What are the standards for vegetation clearing in the MRCCA?

Maintaining vegetative cover along the river is important to maintain the river's ecological health, habitat, and viewshed. If you are planning to perform intensive vegetation clearing (removal of trees or shrubs in a contiguous path, strip, row, or block) within a:

  • Shore impact zone
  • Bluff impact zone
  • Water quality impact zone
  • Area of native plant community
  • Mapped significant vegetative stand

Vegetation Clearing

you will need to apply for a permit.  A permit may only be approved in the following circumstances:

  • Clearing of vegetation that is dead, diseased, dying, or hazardous
  • Clearing to prevent the spread of diseases or insect pests
  • Clearing to remove invasive non-native species
  • Clearing for habitat restoration and erosion control management activities consistent with an approved plan
  • The minimum necessary for development with an approved permit or as an exemption under the MRCCA code

A permit is not needed in the following scenarios:

  • Maintenance of existing lawns, landscaping, and gardens
  • Removal of vegetation in emergency situations as determined by the City  
  • Right-of-way maintenance for public facilities meeting the standards of the MRCCA Code 
  • Selective vegetation removal of trees provided that vegetative cover as viewed from the river remains consistent with the management purpose of the MRCCA district

All trees greater than four inches diameter at breast height that are removed from a primary conservation area listed above must be replaced on a 1:1 ratio by September 30 of the following year, even if a permit is not required. An exception to the tree replacement requirement is for trees removed under a permit for habitat restoration or erosion control with an approved restoration plan. 

More information on vegetation clearing and permitting can be found here.

Show All Answers

1. Is my property in the MRCCA?
2. Does my project need a permit?
3. How do I apply for a Critical Area permit?
4. What are the setbacks for structures, impervious surfaces, and facilities in the MRCCA?
5. What are the standards for access paths and stairways to the river?
6. What are the standards for vegetation clearing in the MRCCA?
7. What are the standards for land alteration in the MRCCA?
8. What are the standards for lighting along the river?
9. What if my existing property does not meet the new rules?
10. What if my project is below the ordinary high water line of the river?