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A. The city shall have the right to inspect and cause the removal of any tree, or any part thereof, on private property within the city if the tree or any part thereof:
1. Is dead, diseased, insect infested or has obvious visible defects; and
a. Constitutes a hazard to life or property, or
b. Harbors pests which constitute a threat to other trees within the city.
3. A tree, or any part thereof, that meets the criteria of subsection A.1. and A.2. is declared a public nuisance. The remedies against a public nuisance, in addition to those prescribed herein, shall be those prescribed by state law.
B. The city shall notify the owner of the real property on which the tree is located, in writing by first-class mail or hand delivery, to remove the tree within such reasonable time as shall be determined by the Urban Forester. Removal shall be made by the owner at the owner’s expense. In the event of failure of owner to comply with the removal provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove the tree and defray the cost of abating the public nuisance, including administrative costs, by taxing the cost thereof by special assessment against the real property on which the tree was located. In addition to the abatement remedy prescribed in this code and those remedies prescribed by state law, any person violating this section may also be subject to the general penalty provision as set forth in § 1.12.010 of the RCMC.
C. Any person claiming an interest in any tree ordered to be removed under subsection B. of this section may appeal the order to the Urban Forestry Board within 7 days of the date of the order.
D. Obvious visible defects include, but are not limited to, dead limbs greater than 6 inches in diameter, an unseasonable lack of leaves, visible decay, lightning damage, and perilously leaning trunks.
E. Upon written request, the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department or his or her designee may provide an extension, not to exceed an additional 30 days, from the date of removal required by the Urban Forester.
F. This provision shall not be construed to relieve from liability any party owning land on which a hazardous tree or any part thereof is located for damages to persons or property caused by the hazardous tree. This provision shall not be construed as imposing upon the city any liability or responsibility resulting from damage caused by any tree located on private property, nor shall the city or its employees be held as assuming any liability or responsibility by reason of an authorized inspection under this section.
(Ord. 6276 (part), 2018: Ord. 5878, 2012: Ord. 5793 (part), 2012)