The City will not accept new development permits for sites that have recently removed healthy trees for a period of 12 months for Regulated Trees or 24 months for Landmark Trees. If you are planning to develop your property in the next 12 to 24 months, the trees must qualify as hazard or nuisance trees to be exempt from this development hold per KZC 95.25(5).
Tree Removal Notification
For developed properties, a Tree Removal Notification is required to remove healthy regulated trees. The number of trees allowed for removal depends on the property size, the number of trees previously removed in the past 12-months, and the number of total regulated trees remaining on the lot following the requested removal(s).
For more information and a step-by-step guide on submitting a notification see the Private Tree Removal Notification Instruction Guide.
A Tree Removal Notification can only be used when all of the following are true:
- The 12-month tree removal allowance for your property has not been exceeded
- The subject property will contain the minimum number of trees required to remain following the requested removal(s)
- The tree is not a Landmark Tree (26” DBH or greater)
- You are not requesting to remove a hedge
- The property does not have a mapped critical area and associated buffer (wetland, stream, landslide hazard area)
- The tree is not located in a Shoreline setback
- The property is not in the Holmes Point Overlay zone (HPO)
- There is no protected Tree Preservation Covenant or Grove Covenant
- The property did not have a new residence built in the last 5 years
- The tree(s) were not retained or planted as required landscaping (typically with multi-family, commercial, or mixed-use developments)
Tree Removal Permit
If trees proposed for removal cannot be approved via a Tree Removal Notification, a Tree Removal Permit is required. When a Tree Removal Permit is submitted, the tree(s) requested for removal must meet the City’s hazard or nuisance tree to qualify for removal. The only exception is when the removal request is for a Landmark Tree (26” DBH or greater) that is within the allowed Landmark Tree removals. For more information on Landmark Tree removals, see the Landmark Tree Removal Instruction Guide.
For all other trees less than 26” DBH, see the Private Tree Removal Permit Instruction Guide for a step-by-step guide on submitting a permit.
Additional regulations apply when proposing to remove Landmark Trees or trees located in critical areas. For more information, refer to the Landmark Tree Removal Instruction Guide and Tree Removal in Critical Areas or Buffers.
In addition to the permit, an arborist report, replanting plan, and payment of the associated permit fee are required.
Once you have submitted a permit with all the required documents, it will be reviewed by the City’s Development Review Arborist for consistency with City standards and the City will conduct a site inspection. After this review, the City will email the permit determination within 15 business days and if approved, you can proceed with the tree removal.
Forest Stewardship Plan Permit
A Forest Stewardship Plan applies to large significantly wooded properties at least 25,000 square feet or greater where a traditional stand management approach is applicable. See Kirkland Zoning Code Chapter 94.25(10) and the Forest Stewardship Plan Permit Instruction Guide for additional information. When submitting the permit through mybuildingpermit.com, you will be required to upload a site plan, reforestation plan, and prescribed maintenance plan, and pay the associated permit fee.