A.   Any privately owned or maintained tree or shrub which is allowed to grow or otherwise protrude into or over any public property or public right-of-way so as to in any manner hinder or obstruct the free passage of persons or vehicles thereon, or to cause any accumulation thereon of leaves or other tree or plant material, is hereby declared a nuisance and the Director of Maintenance Services or designee thereof ('Director' hereinafter in this section) is hereby authorized to abate the same.
   B.   Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, encroaching trees or shrubs may be abated in accordance with the following procedures:
      1.   Any occupant of the property upon which the encroaching tree or shrub is located, and the owner thereof as shown in the last equalized assessment roll then available, shall be served with written notice to abate therein specifying  the nature of the encroachment, and a date by which abatement must occur which shall not be less than seven (7) calendar days following the date of the notice, unless the Director determines that protection of the public health and safety requires earlier trimming of the encroaching tree or shrub. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Director may summarily abate the nuisance where deemed necessary in order to immediately protect the public health and safety. In such event, however, the owner and/or occupant shall be entitled to request a hearing following receipt of a bill for the costs of abatement, as provided in this section.
      2.   In the event the encroaching shrub or tree or has not been sufficiently trimmed within the time provided in the notice, the Director may cause the appropriate maintenance to be conducted at the owner's and/or occupant's expense. At the Director's discretion, a bill for the costs of abatement will be presented to both the owner and occupant and shall be immediately due and payable as a debt on a written contract. If the estimate for the abatement exceeds five hundred dollars ($500.00), the Director will cause a second notice to be filed specifically indicating that it does exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), and an additional seven (7) calendar days will be designated for them to remove the encroachment. Exceptions will be made, at the Director's discretion, for those residents that can demonstrate a substantial hardship would be created by such debt. If such bill remains unpaid for a period of not less than thirty (30) days following the date thereof, the same may be assessed against the parcel and shall become a lien thereon, collectable as set forth in § 15.216.090 of this code.
      3.   The property owner or occupant may, within five (5) business days of receipt of the abatement billing, file a written request for a hearing, whereupon the Director shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct a hearing within ten (10) business days, notifying both owner and occupant of hearing time and date. At the hearing, the owner and/or occupant may present evidence relevant to the decision to abate and/or the costs of abatement. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer may confirm or reduce the abatement bill, or excuse the same where good cause exists. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final unless the final abatement bill exceeds five hundred dollars ($500.00), in which case the owner and/or occupant may file a written appeal with the City Manager within five (5) business days of the date of that decision. The City Manager shall conduct a hearing and proceed in the manner prescribed above, and his or her decision shall be final.
   C.   The procedures to abate nuisance trees and shrubs, as set forth herein, are alternative to any and all other procedures available under this code or state law to abate the same.
(Ord. 1034, passed 3-21-00)