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Decatur May Amend Tree Ordinance

The Decatur City Commission meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday and will also decide whether to extend the city manager's contract.

Decatur may make two changes in the tree ordinance that would affect home construction.

The Decatur City Commission will consider amending the ordinance during a 7:30 p.m. meeting in city hall.

In a memo, City Planner Amanda Thompson and arborist Ed Macie say some owners of single-family homes are circumventing the ordinance by taking down healthy trees before the property is sold. That allows them to avoid the requirements that come into play once a demolition permit is issued.

The suggested change would apply the ordinance to single-family home yards in the R60 and R85 zones that are "pending real estate sale or title transfer or have been sold or title transferred in the past 18 months."

The second recommended change would require all tree replacement and protections submitted by home construction companies to be prepared by certified arborists, landscape architects or registered foresters.

There's another tree issue on the agenda. The city commission will consider paying Technical Forestry Services $25,000 for the second phase of the urban forestry management plan.

The commission is also scheduled to vote on renewal of a two-year contract for longtime City Manager Peggy Merriss. She would be paid $162,000 base salary.

The city website says Merriss has worked for the city since 1983 and been city manager since 1993.

To see the full agenda for the meeting, go to the City of Decatur website.

Residents can watch the meeting on live streaming video on their home computers by going to the city website.

The commission meetings will still be rebroadcast on Comcast channel 25 at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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