NEW residential areas will require at least one tree to be planted on each property’s verge under the City of Wanneroo’s proposed street tree policy.
Following endorsement by councillors at the November 7 meeting, this and a streetscapes policy will be made available for public comment from November 22 to January 31.
A report by the City said the draft documents were in response to a lack of street trees in new residential suburbs and absence of “clear and consistent” requirements regarding their planting, protection and management.
It said the State Government’s Directions 2031 and Beyond strategy, which focused on higher-density housing in greenfield development sites, and supporting guidelines aimed to “deliver sustainable communities with a high level of amenity that promote active travel and a range of housing types”.
“In reality the outcome is often large houses on smaller lots, dominated by garages, with a lack of street trees or other amenity provided in the streetscape,” it said.
“This is having a significant impact on the quality, character and use of local streets delivered in new residential areas in the City of Wanneroo.”
The report said street trees were an “integral component of quality residential streets” and cited benefits including shade, improved visual appearance, encouraging active lifestyles and cooling effects.
The streetscapes policy requires at least one tree be planted on the street verge of every lot, an increase in the minimum verge width by 40cm, a standard crossover width of 4m, provision of footpaths and cycle paths and informal on-street parking.
Requirements for planting or replacement of City trees, dealing with pruning and removal requests and illegal removal, and protecting existing trees during development will be covered by the street tree policy.
According to the report, these will lead to a “greener, healthier City” and form a framework recognising street trees as City assets to be protected.
“Providing greater emphasis on trees across the City through an integrated approach is essential to providing healthy communities that maintain visual amenity and provide environmental benefits,” it said.
The current budget includes $40,000 for a pilot planting program in each ward, $300,000 for 3000 trees to be planted in City reserves and $70,000 for 700 street trees where requested by residents through the verge tree planting service.
Planting, watering and maintaining a typical tree for two years is estimated to cost about $540 and maintenance for the average life expectancy of 40 years is about $2000.
Cr Domenic Zappa said the policies would benefit prospective residents.
“No doubt these will be greatly appreciated by our future residents and our future community,” he said.
“Investing in streetscapes and trees now will add great value to our community in the future.”