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11.40.040 City and Street Tree Permit Standards and Review Factors.

Type A and B permit applications for tree related work affecting City or Street Trees shall be reviewed using the following applicable review factors and standards in accordance with the application procedures set forth in Chapter 11.30.

Table 40-2

Summary of Permit Requirements for City and Street Trees

Activity

Permit Type

Tree Replacement [1]

(See Section 11.40.060)

Public Notice /
Public May Appeal

No Permit is required for:

- pruning branches or roots <1/4”;

- removing City Trees <3” in diameter;

- removing street trees that are sucker shoots, self-sown trees < 1/4”; or

- other activities that are exempt from the requirements of this Chapter (see 11.40.030).

Planting trees

Pruning branches or roots larger than ¼”

Other activities as described in 11.40.040 A.3

A

n/a

No

Removal of any regulated tree that is:

- dead, dying, or dangerous

A

tree for tree

No

Removing up to 4 healthy trees per site, or abutting right of way per year as follows:

- less than 3” in diameter

A[2]

tree for tree

No

- 3 to <12” in diameter

B

tree for tree

No

- 12 to <20” in diameter

B

tree for tree

No

- 20” and larger in diameter

B

inch for inch

Yes

Removing more than 4 healthy trees per site, or abutting right of way per year as follows:

- less than 3” in diameter

A [2]

tree for tree

No

- 3 to <12” in diameter

B

tree for tree

No

- > 12” in diameter

B

inch for inch

Yes

- 20” and larger in diameter

B

inch for inch

Yes

[1] “Tree for Tree” means one tree is required to be planted for each tree removed, “inch for inch” means the City Forester may require up to an equivalent number of inches be planted for the total diameter inches of the tree being removed.

[2] Applies to all Street Trees, in addition to any other City Trees planted as part of a landscaping or mitigation requirement, including trees planted to replace trees removed under a previous tree permit.

 

 A.  Standards and Review Factors for Type A Permits for City and Street Trees.

1.  Planting. Planting shall meet the specifications in Chapter 11.60 and the following:

a.  Street Trees. If the City Forester determines that a proposed Street Tree planting is suitable for the space available, and that the species of the tree is appropriate for the location, then the City Forester will grant the permit.   The Responsible Engineer may require the City Forester to submit planting proposals in streets for review for the purpose of protecting existing utilities and sewer branches, and to ensure that the proposed trees are not likely to obstruct the visibility of drivers, cyclists or pedestrians.

b.  City Trees. If the City Forester determines that a proposed planting on City property is of a species of tree appropriate for the site and that the applicant has the written consent of the City bureau to whom responsibility for the property has been assigned, the City Forester will grant the permit.

2.  Pruning or root cutting. The City Forester will grant a permit for pruning or root cutting of branches or roots 1/4 inch or larger if the applicant demonstrates to the City Forester's satisfaction that the pruning or root cutting will be performed in accordance with proper arboricultural practices, and that it will not adversely impact the health or structural integrity of the tree.

3.  Other activities. A permit is required to attach permanent objects (e.g. lights, signs, or artwork) to a tree or its supports (e.g. guides, wires, stakes), or for any other type of activity the City Forester determines has the potential to harm a City or Street Tree. In reviewing these requests, the City Forester may impose limitations on the method, location, or duration of such activities.

4.  Removal. Trees shall be replaced as indicated in Table 40-2. The City Forester will grant a permit to remove a tree if the City Forester determines that the proposed removal is exempt or allowed by Title 33, Planning and Zoning; and meets at least one of the following:

a.  Dead trees. The tree is dead or has been damaged beyond repair or where not enough live tissue, green leaves, limbs, roots or branches exist to sustain life.

b.  Dying trees. The tree is in an advanced state of decline because it is diseased, infested by insects, or rotting and cannot be saved by reasonable treatment or pruning, or must be removed to prevent spread of the infestation or disease to other trees or is imminently likely to be become a danger or die. The City Forester may apply a condition of approval to the permit to require specific disposal methods for infected wood.

c.   Dangerous trees. The City Forester will evaluate the removal request by first evaluating practicable alternatives to the removal. If the City Forester finds either that the cost of the alternatives significantly exceeds the value of the tree, or that such alternatives will not substantially alleviate the dangerous condition, the City Forester will grant the permit.

B.  Standards and Review Factors for Type B Permits for City and Street Trees. Because Type B permits for City and Street Trees are required only for removal; the standards and review factors of this Subsection are specific to tree removal.

1.  Standards. The City Forester shall determine that the following standards are met before granting a Type B permit:

a.  For trees located in one of the overlay zones or plan districts identified in Table 40-1, the proposed removal is exempt or allowed by Title 33, Planning and Zoning;

b.  The tree is not required to be preserved by a condition of a land use review, provision of this Title or the Zoning Code, or as part of a required stormwater facility;

c.  Trees removed shall be replaced as specified in Table 40-2.

2.  Review Factors. The City, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, will not permit the removal of a healthy, functioning Street Tree. Maintenance or replacements of sidewalks or curbs, removal of tree litter, or other minor inconveniences do not constitute extraordinary circumstances. Decisions regarding removal of healthy, functioning Street Trees are fact-specific, and are made on a case-by-case basis by the City Forester. In determining whether extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant removal of a healthy tree, the City Forester will consider:

a.  Whether the species of tree is appropriate for its location, and whether it is a nuisance species tree;

b.  Whether the tree’s crown, stem or root growth habit has developed in a manner that would prevent continued healthy growth or is negatively impacting other trees;

c.  Whether the maintenance of the tree creates an unreasonable burden for the property owner; and

d.  The impact of removal and replanting on the neighborhood streetscape and any adopted historic or other design guidelines.