The Seattle City Council is currently considering legislation that would increase the number of trees within the City that are protected under City regulations, and could affect the development potential of many lots within the City. The proposed ordinance (council bill 116404) would expand existing tree protections to include sites not undergoing development, would prohibit removal of some "exceptional trees" (as defined by a Seattle DPD Director’s Rule) and would limit the number of trees having a diameter of 6 inches or greater that could be removed from a site during a one-year period. Background information on the proposal and the text of the current council bill is available here. The current version of the Director’s Rule defining "exceptional tree" would expand the number of trees considered "exceptional" under the ordinance, and would extend protections to groves of trees, as well. The draft Director’s Rule is available here.If approved, the legislation could become effective as early as February 2008. The Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities Committee of the City Council is accepting written comments on the proposal until January 16, 2009.