10.131 - 133 Application of Division and Tree Removal Application

Recognizing Tree Hazards - Trees Are Good
Tree Risk Assessment and Management, by Deborah Ellis (Saratoga, CA)

10.131  Application of Division  (Tree Preservation, Removal, and Replacement)

This division applies to all property in the city except for:

     (a)     lots smaller than two acres in size that contain single family or duplex uses; and 

     (b)     lots in a planned development district with landscaping and tree preservation regulations that vary appreciably from those in this article X, as determined by the building official.  (Ord. Nos. 22053; 25155)
  • Revise to apply to all property in the city except for lots with single family and duplex use that contain a legal dwelling structure, and maintains a homestead exemption for the occupant.

10.132  Tree Removal Applications

(a)     When a tree removal application must be approved and posted.  A responsible party must post either an approved tree removal application in accordance with this section or a building permit in a conspicuous place at the entrances to the lot or tract, before removing or seriously injuring a protected tree on that lot or tract.  [NOTE: Write 'tree removal' in 'other' box on application.]
  • Revise to require a tree removal permit be posted at the entrance of the site when removing protected trees from a site.
    (b)     Application for review.  An application required under this section must be filed with the building official on a form furnished by the city for that purpose.  The application must include the following:

          (1)     The name, address, telephone number, and signature of the applicant. If the applicant is not the owner of the lot or tract, he shall submit a letter from the owner authorizing him to act on the owner's behalf.
          (2)     The name, address, and telephone number of each owner of the lot or tract.
          (3)     The street address of the lot or tract.
          (4)     A tree survey that shows the location, caliper, and name (both common and scientific) of all trees on the lot or tract (trees in close proximity that all have a caliper of less than eight inches may be designated as a "group of trees" with only the number noted), or an estimate of the total caliper inches of protected trees, calculated and documented in a manner determined by the building official to be reasonably accurate.  The survey does not have to be prepared by a registered surveyor, architect, or landscape architect.  Trees not proposed for removal or serious injury, or located within 50 feet of proposed construction activity need not be shown on the survey unless the building official determines it would help evaluation of the application.
          (5)     All permits and approvals related to floodplain, wetland, or escarpment regulations required by city departments or other agencies.
          (6)     Any other reasonable and pertinent information that the building official determines to be necessary for review.
  • Revise to require tree surveys to show the critical root zones of trees located on adjacent properties.
    (c)     Form of approval of tree removal application. A tree removal application is not approved until it has been signed by the building official.

    (d)     Separate offense for each tree removed or seriously injured without a permit. A responsible party commits a separate violation of this section for each tree removed or seriously injured without authorization by a building permit or approved tree removal application that is posted at the lot or tract.

    (e)     Decision of the building official. The building official shall deny a tree removal application if the removal or serious injury is not in the public interest. This decision must be based on the following factors:
          (1)     The feasibility of relocating a proposed improvement that would require the removal or serious injury of the tree.
          (2)     The cost of preserving the tree.
          (3)     Whether the lot or tract would comply with this article after the removal or serious injury.
          (4)     Whether the removal or serious injury is contrary to the public health, safety, or welfare.
          (5)     The impact of the removal or serious injury on the urban and natural environment.
          (6)     Whether an economically viable use of the property will exist if the application is denied.
          (7)     Whether the tree is worthy of preservation.
          (8)     Whether the tree is diseased or has a short remaining life expectancy.
          (9)     The effect of the removal or serious injury on erosion, soil moisture retention, flow of surface waters, and drainage systems.
          (10)     The need for buffering of residential areas from the noise, glare, and visual effects of nonresidential uses.
          (11)     Whether a landscape plan has been approved by the board of adjustment, city plan commission, or city council.
          (12)     Whether the tree interferes with a utility service.
          (13)     Whether the tree is near existing or proposed structures.
          (14)     Whether the proposed mitigation for tree removal or serious injury is sufficient.  (Ord. Nos. 22053; 25155)

  • Revise to authorize the building official to deny a tree removal permit based on any one of the fourteen listed factors.
  • Revise to restrict the removal of Historic Trees and Heritage Trees on public land.

  • Revise to allow trees to be transplanted from one location on the lot to another location on the same lot.  For each caliper inch of successfully transplanted tree, two inches of replacement tree can be credited.

10.133  Reserved
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