Ask the mayor of Palm Coast

Why three trees per home in Palm Coast? Mayor David Alfin responds

We request at least two trees be planted on lots that have at least one-third of an acre and three provided on lots with two-thirds of an acre.

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  • | 1:32 p.m. February 16, 2024
  • Palm Coast Observer
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Editor's Note: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author in his personal capacity and do not necessarily represent the opinions or the views of the City of Palm Coast or the Palm Coast City Council.

Question from resident:

Does the City still oversee the regulation that three trees must be planted on all new residential properties? If so, why? And also, is it true that we’re not allowed to consider palm trees for any of these three trees? What exactly are my species options?

One thing I believe we all have in common in Palm Coast is that everyone here values our trees. It is definitely our City’s intention to preserve them whenever and wherever possible, not only for their beauty and shelter, but also to provide uniformity and distinction throughout our neighborhoods.

Did you know that for 18 consecutive years, Palm Coast has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation? This award validates our priority for preserving and protecting our tree environment and for our attention to the core standards of urban forestry management.  

To continue towards our quest for beauty and continuity, the City asks homeowners who build here to please take notice of our basic outdoor design regulations. At least one shade tree should be planted for each 2,500 square feet of a lot’s area. We request at least two trees be planted on lots that have at least one-third of an acre and three provided on lots with two-thirds of an acre. If a lot already has an existing healthy tree, it can be counted. 

Regarding the various species to plant -- short, medium and tall plantings should be non-deciduous and always maintained to meet their minimum height and density standards.  Choices can be determined by the homeowner, landscape designer and City Land Use Manager.  Presently, we have a recommended list of over 38 understory or shade trees from which to choose.  

Palm trees are a favorite for many who move to Palm Coast.  And we know that new homeowners often request that landscapers place several palm species on their properties. 

Queen and Washingtonian palms are susceptible to disease and are discouraged. Sabal palm trees are native to our area, so if you want to use a sabal palm as an index tree you are only required to have one. If homeowners want a shorter variety, they are asked to plant at least three together in a cluster. This grouping may take the place of one shade tree. Please note, however, that palms cannot substitute for more than 25% of the total tree credits.


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