News Briefs: Tree protection ordinance; State Farm Arena LEED; Nashville moves to ban scooters

The Atlanta City Council Community Development and Human Services Committee’s work session on revisions to the city’s Tree Protection Ordinance scheduled for June 19 has been rescheduled to Thursday, August 22 at 10 a.m. The work session will be held in Committee Room No. 1 at Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave SW. On Monday, the city council approved legislation directing the Department of City Planning to establish a pre-submittal team to conduct and coordinate consultations at the beginning of the permit review process in order to protect and preserve trees in Atlanta. District 5 Council member Natalyn Archibong, chair of the Community Development and Human Services Committee, described the legislation as an important step forward. “The revision of our current Tree Protection Ordinance is an important next step in protecting our tree canopy. The resolution passed Monday allows for the tree review process to occur at the beginning of the land disturbance or building permit process. Currently, the tree review process occurs near the end of the review process. We are pleased that City Planning has agreed to immediately initiate this process change and look forward to receiving the proposed tree ordinance revision and hosting a work session in August,” Archibong said. 

US Green Building Council President Mahesh Ramanujam presents Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena CEO Steve Koonin with a plaque to honor State Farm Arena’s Gold LEED Certification. (Photo by Terence Rushin)

The United States Green Building Council recently announced that State Farm Arena has received LEED Gold certification. The LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is one of the most widely recognized green certification programs specializing in building design, construction, operations and maintenance. The arena earned the designation after recycling 12,500 seats during its renovation, becoming a smoke-free campus, adding efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures, adopting green housekeeping practices and diverting 900 tons of waste from landfills.

Facing similar issues with dockless e-scooters as Atlanta, Nashville plans to ban them, at least temporarily, from the streets. Mayor David Briley has ordered the termination of scooter agreements until the city can create a new plan that would allow two e-scooter companies to return if they meet requirements for safety and accessibility. According to The Tennessean, criticism of the scooters has mounted in recent months in the face of rampant rule breaking and the city’s first scooter-related death in May. “If these devices return in the future, it will be after a public process, on our terms, with strict oversight for numbers, safety, and accessibility,” Briley said on Twitter.

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