Redwood City, CA Tree Preservation
Type: Municipal Code
Status: Adopted via ordinance
CHAPTER 35: TREE PRESERVATION
Sec. 35.1. DEFINITIONS:
For the purposes of this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning respectively ascribed to them in this Section:
COMMISSION: The word "commission" shall be defined as the Park and Recreation Commission.
TREE: The word "tree" shall be defined, unless otherwise indicated in this Chapter, as:
- A. Any woody plant characterized by having a single trunk of a circumference of thirty eight inches (38") or more, measured at any point between six inches (6") and thirty six inches (36") above ground level; or
- B. Any woody plant characterized by having a single trunk which has been found by the Park and Recreation Commission to have special significance to the community, which plant shall be designated a "heritage tree." (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.2. DESIGNATION OF TREE AS "HERITAGE TREE":
The Commission may declare any tree, regardless of size, to be a heritage tree under this Chapter if said tree is healthy and has adapted well to the climatic conditions of the area, if said tree is visually accessible from a public right-of-way and if the Commission finds that at least one of the following conditions exist:
- A. That said tree has historical significance,
- B. That said tree is indigenous to the area,
- C. That said tree is one of a group of trees and that each is dependent on the other tree for survival. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.3. PERMIT REQUIRED FOR CUTTING, REMOVAL OF TREES:
It is hereby declared unlawful for any person to cut, move, or remove or cause to be cut, moved or removed any tree, unless such person first obtains a permit from the Parks and Recreation Director to do so in a manner prescribed by him for such removal. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.4. APPLICATION FOR PERMIT; INVESTIGATION; FACTORS CONSIDERED IN ISSUING PERMIT:
A. A permit to remove a tree or trees shall only be issued by the Parks and Recreation Director upon application therefor, and after an investigation is made by him. Said application shall contain the number, location and species of the trees to be removed, a brief statement of the reason for removal, a plot plan, as well as such other pertinent information the Parks and Recreation Director deems necessary in his investigation. In making a determination in regard to the merits of the application, the Parks and Recreation Director shall base his determination on the following factors:
- 1. Condition of the trees with respect to disease, danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services;
- 2. Necessity to remove trees in order to construct proposed improvements to allow reasonable economic enjoyment of the property upon which trees are located;
- 3. Topography of land and the effect of tree removal on erosion, soil retention and the diversion or increased flow of surface waters;
- 4. Number of trees existing in the neighborhood on improved property and the effect of said tree removal on said neighborhood;
- 5. Good forestry practices, including, but not necessarily limited to, the number of healthy trees that a given parcel of land will support.
B. The Parks and Recreation Director or his representative shall make an investigation of the site where a tree or trees is or are proposed to be removed within ten (10) days after submittal of the application by the applicant.
C. In making investigations and in making a determination as to the merits of an application, the Parks and Recreation Director shall give priority to those applications which are based on trees that are hazardous or diseased. He may refer any application to another department, board, commission, committee of the City or to the City Council of the City for its recommendation. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.5. EMERGENCY REMOVAL OF TREES:
In case of emergency caused by a tree being in a hazardous or dangerous condition, such tree may be removed by permission of any member of the Police, Fire or Park Departments. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.6. SUBDIVISIONS; DESIGNATION OF TREES TO BE REMOVED; RETAINED:
All subdivision maps or divisions of land filed for tentative approval shall clearly designate all trees upon the property proposed for subdivision or division. Those trees proposed to be removed and those trees proposed to be retained shall be shown by size and species on said map. The developer shall also mark with paint those trees proposed to be retained in the field and shall protect those trees by fencing or some similar means in order to clearly identify the area where no work is to take place. Tentative approval of a map by the City Planning Commission shall constitute a permit to remove any trees so designated thereon. Any proposed changes in the trees to be removed as designated on a tentative subdivision map or other map for the division of property, as filed and approved, shall require an application for a new permit under the provisions of Section 35.4. Accompanying said map shall be a statement by the developer that it is his intent to maintain those trees proposed to be retained and what procedures he proposes to effectuate such intention. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.7. RESTORATION, REPLACEMENT OF DAMAGED TREES OR TREES NOT APPROVED FOR REMOVAL:
Any person who damages or destroys a tree that has not been approved for removal under the provisions of Section 35.4, shall, if said tree has been damaged, restore said tree to its former condition under the direction of, and to the approval of, the Parks and Recreation Director, or shall, if said tree is not able to be restored to its former condition, or has been destroyed, replace said tree within one year after a determination by the Parks and Recreation Director that said tree is not able to be restored to its former condition, or within one year after the destruction of said tree, with a tree that has been approved by the Parks and Recreation Director.
The Parks and Recreation Director shall base his approval upon the similarity of size and species of the replacement tree to the tree which was destroyed unless such a replacement would create great hardship to such person subject to the requirements of this Section.(Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.8. DISAPPROVAL OF APPLICATION; APPEALS:
Upon the disapproval of the application required by Section 35.4 for a permit to remove a tree, as a result of the findings of the Parks and Recreation Director as required by Section 35.4, any person aggrieved by the action of the Parks and Recreation Director shall have the right of appeal to the Park and Recreation Commission. The appeal shall be taken by filing with the Park and Recreation Commission, within ten (10) days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to applicant's last known address, or to the applicant's address as appearing on his application, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds of appeal. The Park and Recreation Commission shall set a time and place for hearing of such appeal and notice shall be given to the appellant by mail, postage prepaid to his address, as aforesaid, at least five (5) days prior to the date set for a hearing.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Park and Recreation Commission shall have right of appeal to the City Council. The appeal shall be taken by filing with the City Council, within ten (10) days after notice of the decision complained of has been mailed to the applicant's last known address, or to the applicant's address as appearing on his application, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds of appeal. The City Council shall set a time and place for hearing of such appeal and notice shall be given to the appellant by mail, postage prepaid, to his address as aforesaid, at least five (5) days prior to the date set for a hearing. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)
Sec. 35.9. AUTHORITY TO EXCLUDE SUBDIVISIONS FROM OPERATION OF CHAPTER:
The City Council may, on motion, exclude any subdivision from the operation of this Chapter which is subject to site or architectural control sufficient to accomplish the purpose of this Chapter. (Ord. No. 1536, § 1, 6-26-72)