Over the years, street trees have been planted in neighborhoods throughout Jupiter in an effort to increase shade, promote the cooling of streets and sidewalks, replace tree canopy lost to development and create more livable communities. As these trees have matured and grown in size, they have formed canopies over the streets, shaded homes and sidewalks, added value to homes and provided habitat for urban wildlife. At the same time, some of the tree roots have raised sidewalks and curbs and have become a maintenance issue for both the neighborhoods and the Town resulting in the removal of trees and necessitating repairs to sidewalks and streets.
On August 22, 2017, the Town Council held a workshop to discuss these issues. As a result, the Department of Engineering, Parks and Public Works as well as the Natural Resources Division of Planning and Zoning were tasked with developing a comprehensive plan to find solutions and assist neighborhoods in the development of plans to manage their street trees. The Town collaborated with a consultant to develop a Street Tree Management Plan with assistance from the Town’s Natural Resource Division. Over the past two years, through a combination of research and practical application, a guide was developed to assist neighborhoods in making informed decisions and provide a process for making changes to street tree plans that meets the needs of individual communities.
This guide, entitled “Street Tree Management Plan”, is organized into two main sections with an accompanying fillable worksheet that assists with the decision making process. The first section of the document is divided into three parts:
- Purpose and Frequently Asked Questions – explains the reasons that a plan is desirable and can be helpful.
- How to Make a Neighborhood Decision on Street Trees – explains the internal steps the neighborhood follows in the decision making process, including the importance of neighborhood input, cost information and planning.
- Process for a Street Tree Management Plan – Describes the site plan amendment process, which includes the formal adoption of a management plan for the neighborhood. This section includes a flow chart with a detailed outline to assist a community in processing a Street Tree Management Plan from the initial identification of a problem all the way through to approval of a final management plan.
The appendices provide additional research about the benefits of tree canopy coverage, documentation of these benefits as well as providing information on a variety of potential solutions. They also include specific examples for six existing neighborhoods within the Town. A worksheet has also been developed which will be used by the neighborhood as a decision making guide.