10.140 Defenses to Prosecution amendments

SEC. 51A-10.140. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND DEFENSES TO PROSECUTION.

(a) A person is criminally responsible for a violation of this division if the person:

(1) removes or seriously injures, or assists in the removal or serious injury of, a protected tree without complying with the requirements of this division; or

(2) owns part or all of the land where the violation occurs.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the act is included in one of the enumerated categories listed in this section. A tree removal application or tree replacement is not required if the tree:

(1) was dead and the death was not caused by an intentional or negligent act of the owner or an agent of the owner;

(2) had a disease or injury that threatened the life of the tree and was not caused by an intentional act of the owner or an agent of the owner;

(3) was in danger of falling or had partially fallen and the danger or the fall was not due to an intentional act of the owner or an agent of the owner;

(4) was in a visibility triangle (unless the owner was legally required to maintain the tree there) or obstructed a traffic sign;

(5) interfered with service provided by a public utility within a public right-of-way;

(6) threatened public health or safety, as determined by one of the following city officials:

(A) the chief of the police department;

(B) the chief of the fire-rescue department;

(C) the director of public works;

(D) the director of sanitation services;

(E) the director of code compliance;

(F) the director of park and recreation;

(G) the director of sustainable development and construction; or

(H) the director of aviation.

(7) was designated for removal without replacement in a landscape plan approved by the city council, city plan commission, or board of adjustment;

(8) interfered with construction or maintenance of a public utility or public right-of-way; or

(9) was removed or seriously injured to allow construction, including the operation of construction equipment in a normal manner, in accordance with infrastructure engineering plans approved under Article V of Chapter 49 or street paving and grading in a public right-of-way, storm drainage easement, detention or retention pond designation, or bridge construction, for private development.