Article 29. Regulation Of Trees On Private Property linklink

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435
10-3-2900: Definitions
10-3-2901: Tree Removal Permit
10-3-2902: Alternative Tree Removal Approval
10-3-2903: Replacement Of Native Trees
10-3-2904: Exemptions
10-3-2905: Protections During Construction
10-3-2906: Violations Of This Article

10-3-2900: DEFINITIONS: linklink


For the purposes of this article, the following terms, words and phrases shall have the meanings given herein:

ARBORIST: An individual certified as an arborist by the International Society Of Arboriculture (ISA), or an individual who is currently listed as a consulting arborist by the American Society Of Consulting Arborists (ASCA).

DAMAGE: Any action which may cause death or significant injury to a tree or which places the tree in a hazardous condition or an irreversible state of decline. Such action may be taken by, but is not limited to, cutting, topping, girdling, poisoning, trenching, grading or excavating within the drip line of the tree.

HERITAGE TREE: Any tree not listed on the city's official list of native trees with a primary trunk circumference of forty eight inches (48") or more, measured at a height of four feet six inches (4'6") above natural grade.

NATIVE TREE: A tree listed on the city's official list of local native trees, as adopted from time to time by resolution of the city council, and which has a primary trunk circumference of twenty four inches (24") or more, measured at a height of four feet six inches (4'6") above natural grade. The official list of local native trees shall be maintained on file in the departments of planning and community development, building and safety and recreation and parks.

PROTECTED TREE: Any native tree, heritage tree, or tree within an urban grove.

TREE: A woody perennial plant, consisting usually of a single elongated main stem or trunk and many branches.

URBAN GROVE: Fifty (50) or more trees where the branches of each tree are within six feet (6') of the branches of one of the other trees in the grove. Individual trees in an urban grove may be of any size and are not subject to any circumference limitations. Any reference to an urban grove in this article shall mean the entire grove or one or more trees within the grove. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993; amd. Ord. 11-O-2616, eff. 1-6-2012)
http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812521
10-3-2901: TREE REMOVAL PERMIT: linklink


A. No person shall damage or remove, or cause to be damaged or removed, any protected tree on his or her property without a tree removal permit first being obtained in accordance with the requirements of this article. This article is applicable to:

1. Any native or heritage tree that is located within the front yard or in the area of the site between a line within a site area parallel to the front lot line and located at a distance from the front lot line equal to the shortest distance between front lot line and the existing or proposed primary residence on a single-family residential property, if that shortest distance is greater than the front setback.

2. Any native or heritage tree that is located within the street side yard or in the area of the site between a line within a site area parallel to the street side lot line and located at a distance from the street side lot line equal to the shortest distance between street side lot line and the existing or proposed primary residence on a single-family residential property, if that shortest distance is greater than the street side setback.

3. An urban grove located anywhere on a single-family residential property.


B. A tree removal permit shall be obtained from the department of building and safety in the following circumstances:

1. The protected tree proposed for removal is relocated on the same property and such relocation will not damage the tree.

2. The protected tree proposed for removal is in such a condition that it poses an immediate threat to the public health or safety or to property.

3. The protected tree proposed for removal is dead or diseased as determined by a licensed arborist who submits a written report certifying that the disease afflicting the tree or the condition of the tree requires its removal.

4. The protected tree proposed for removal is damaging a sidewalk, street, or other public property and such damage has created a public safety hazard.

5. The protected tree proposed for removal is damaging improvements on private property.

6. The protected tree proposed for removal is interfering with public utilities and such interference cannot be avoided by target pruning performed in a manner that would not damage the tree.

7. The protected tree proposed for removal is a native tree and such tree is replaced by one healthy native tree of any species and of the same size. A native tree proposed for removal from the front setback area shall be replaced in the front setback area. A native tree proposed for removal from the side setback area shall be replaced in the side setback area. Once the replacement tree is planted, the replacement tree shall not be removed without a tree removal permit first being obtained in accordance with the requirements of this article.

8. The protected tree proposed for removal is obstructing an existing view of the Los Angeles area basin from a habitable building on the property where such tree is located.

9. The removal of one or more trees in an urban grove is necessary for the preservation of the health of the grove as determined by a licensed arborist.


C. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, if a protected tree proposed for removal is in such a condition that it poses an imminent threat to the public health or safety or to property, then the required tree removal permit may be obtained from the department of building and safety after the tree has been removed.


D. Prior to the issuance of a tree removal permit, the department of building and safety may request that a report concerning the subject tree be submitted by a licensed arborist.


E. The decision by the department of building and safety on a tree removal permit application shall be appealable by the owner of the tree proposed for removal to the planning commission in the same manner as an appeal to the city council as provided by title 1, chapter 4, article 1 of this code. The department may refer any tree removal application to the planning commission for its decision. The decision by the planning commission on an appeal or referral shall be appealable by the owner of the tree proposed for removal to the city council as provided by title 1, chapter 4, article 1 of this code.


F. A tree removal permit shall be obtained from the planning commission whenever a protected tree is proposed to be removed as part of a development, building addition, or remodel of an existing building which is subject to a discretionary permit or other approval issued by such commission. The tree removal permit may be applied for concurrently with the related discretionary review application. The decision by the planning commission on a tree removal permit application shall be appealable in the same manner as the related discretionary review application. Upon planning commission approval of a tree removal, the tree removal permit shall be issued by the department of building and safety.


G. A tree removal permit shall be approved under subsection F of this section, if the following findings are made by the reviewing body:

1. The removal of the protected tree cannot be reasonably avoided by redesigning the location or nature of any proposed improvements on the property which have caused the need to remove the protected tree.

2. The removal of the protected tree will not have any significant environmental effects or otherwise harm the public health or general welfare.

3. The removal of the protected tree will not significantly and adversely affect erosion, soil retention, or the flow of surface water.

4. The removal of the protected tree will not significantly and adversely affect the aesthetic quality and appearance of the surrounding neighborhood.


H. Except as otherwise provided by subsection B9 of this section, a tree removal permit shall be obtained from the planning commission whenever ten percent (10%) or more of the protected trees in an urban grove are proposed to be removed. Notice of the hearing on such permit before the planning commission shall be mailed in accordance with article 2.5 of this chapter and the city's public notice guidelines. The decision of the planning commission shall be appealable by the owner of the trees proposed for removal or any person entitled to receive notice of the planning commission hearing under this subsection to the city council. Notice of the hearing on the appeal before the city shall be given to all persons who are entitled to receive notice of the hearing before the planning commission.


I. The application for a tree removal permit shall be made on the form approved by the department of building and safety. An application fee may be established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993; amd. Ord. 94-O-2202, eff. 7-22-1994; Ord. 07-O-2512, eff. 5-11-2007; Ord. 14-O-2661, eff. 6-20-2014)

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812522
10-3-2902: ALTERNATIVE TREE REMOVAL APPROVAL: linklink

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10-3-2901 of this chapter, the planning commission may approve the removal of a protected tree under any circumstance if the planning commission determines that:


A. The removal of the protected tree will not adversely affect the neighboring properties or the general welfare or safety of the surrounding area; and


B. The removal of the protected tree will not adversely affect the garden quality of the city.

The decision by the planning commission on a tree removal permit considered under the alternative provisions of this section shall be appealable by the owner of the tree proposed for removal to the city council as provided by title 1, chapter 4, article 1 of this code. In the event that the requested tree removal permit involves the removal of ten percent (10%) or more of the protected trees in an urban grove, the notice and appeal provisions of subsection 10-3-2901H of this chapter shall apply. Upon approval of an application by the city council pursuant to this section, the department of building and safety shall issue a tree removal permit. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993)

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812523
10-3-2903: REPLACEMENT OF NATIVE TREES: linklink

Any native tree removed pursuant to the provisions of section 10-3-2901 of this chapter shall be replaced by another native tree. The replacement tree shall have a box size of at least thirty six inches (36"). Furthermore, a native tree removed from the front setback area shall be replaced in the front setback area and a native tree removed from the side setback area shall be replaced in the side setback area. Once the replacement tree is planted, the replacement tree shall not be removed without a tree removal permit first being obtained in accordance with the requirements of this article. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993)
http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812524
10-3-2904: EXEMPTIONS: linklink

The provisions of this article shall not apply to the following:


A. The removal of a protected tree in accordance with the terms and conditions of a single-family development permit, Hillside development permit, variance, minor accommodation, final subdivision map, or building permit approved or issued prior to November 19, 1991.


B. The removal of a tree or stand of trees as defined by and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a tree removal permit issued under ordinance 91-O-2134.


C. Trimming or pruning of a protected tree which does not damage the protected tree, including, without limitation, trimming or pruning for view preservation.


D. The removal of a protected tree pursuant to a view restoration permit issued by the city in accordance with the provisions of section 10-8-106 of this title. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993; amd. Ord. 94-O-2202, eff. 7-22-1994; Ord. 11-O-2616, eff. 1-6-2012)

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812525
10-3-2905: PROTECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION: linklink

The director of building and safety may require any of the following measures to be taken to preserve a protected tree located on a property upon which construction is occurring:


A. Install a fence which encloses the extended drip line area of the protected tree.


B. Prohibit the penetration or abrasion of the protected tree.


C. Any other measures deemed necessary by the director of building and safety. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993)

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812526
10-3-2906: VIOLATIONS OF THIS ARTICLE: linklink


A. A violation of any provision of this article shall constitute a misdemeanor, and may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor unless prosecuted as a civil administrative matter pursuant to title 1, chapter 3, article 3 of this code. Each and every protected tree removed or damaged in violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense.


B. In addition to any penalties imposed pursuant to subsection A of this section, any person who removes or damages a protected tree in violation of this article may be required to provide restitution to the city by either:

1. Planting a healthy replacement tree of the same or similar species and size as the tree removed or damaged, or

2. Paying a cash contribution to the city in an amount equal to the estimated replacement value of the removed or damaged tree as determined by an arborist approved by the city. (Ord. 93-O-2176, eff. 8-20-1993; amd. Ord. 00-O-2356, eff. 11-3-2000)

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=77435#s812527