§ 156.01  PURPOSE.
   (A)   The purpose of this chapter is to conserve and protect existing landmark trees and oak trees.
      (1)   The conservation and protection of these trees within the community is intended to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of Riverbank residents by enhancing the air quality, water quality and beauty of Riverbank.
      (2)   Oak and landmark trees are recognized as an essential part of the city infrastructure, and as such will receive equal consideration with other city infrastructure systems.
   (B)   This chapter is intended to complement and strengthen zoning, subdivision and land use standards and regulations to more accurately reflect community expectations and goals of the general plan. 
      (1)   Specifically, the purpose of the chapter is to implement Goal VII of the Land Use Element, “To enhance and maintain the quality of life in Riverbank and to encourage a community identity and a pride in that community.”
      (2)   The preservation of native valley oaks and other landmark trees is intended to advance this goal by:
         (a)   Enhancing natural scenic beauty by providing habitat and food source for birds and other wildlife;
         (b)   Naturally reducing air pollution by filtering out harmful gasses and replenishing the atmosphere with oxygen by assisting in the overall goal of preservation, maintenance and regeneration of a healthy urban forest and tree cover;
         (c)   Lowering heating and cooling costs by promoting the conservation of energy resources and regulation of temperature through the shade, evaporative cooling and wind break provided by trees;
         (d)   Reducing topsoil erosion by the holding effect of their roots;
         (e)   Promoting conservation of water resources by reducing surface water runoff resulting from storms;
         (f)   Promoting the well being of the community by absorbing sound and buffer noise, such as vehicular traffic;
         (g)   Enhancing economic stability by attracting businesses and visitors by providing recreational settings, wildlife habitat, and ecological balance;
         (h)   Increasing property values by promoting the city’s unique identity; and
         (i)   Providing for safety through responsible and safe standards for the trimming and/or removal of native valley oaks and other landmark trees.
(Ord. 2006-009, passed 5-8-06)