The Warren Tree Commission ‘s chairman isn’t ready to move ahead with a sweeping new tree ordinance — despite what town records state.
The commission, which has been trying to pass a broad new ordinance for more than a year now, is scheduled to appear before the Warren Town Council Tuesday night so the council can read the latest version of the commission’s proposed ordinance. But the commission’s head, Chuck Staton, said his group is not ready to appear before the council, and that the appearance was scheduled in error.
“We’re not ready,” he said Friday. “We hope to have (an ordinance) ready by August.”
The version of the tree ordinance that was scheduled to be discussed this coming Tuesday is a departure from earlier versions, which generated a fair bit of controversy across town. While earlier versions of the ordinance put broad restrictions on owners of so-called “significant” trees in Warren, requiring them to get permission to cut them down if they were over a certain size and girth, the version that was to be discussed this coming Tuesday removed all references to significant trees.
The author of that latest ordinance was Warren Town Solicitor Anthony DeSisto, and he re-wrote it after hearing from detractors who worried that the ordinance went too far in restricting property owners from removing their own trees.
On Friday, Mr. Staton said that latest proposal will likely change before the next council meeting in August, as it was a draft written by Mr. DeSisto that will now be modified by the tree commission.
“We are going to sit down and review it,” Mr. Staton said.
Parts of the ordinance that haven’t changed recently spell out the responsibilities of the commission itself, as well as the tree warden, and spell out policies for utilities that do work around Warren’s roads. It also spells out avenues for cutting down and pruning “public” trees.