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Cape May City recognizes the importance of protecting existing vegetation and replacing vegetation that is removed when land is developed. Cape May has a landscaping ordinance that requires up to 60% of a lot be left in vegetation and tree replacement for larger trees that are removed.

The City participates in Tree City USA and has also adopted a "Community Forestry Management Plan from 2011 to 2015" authored by the Shade Tree Commission with the intent of increasing the community´s understanding of the urban forest and increasing the public´s appreciation of trees on public and private land that benefit the entire community.
Habitat Conservation Ordinance
City Council of the City of Cape May adopted a habitat conservation ordinance in 2004 to ensure that development does not deteriorate Cape May's natural resources. The ordinance requires that a developer replace any trees removed from within the footprint of the proposed structure if said trees have a trunk at least three inches in diameter measured at three feet above the ground. Therefore, in addition to the requirement to replace removed trees outside the proposed footprint, plus six feet, the applicant shall plant one tree along the side yard and rear yard of the same size as the replacement tree except that the applicant is permitted to plant two bushes in lieu of a tree if the bushes are a minimum of two feet in diameter and are classified by the Backyard Habitat for Birds, a Guide for Landowners and Communities in New Jersey, published by the New Jersey Audubon Society.