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(A) Creation and establishment of a city Tree Board. There is hereby created and established a city Tree Board which shall consist of five members who are residents of the county and who shall be appointed by the Mayor.
(B) Term of office. The term of the five persons to be appointed by the Mayor shall be three years, except that the term of two of the members appointed to the first board shall be for only one year and the term of two members of the first board shall be for two years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, the successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.
(C) Compensation. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation.
(D) Duties and responsibilities. It shall be the responsibility of the Board to study, investigate, counsel, and develop and/or update annually, and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal, or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets, and in other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the City Council and upon their acceptance and approval shall constitute the official comprehensive city tree plan for the city. The Board, when requested by City officials, shall consider, investigate, make finding, report, and recommend upon any special matter of question coming within the scope of its work.
(E) Operation. The Board shall choose its own officers, make its own rules and regulations, and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.
(F) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
LARGE TREE. A type of tree that reaches a mature height greater than 50 feet.
MEDIUM TREE. A type of tree that reaches a mature height of greater than 20 feet but no more than 50 feet.
PARK TREES. Trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names, and all areas owned by the city, or to which the public has free access as a park.
SMALL TREE. A type of tree that reaches a mature height of no more than 20 feet.
STREET TREES. Trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on all streets, avenues, boulevards, or other public ways within the city.
(G) Listing of desirable trees. The Board shall develop and maintain a list of desirable small, medium, and large trees for planting on public property. In addition, the Board shall develop and maintain a list of trees not desirable or suitable for planting on public property.
(H) Spacing. The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the three tree sizes listed in division (F) of this section, and no trees may be planted closer together than the following: small trees, 30 feet; medium trees, 40 feet; and large trees, 50 feet; except in special plantings designed or approved by a landscape architect.
(I) Distance from curb and sidewalk. The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines will be in accordance with the three species size classes listed in division (F) of this section, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb than the following: small trees, two feet; medium trees, three feet; and large trees, four feet; and no tree may be planted closer to any sidewalk than one foot.
(J) Distance from street corners and fireplugs. No street tree shall be planted closer than 35 feet from any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted closer than ten feet from any fireplug.
(K) Utilities. No street trees other than those species listed as small trees in division (F) of this section may be planted under or within ten lateral feet of any overhead utility wire, or over or within five lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, transmission line, or other utility.
(L) Public tree care. The city shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain, and remove trees, plants, and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, parks, squares, and public grounds, as may be necessary to insure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The city Tree Board may remove, or cause or order to be removed, any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, water lines, or other public improvements, or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect, or other pest. This provision does not prohibit the planting of street trees by adjacent property owners providing that the selection and location of said trees is in accordance with this section.
(M) Tree topping. It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or city department to top any street tree, park tree, or other tree on public property. TOPPING is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this section at the determination of the city Tree Board.
(N) Pruning, corner clearance.
(1) Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the city shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. The owners shall remove all dead, diseased, or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The city shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign.
(2) The city shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the city when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the city. The city Tree Board will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by the owners at their own expense within 60 days after the date of service of notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove such trees and file a property tax lien for the cost of removal and related expenses.
(O) Removal of stumps. All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.
(P) Interference with city Tree Board. It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay, or interfere with the city Tree Board, or any of its agents, while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this section.
(Q) Review by Board of Public Works and Safety. Any person that is aggrieved by any act, conduct, or decision of the City Tree Board may appeal to the Board of Public Works and Safety. The Board of Public Works shall hear the appeal and make a final decision.
(Ord. 11, 2012, passed 6-11-2012)