Protecting Leaves and Adding New Trees (PLANT) Ordinance

Note: The PLANT Plan Commission hearing has been rescheduled to Wednesday, November 13, 2019 and the PLANT Council Hearing has been rescheduled to Monday, December 2, 2019

Background Information and Project Description

Spokane's urban forest is a unique environmental asset to the City. Trees within the City limits produce oxygen and filter airborne pollutants, save energy costs, and reduce storm water runoff, among other benefits.

With this in mind, the Spokane City Council passed a Title 12 Urban Forestry Ordinance in April of 2019 that committed the City of Spokane to three new urban forestry aspirational goals:

  1. Increase the canopy coverage (percentage of land surface area covered under a tree canopy) of all land within the City limits to 30% by the year 2030 (current canopy coverage estimated to be ~23%)
  2. Create new reforestation programs and maintain existing ones
  3. Update the Urban Forestry Plan once at least every five years

The PLANT Ordinance builds off the Title 12 Urban Forestry Ordinance. It seeks to help the City achieve its goal of reaching 30% canopy by 2030 by amending Title 17 of the Spokane Municipal Code to:

  1. Create new street tree planting requirements for RSF new construction homes abutting City planting strips
  2. Allow the City to undertake street tree maintenance work and charge neglectful abutting property owners
  3. Require the installation of auto-irrigation systems (if not installed already) in planting strips when a property undergoes new construction
  4. Implement fees in lieu of planting street trees in certain circumstances
  5. Emphasize and clarify regulations to protect trees during construction of new or renovated buildings
  6. Create a new incentive-based tree retention City utility bill credit program

The PLANT Ordinance is the first step toward achieving the aspirational goals established in the Title 12 Urban Forestry Ordinance. It demonstrates the City's continued commitment to both preserve and enhance its urban canopy in order to reach 30% canopy coverage by 2030.

Notice of Plan Commission Workshop and Hearing

The Plan Commission first reviewed the draft amendments to Title 17 of the Spokane Municipal Code on Wednesday, August 14th 2019. This was a workshop session – no public testimony was taken. The intent of Plan Commission Workshops is to introduce the Plan Commission to the proposed amendments. A second Plan Commission Workshop as well as a Plan Commission Hearing on the amendments have been scheduled – see dates, locations, and times below:

Please note that the scheduled Plan Commission Hearing is tentative and subject to continuation. When agendas for the Plan Commission meetings are available they may be viewed on the Plan Commission page.

Plan Commission Workshop
Date: Wednesday, September 25th 2019
Location: Spokane City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.)
Time: 2:30 p.m.

Plan Commission Hearing
Date: Wednesday, November 13th 2019
Location: Spokane City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.)
Time: 4:30 p.m.

Notice of Public Meetings

Public meetings have been scheduled as an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to learn more about the proposed amendments.

  • Date: Tuesday, September 10th 2019
    Location: West Central Community Center (1603 N. Belt St.)
    Time: 5:30p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Date: Thursday, September 26th 2019
    Location: South Hill Public Library (3324 S. Perry St.)
    Time: 4:30p.m. – 6:00p.m.

View the Public Meetings Flyer


  • 08/14/2019: Plan Commission Workshop #1
  • 09/04/2019: Southgate Neighborhood Council Presentation
  • 09/10/2019: West Central Community Center Open House
  • 09/19/2019: Community Assembly Land Use Committee Presentation
  • 09/21/2019: Lower South Hill Neighborhood Block Party Table
  • 09/25/2019: Plan Commission Workshop #2
  • 09/26/2019: South Hill Public Library Open House
  • 10/28/2019: PIES Committee Presentation
  • 11/11/2019: Advance Agenda
  • 11/13/2019: Plan Commission Hearing
  • 11/18/2019: First Reading
  • 12/02/2019: Council Final Vote

Amendment Documents

Related Documents

Contact Information

Giacobbe Byrd
Legislative Assistant to Council Member Lori Kinnear