Conroe City Council voted against changing the city’s vegetation ordinance May 12. The change would have returned the city to its vegetation ordinance prior to Dec. 13, 2018, in an effort to reduce the number of trees cut down for new development.

Council instead referred the item to a committee at its May 12 meeting.

The Dec. 13, 2018, ordinance eliminated tree survey equipment; increased the minimum size from 6 inches to 8 inches or greater in diameter for trees that are protected from being cut down; and provided additional credit for single tree preservation and planting.

Council Member Duke Coon said at the May 11 workshop that he believes the ordinance should change back to the Dec. 13, 2018, ordinance to reduce tree cutting until a new ordinance can be prepared by a committee.

“The reason myself and Councilwoman [Marsha] Porter wanted to put this on the agenda is to simply stop where we are today with some of the cutting and go back to the original ordinance,” Coon said at the workshop.

Mayor Pro Tem Raymond McDonald’s motion to refer the ordinance to a committee passed, but Coon said he will be submitting the item to bypass the workshop and go straight to a vote at the May 26 meeting.

Coon will serve on City Council through the June 11 runoff election, which will determine the newcomer for his Place 3 council seat.

Although Coon said council should change the city's vegetation ordinance back to the language in its Dec. 13, 2018, ordinance to reduce tree cutting until a new ordinance is prepared, other council members said they believe the city should instead work on a new ordinance. John Mangiameli, with the city of Conroe building department, said a new vegetation ordinance could be ready in a month.

“We’re so close to getting the new tree ordinance done ... and I think we can get that done in a month,” McDonald said at the May 12 meeting.