mentioned, these large, mature shade trees are situated near seven households, and representproperty sale value to each homeowner. Even taking a much lower amount, say $10,000 per householdbenefiting from these street trees, there is a potentially significant loss of property value at stake.There will be foregone value to the property owners (and assessed tax values to the District) on thenorthern end of Flagler PL NW and Adams ST NW that will be of at least medium-term and possibly long-term (particularly for those owners who must sell their homes in the short to medium-term, while thenew seedlings are developing and not mature (as small, young trees have much less value than fully-developed, older trees.)I request that the EA analyze the consequences of impacts of alternatives on removal of vegetation.
Visual Resource and Aesthetics (2.9.5)
I disagree with EA’s dismissal of impacts to visual resources and aesthetics caused by the removal of trees, as an impact topic for further study. In the city, trees are remarkable in being an object of beautyin themselves, but also working in concert with other trees they become a central landscape feature