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No removal permit shall be granted pursuant to section 12.24.030 of this Chapter unless the city manager determines that substantial evidence supports one of the following three findings:
A. The general health of the oak tree warrants removal. A removal permit may be granted based on the health of the tree only if one of the following tests can be satisfied:
1. The oak tree is in danger of falling or is deemed to be structurally unsound, according to generally accepted arboricultural standards, and is in proximity to existing or proposed structures; or
2. The oak tree is a host for plant, pest, or disease endangering other species of trees or plants with infection or infestations.
B. Removal of the oak tree is necessary to allow construction of new improvements or the repair or protection of pre-existing improvements that have been interfered with by the oak tree, or otherwise allow the reasonable enjoyment of private property. The city manager shall apply the following factors in determining the necessity of removal of an oak tree for purposes of this subsection:
1. The size and age of the oak tree to be removed, and its historic, aesthetic or cultural value; a larger, older and more historically, aesthetically, or culturally valuable tree may be removed only if each of the other factors weigh heavily in favor of removal.
2. The necessity of the removal of the oak to the enjoyment of the property by the property owner or protection of preexisting improvements.
3. The lack of any reasonable alternative to the proposed improvement that does not require removal of the oak tree. The availability of funds from the Oak Tree Maintenance Fund to assist the property owner in repairing or reconfiguring improvements in a manner to save an oak tree should be taken into account in determining whether reasonable alternatives to removal exist such that a permit on this grounds should not be granted.
C. Urban forestry or land management practices warrant removal of the oak tree. An oak tree may be removed based on urban forestry or land management practices if one of the following conditions exist:
1. Removal of the oak tree will substantially benefit the topography of the land and the soil retention, water retention, and diversion or increased flow of surface waters.
2. Removal of the oak tree will not be detrimental to the general public because the number, species, size, and location of existing trees in the area offset the removal of the oak tree, and the removal will not have an adverse effect on shade areas, air pollution, historic values, scenic beauty, and the general welfare of the city as a whole.
3. Removal of the oak tree is consistent with good urban forestry practices such as, but not limited to, the number of healthy trees the subject parcel of land will support.
4. The property owner proposing to remove the tree can establish by adequate proof that the subject tree did not exist prior to the current owner's purchase of the property; this provision shall only apply to trees with a DBH of six (6) inches or less. (Ord. 2007-02 § 2 (part), 2007)