GTC In The News

April 1 PURA Public Hearing on Utility Vegetation Management Practices

PURA has announced that it will hold a Public Hearing in Docket No. 14-07-18 (utility vegetation management practices) on April 1, 2015 at 10:30 am at PURA, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

According to the Executive Secretary of PURA, the public may speak at the beginning of the hearing. The public may also send letters to PURA regarding the utilities’ vegetation management practices until the end of the hearing. All communications to PURA on this docket should specifically reference Docket No. 14-07-18, and should be addressed to Jeffrey R. Gaudiosi, Esq., Executive Secretary of PURA:

via e-mail toPURA.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov and/orJeff.Gaudiosi@ct.gov or via USPS to PURA, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

[Note: Mr. Gaudiosi has replaced Nicholas Neeley, who served as Acting Executive Director of PURA.]

For additional information, see http://www.gardenclubofnewhaven.org/recent-information-notices-and-news.html

Science News: Urban Vegetation Deters Crime in Philadelphia

Mar. 25, 2013 — Contrary to convention, vegetation, when well-maintained, can lower the rates of certain types of crime, such as aggravated assault, robbery and burglary, in cities, according to a Temple University study, “Does vegetation encourage or suppress urban crime? Evidence from Philadelphia, PA,” published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

“There is a longstanding principle, particularly in urban planning, that you don’t want a high level of vegetation, because it abets crime by either shielding the criminal activity or allowing the criminal to escape,” said Jeremy Mennis, associate professor of geographyand urban studies at Temple. “Well-maintained greenery, however, can have a suppressive effect on crime.”

After establishing controls for other key socioeconomic factors related to crime, such as poverty, educational attainment and population density, Mennis, along with environmental studies major Mary Wolfe, examined socioeconomic, crime and vegetation data, the latter from satellite imagery.

They found that the presence of grass, trees and shrubs is associated with lower crime rates in Philadelphia, particularly for robberies and assaults.

Read the full story at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325160522.htm Source: Temple University (2013, March 25). Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia.

Shady Lanes Initiative

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy, in keeping with its vision of a healthy and beautiful town-wide community forest, announced in April 2011, its new Shady Lanes Initiative to select three main roadways each year to plant and steward trees. The 2011-2012 selected roads are: lower Lake Avenue, Sound Beach Avenue and Hamilton Avenue.

For more information, please contact: treeconserv@optonline.net.

Help Fill a Gator Bag

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy uses Gator Bags for watering of newly planted trees in Greenwich. Homeowners can help by filling these bags once a week if they have not been filled

Treegator® bags apply 15 to 50 gallons of water in a single application (depending on model and bag setup), equating to a fill schedule of 1 to 2 times per week for many new tree / shrub planting applications.

Once you’ve decided to plant a new tree, there are three basic facts to keep in mind:

  • Deep water saturation is key.
  • New trees need lots of water.
  • Establishment can take years.

Scroll down for a handy YouTube video that will show you how to use the Treegator® Bag. It shows where the fill opening is under the tag. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgOTHrqF4oA

Treegator® Bags are not a permanent installation. The bags are used during the initial 1 to 2 growing seasons after planting. The Greenwich Tree Conservancy will remove them and reuse them for new plantings.
For more information on proper tree planting, visit http://treegator.com/watering/index.html.

Greenwich Tree Conservancy Celebrates Arbor Day

Click here to read the full story by Priscilla Lombardi on It’s Relevant.

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy celebrated Arbor Day and its 6th anniversary at McArdle’s Greenhouse Friday night.

Money raised this year will help fund a program that would allow the conservancy to plant trees around parking lots in downtown Greenwich.

“Specifically this year, we are dealing with a new technology called Silva Cell,” said Greenwich Tree Conservancy Executive Director JoAnn Messina. “Which is something that allows us to plant trees in parking lots, on sidewalks, and it can take traffic and the routes don’t get compressed.” Click here to read the full story by Priscilla Lombardi on It’s Relevant.

New Process for Town Tree Warden’s review of P&Z Applications of Town Projects and Public Hearings on Tree Removal

MEMO TO P&Z COMMISSION, TOWN TREE WARDEN
FROM: Diane Fox, Director Planning and Zoning/Town Planner/Zoning Enforcement Coordinator


DATE: June 3, 2011


After discussion with Bruce Spaman, Town Tree Warden, on the current processes of the timing of public hearings of tree removal on Town properties and reviewing the Public Hearings held by the Town Tree Warden on the North Mianus School site, the North Street School site and the High School Auditorium projects, he and I are proposing the following new procedures which we hope will aid the public in knowing earlier in the process about tree removals on Town properties for projects while reducing time and money for town projects.

Based on the experience of the appeals taken by the public on the three recent projects referred to above, Bruce and I have agreed upon the following:

  • Presently when a town project comes to P&Z as a preliminary site plan, it is routed to the Town Tree Warden for his comments. This will continue.
  • When and if the Commission gives consent to allow the applicant to proceed to final site plan, the Town Tree Warden will then post the trees that will need to be removed on and off site so that the public and neighbors can have an early opportunity to see what will be removed and if they desire to file an appeal or request that the Town Tree Warden hold a public hearing on these trees’ removal.
  • The Public hearing on tree removal is held by the Town Tree Warden, and if any trees posted for removal are to remain on site, the final site plan submitted will reflect any site plan changes resulting from this decision. These final plans may require IWWCA re-review or not.
  • Applicant/Town Dept. will submit final site plans to P&Z reflecting the Town Tree Warden’s decision after the 10 day appeal period (of the Tree Warden’s decision) is over.

This procedural change should make the process more transparent, allows the public earlier knowledge of both the project and tree removal, and saves time and money for the submitting town department or agency.

It was noted that the need for this change in the process was not evident in the past, but has become more of an issue within the past few years when town trees are proposed for removal when both town and private projects are submitted, ie. Greenwich Ave project at 410 Greenwich Ave.

It is our hope that the public and town bodies will see this as a positive response to the recent events and we are certainly open to discussion on this issue in public at any time.

MISA Report from Bruce Spaman: Final Decision on 121 Trees Posted for Removal

NOTICE OF FINAL DECISION OF THE TREE WARDEN REGARDING 121 TREES POSTED FOR REMOVAL FOR THE GREENWICH HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM AND MUSIC INSTRUCTION SPACE ADDITION

A public hearing was held on Tuesday May 24, 2011 at 12:00 for 121 trees posted for removal on the campus grounds of Greenwich High School (GHS) for the Greenwich High School Auditorium and Music Instruction Space Addition (MISA) project. As required by Chapter 451, Section 23-59 of the Connecticut General Statutes, a public hearing was called because I had received an appeal objecting to the removal of these trees within ten days of their posting. The 121 trees were generally located on the east and west sides of the high school building with concentrations of trees proposed for removal in or adjacent to the North and South Parking Lots.

The tree diameters range from 4 inches to 32 inches. The tree species and number of trees posted are listed below. Tree heights were estimated to be upwards to 80 – 90 feet. Tree removals in four naturally vegetated areas amounts to clearcutting nearly an acre of trees and other vegetation.

Numerous votes and approvals were required from Municipal boards, commissions and agencies for this proposed project to progress. Those included the Board of Education, Board of Selectmen, the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency, the Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Representative Town Meeting. The project achieved all of the necessary approvals. The RTM vote was greater than a 2:1 approval (134-60-8).

Continue reading “MISA Report from Bruce Spaman: Final Decision on 121 Trees Posted for Removal”

Please Write to Save Our Street Trees!

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) needs to hear from you! Please write, email or come to one of the two hearings this Wednesday or Thursday to let PURA know that you do not agree with the two electrical utility companies (UI and CL&P) clearing all trees ground to sky 8 feet from either side of an electrical line. This drastic clearing along our roadways has not been proven to increase power reliability however it will diminish the environmental benefits we gain from our trees.

Please review the background information below and write to PURA today!

UTILITY TREE REMOVAL AND PRUNING

United Illuminating has submitted a plan to the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) which calls for eventual removal of all trees and branches, except right tree/right place trees, within 8 feet on either side of its electric distribution wires from ground to sky (now known as the Utility Protection Zone or UPZ).

CL&P plans call for such removal under or near its distribution wires in much more of its territory than in the past. These plans apply to all towns and cities within UI or CL&P territory

To see what could happen to your street and roadside trees, look up at the electric distribution wires (the top wires) and measure 8 feet to the left and right, ground to sky. Any tall tree or tall growing tree within the UPZ is scheduled to be removed under the UI and CL&P plans, whether it is hazardous or healthy. If not removed, it may be severely pruned.

Two public hearings are scheduled:

PURA NOTICE-CL&P
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3 pm – Technical Meeting
6:30 pm – Public Information Session
Hearing Room 1, PURA
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT

PURA NOTICE-UI
Thursday, March 6, 2014
6:30 pm – Technical Meeting and Public Information Session

Hamden Middle School Auditorium
2623 Dixwell Avenue
Hamden, CT

The technical meetings on March 5 with CL&P and March 6 with UI in PURA Docket No. 12-01-10 are open to the public. Their purpose is to gather and clarify information from the utilities.

Public Comments

The public will be asked to sign up to speak at the public information sessions. Remarks should be brief and not repetitive.

When you speak, you can respond to the utility presentation, and can add new comments and information relevant to your concerns about the use of rigid line clearance standards (especially ETT/ETR) by UI and CL&P. Specific personal examples of past or potential negative impact on your home, business, neighborhood or town, because of the use of rigid line clearances (previously used only by CL&P), would be helpful. If you don’t want to speak, it is still important to attend to show your concern.

You may send a written comment to PURA before or after the meetings. There will be a short period after the meetings in which PURA will welcome written public comments, and these may be particularly effective if based on what occurred at the meetings.

Written comments should include a reference to Docket No. 12-01-10,and be sent by e-mail to Pura.executivesecretary@ct.gov and Nicholas.neeley@ct.gov or via U.S. mail to PURA, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051

PURA’s final decision in this docket regarding utility tree pruning and removal will apply to both utilities. PURA’s draft decision in this docket approves the use of ETT/ETR.

For updates and additional information visit The Garden Club of New Haven.