GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-4000
This Title is primarily implemented by two City officials; the City Forester and the Director of the Bureau of Development Services (BDS Director). The Responsible Engineer has a role as described below in the resolution of infrastructure conflicts within the public streets and city-owned easements. The roles for the Urban Forestry Commission and Appeals Board include major urban forest policy direction and hearing appeals of tree removal permits, as described in Chapter 11.20. The Code Hearings Officer adjudicates enforcement cases. The City Forester and BDS Director are authorized to adopt, amend and repeal administrative rules, consistent with the provisions of this Title, pertaining to matters within the authority or responsibility of the City Forester or BDS Director under the provisions of this Title. No such rule shall be effective or binding on any person until it is filed for inclusion in the City Auditor's Portland Policy Documents repository in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1.07 of this Code. If any person feels aggrieved by any such administrative rule, the person may appeal to the Council for its amendment or repeal by filing with the City Auditor a petition which shall be presented to the Council at its next regular meeting, unless the petitioner requests a later hearing. Until and unless amended or repealed by the Council, any administrative rule made under this Section shall be in full force and effect.
A. City Forester. The City Forester shall be an arborist. The City Forester is responsible for:
1. Administering the tree permit program for City, Street, and Private Trees per Chapter 11.40 and Programmatic Permits per Chapter 11.45;
2. Reviewing development permits for compliance with City and Street Tree preservation and protection and Street Tree planting requirements per Chapter 11.50;
3. Processing violations of this Title as stated in Chapter 11.70;
4. Managing the Urban Forestry Program by:
a. Preparing and submitting the annual budget request for the operation of the Parks and Recreation Forestry Division to the Director of the Bureau of Parks and Recreation; and
b. Providing tree maintenance or supervisory services including cutting, pruning, spraying, planting and tree removal on city managed property required by or performed by the Bureau of Parks and Recreation subject to the annual budget. Bureaus may also employ normal procedures to have such services provided by private contractors; and
5. Preserving and enhancing the urban forest by:
a. Developing and periodically updating specifications for planting, pruning, removing and maintaining trees in accordance with proper arboricultural practices;
b. Developing lists of recommended trees for streets as well as recommended trees for other specific objectives;
c. Coordinating with the UFC and City bureaus, the development, monitoring, and reporting on implementation of the Urban Forest Plan described in Chapter 11.20; and
d. Providing staff services and carrying out the other responsibilities applicable to the UFC including:
(1) Preparing a monthly report on the Urban Forestry Program's activities for the Urban Forestry Commission’s (UFC) review;
(2) Reviewing and identifying for the UFC budget proposals, programs, and projects that could substantially affect trees or the urban forest; and
(3) Analyzing potential activities for consideration in the development of the UFC’s annual work plan and retreat.
B. BDS Director. In addition to duties specified in other City Titles, the BDS Director is responsible for:
1. Reviewing development permits for compliance with tree preservation, protection and planting requirements per Chapter 11.50;
2. Processing violations of this Title as stated in Chapter 11.70; and
3. Processing violations affecting trees when the violation is of a requirement of this Title and Title 33, Planning and Zoning. In such cases, the BDS Director may also consult with the City Forester.
C. Responsible Engineer. The Responsible Engineer in consultation with the City Forester is responsible for:
1. Reviewing tentative planting proposals in public streets for the purpose of protecting existing utilities and sewer and water lines;
2. Applying standards for planting, care, and protection of trees through development projects, including public works, and capital improvements;
3. Planting, care, and management of trees in center medians and greenstreet facilities; and
4. Identifying for the City Forester city programs and capital projects or significant budget proposals that would substantially affect trees or the urban forest and that warrant UFC involvement or review.
D. Urban Forestry Commission (UFC). The roles and functions of the Urban Forestry Commission are specified in Chapter 11.20.
E. Urban Forestry Appeals Board. The roles and composition of the Appeals Board are specified in Chapter 11.20.
F. Code Hearings Officer. The City’s Code Hearings Officer is responsible for hearing abatement cases and providing review of enforcement cases related to this Title, following the procedures in Title 22, Hearings Officer.
(Amended by Ordinance No. 188816, effective March 16, 2018.)
A. Determine whether the proposed activity will require a development permit.
1. If the proposal will require a development permit, the regulations of Chapter 11.50 may apply to the proposal. Chapter 11.50 will identify when its requirements apply. If those requirements do not apply, then the requirements of Chapter 11.40 will apply. Chapter 11.50 will also direct readers to other regulations relevant to the proposal. Tree preservation and tree removal proposed as part of a development permit must be reviewed and approved as part of the development permit, regardless whether the regulations of Chapter 11.50 apply or if the proposal is exempt from the regulations. Approved activities may not commence until issuance of the development permit.
2. If the proposal will not require a development permit, the regulations of Chapters 11.30 and 11.40 apply to the proposal. Chapter 11.40 will also direct readers to other regulations relevant to the proposal.
3. The regulations of those chapters are specific to City, Street, and Private Trees as defined in Chapter 11.80, Definitions and Measurements.
B. For regulations pertaining to Heritage Trees, refer to Chapter 11.20.
A. Reading and applying the code. When a conflict arises as a result of a particular tree situation spanning multiple chapters, the more specific provisions take precedence. When the conflict cannot be resolved by the more specific provision, the requirement that results in retaining the existing tree will prevail, except in cases where the public safety is jeopardized.
1. Defining words. Words used in this Title have their dictionary meaning unless they are defined in Chapter 11.80, Definitions and Measurements. Words listed in the Definitions chapter have the specific meaning stated, unless the context clearly indicates another meaning.
2. Tenses and usage.
a. Words used in the singular include the plural. The reverse is also true.
b. Words used in the present tense include the future tense. The reverse is also true.
c. The words "shall," "will," and "may not" are mandatory.
d. "May" is permissive.
e. "Prohibited" means that a particular activity is in violation of this Title.
f. When used with numbers, "At least x," "Up to x," "Not more than x" and "a maximum of x" all include x.
3. Conjunctions. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following conjunctions have the following meanings:
a. "And" indicates that all connected items or provisions apply;
b. "Either...or" indicates that the connected items or provisions apply singly, but not in combination.
4. Lists. Lists of items that state "including the following," "such as" or similar language are not limited to just those items. The lists are intended to provide examples, but not to be exhaustive of all possibilities.
1. Substantive amendments to this Title or amendments necessary to ensure conformance with other City Titles may be prepared by any bureau but will be coordinated by the Bureau charged with those responsibilities in the Title in consultation with the Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability, Parks and Recreation, Development Services, Environmental Services, Transportation and Water.
2. Technical corrections and matters of simple clarification may be prepared and approved by the Auditor or City Attorney.
B. Urban Forestry Commission (UFC). The UFC shall hold at least one public hearing for proposed amendments to this Title before making a recommendation on such an amendment. A hearing is not required for technical corrections or amendments needed to ensure conformance with other City Titles.
C. Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). The PSC may provide input on the proposed amendments to the UFC. The PSC shall hold a public hearing for any proposed substantive amendments to Chapter 11.50 Trees In Development Situations, Chapter 11.60 Technical Specifications, or Chapter 11.70 Enforcement. A hearing is not required for technical corrections or amendments needed to ensure conformance with other City Titles.
D. Notification Requirements.
1. UFC or PSC Hearing. Notice of any public hearing held by the UFC or PSC to consider a proposed substantive amendment to this Title shall be mailed to Metro, the Oregon Department of Transportation, all recognized organizations, affected bureaus and interested persons who have requested such notice. Notice shall also be published in a recognized newspaper and mailed at least 30 days prior to the hearing.
2. The Urban Forestry Commission shall additionally be notified of any amendment needed to ensure conformance with other City titles or technical corrections a minimum of 14 days prior to a final decision.
3. City Council Hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed to those who testified at the UFC hearing, either in person or in writing, or those who requested such notice. If hearings were not held by the UFC or PSC, notice shall be mailed to all affected bureaus and persons who have requested such notice. Notice shall be published in a recognized newspaper and mailed at least 14 days prior to the hearing.
4. The notifications required by this Section shall be the responsibility of the Bureau coordinating the amendment or technical correction.
E. City Council. The City Council shall hold at least one public hearing on all amendments that are not considered technical. City Council makes the final decision on amendments, after considering the recommendations of the UFC and PSC and after hearing testimony from the public.
F. Declaring an emergency. City Council may declare an emergency in accordance with the City Charter and amend this Title and associated Administrative Rules without following the process set out in this Section.
The City Forester or BDS Director in the course of their duties in implementing this Title may enter into agreements with other bureaus or public agencies. These interagency and intergovernmental agreements may allow the BDS Director or City Forester to delegate powers granted within this Title to or provide services to other bureaus or public agencies, subject to the requirements outlined in the agreement. Such agreements may not grant or delegate powers or authority not already assigned to the City Forester or BDS Director. Neither the BDS Director nor the City Forester may enter into any agreement under this Section that requires expenditure of City funds, unless such funds have been appropriated by the Council through the budget process.
A. Applicability. The City Forester or BDS Director may require performance guarantees when an owner, applicant, or responsible person defers a planting requirement, as an assurance for performance path root protection methods, or when a violation has occurred and there is uncertainty regarding the extent of a particular tree injury.
B. Types of guarantees. Guarantees may be in the form of a performance bond payable to the City in cash, by certified check, time certificate of deposit, irrevocable letter of credit, or other form acceptable to the City. Indemnity agreements may be used by other governmental agencies. Guarantees shall be accompanied by a contract. The form of the guarantee and contract shall be approved by the City Attorney. The City Forester and BDS Director are each authorized to accept and sign the contract for the City, and to accept the guarantee.
C. Amount of guarantee. The amount of the performance guarantee shall be equal to at least 110 percent of the estimated cost of performance as described below. The owner, applicant or responsible party shall provide written estimates by three contractors with their names and addresses. The estimates shall include as separate items all materials, labor, and other costs of the required action.
1. Planting deferral. When tree planting is deferred, the cost of performance is equivalent to the payment in lieu for any trees to be planted and maintained for a 2 year period.
2. Alternate root protection method assurance. If assurances are required for alternate root protection methods, the cost of performance is the estimated cost for removing the tree, plus an equivalent payment in lieu for planting to meet the tree standards in Chapter 11.50 Trees in Development Situations.
3. Violation remedy. Should an injury result to a protected tree, and where the City Forester determines that the tree may still be viable, the property owner or responsible party may submit a performance guarantee in lieu of providing for an arborist treatment regimen or removing the tree in accordance with the provisions in Chapter 11.70. If assurances are allowed in these cases, the cost of performance is the estimated cost for removing the tree, plus an equivalent payment in lieu for replacing the tree based on mitigating at an inch for inch equivalent.
D. Completion. An inspection and approval of the action or improvement covered by the performance guarantee is required before the performance guarantee is returned. The inspection will be conducted by the appropriate City bureau that holds the guarantee. If the action or improvement is not completed satisfactorily within the stated time limits, the City may have the necessary action or improvement completed and seek reimbursement for the work from the performance guarantee. Any remaining funds will be returned to the owner, applicant, or responsible party.
(Amended by Ordinance No. 189514, effective June 21, 2019.)
A. Generally. The City Council may establish and amend by ordinance permit, inspection, review, enforcement, in-lieu of planting or preservation, appeal and other fees as necessary to sustain the development permit, tree permit, and other Development Service or Urban Forestry programs. All fees, charges, civil penalties, and fines established by authority of this Title will be listed in the Portland Policy Documents.
B. Fees in lieu of planting or preserving trees. Where allowed by other provisions of this Title, a fee may be paid into the Tree Planting and Preservation Fund in lieu of planting or preserving trees. The fee per tree is the entire cost of establishing a new tree in accordance with standards described by the City Forester. The cost includes materials and labor necessary to plant the tree, and to maintain it for 5 years. The fee will be reviewed annually and, if necessary, adjusted to reflect current costs. See Section 11.15.010 for more information on the Tree Planting and Preservation Fund.