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Chapter 11.45 Programmatic Tree Permits

11.45.010 Purpose.

Programmatic Permits may be issued by the City Forester for routine public facility or utility operation, repair and replacement, on-going maintenance programs, and for resource enhancement programs managed by a public agency. The purpose of a Programmatic Permit is to eliminate the need for individual tree removal, pruning or planting permits for ongoing activities that cover a wide geographic area and may include City, Street, and Private Trees. Programmatic permits are not subject to the standards, review factors, or general procedures of the Type A or B permits, but are instead evaluated to prevent cumulative adverse impacts of the activities and ensure that on balance the activities will meet the goals and objectives of the Urban Forest Plan in a reasonable time period. Tree preservation, protection, removal, and planting when associated with a development permit are subject to the procedures found in Chapter 11.50 and not these tree permit requirements.

11.45.020 Application Requirements.

A.  Applications for Programmatic Tree Permits shall:

 1.  Be made in writing or electronically upon forms furnished by the City;

 2.  Be legible, accurate, and contain sufficient information in order to evaluate the request; and

 3.  Be accompanied by the correct fee.

B.  Authority. Programmatic Permits may only be obtained by Public Agencies and Utilities as defined in this Title. Consultation on applicability is encouraged prior to application submittal.

11.45.030 Procedures.

A.  Requesting Additional Information.

1.  If the City Forester requires additional information to review an application, the City Forester will send a notice to the applicant requesting the additional information.

2.  The applicant will have a maximum of 30 days from the date of the City Forester’s notice to submit the additional information.

3.  If the additional information is not received by the City Forester within 30 days from the date of the City Forester’s notice, the application will be voided on the 31st day. The City will not refund the filing fee.

B.  Notice. When the City Forester determines that the application contains sufficient information, the City Forester shall mail notice by US mail or electronically to all recognized organizations within the geographic area affected by the permit request. The notice shall announce the permit application and provide instructions for obtaining additional information, providing comments or to request notification of the City Forester’s decision.   In addition to the public notice, the City Forester will provide a summary of pending and approved Programmatic Permits to the Urban Forestry Commission.

C.  Decision. The City Forester shall take action to approve, approve with conditions, or deny a Programmatic Permit request within 90 days of determining an application contains sufficient information. The decision will be based on an evaluation of the request against the applicable review factors in Section 11.45.040.

D.  Permit limitations.

1.  Time Limits. The City Forester may approve a Programmatic Permit for a period of up to 5 years. An annual report from the applicant to the City Forester on activity conducted under the permit is required.

2.  Tree Size Limits.

a.  The programmatic permit will not allow the removal of healthy non-nuisance species trees 6 or more inches in diameter, except as provided in Subsection D.2.b., below.

b.  If an applicant requests removal of healthy non-nuisance species trees 6 or more inches in diameter, an opportunity for public appeal shall be provided in accordance with Subsection F.2.b.

c.  For any request, the City Forester may further limit allowed tree removal in order to meet the review factors in Section 11.45.040.

3.  Tree Work Limits. All work conducted under a programmatic permit must be conducted in accordance with proper arboricultural practices.

E.  Revocation. The City Forester may revoke a Programmatic Permit upon finding the applicant is not adhering to the limitations imposed or is acting beyond the activities permitted by the Programmatic Permit. Non compliance with the Programmatic Permit may also be cause for any other enforcement action as stated in this Title.

F.  Appeals.

1.  Timely Filing. Appeals shall be filed on forms as prescribed by the City within 14 days from the date of the written decision. Such appeals shall specifically identify in writing how the decision-maker erred in his/her decision.

2.  Appellant.

a.  An applicant may appeal a denial, required conditions or specifications of an approval, or the revocation of any Programmatic Permit. Appeal Hearings will be conducted as specified in Subsections 11.30.040 D. through E.

b.  The public may appeal an approval, required conditions or specifications of Programmatic Permits that authorize the removal of healthy non-nuisance species trees 6 or more inches in diameter. Appeal Hearings will be conducted as specified in Subsections 11.30.050 C. through E.

3.  Appeal Body Referral. The Appeals Board may refer the appeal request to the full Urban Forestry Commission.

11.45.040 Review Factors.

The City Forester may approve a Programmatic Permit upon finding that the following review factors are met or will be met with conditions:

A.  The proposed activity will result in a net gain to the urban forest functions and benefits described in the purpose statement of Chapter 11.05, considering the applicants proposed performance measures, proposed tree planting and other proposed means to improve the overall health of the urban forest.

B.  The applicant’s proposed outreach and notification program, if warranted, will adequately and in a timely manner alert neighboring residents, businesses and the City prior to conducting work authorized under the programmatic permit.

11.45.050 Permit Specifications.

Approved permits shall include the following specifications. The City Forester may modify these specifications during the permit period in order to respond to concerns, changes in regulations, or previously unforeseen issues, provided the applicant is notified in writing and provided an opportunity to appeal the change in accordance with Section 11.45.030, above:

A.  Duration of permit;

B.  Geographic area covered by the permit;

C.  Permitted activities and any restrictions on the method, number, type, location or timing of activities;

D.  Procedures and thresholds for informing neighboring residents, businesses and the City of upcoming permitted activities; and

E.  Monitoring, performance tracking and reporting requirements. The City Forester may prescribe rules or procedures that specify the manner in which such tracking and reporting occur.