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Chapter 20.40 Street Tree and Other Public Tree Regulations
Table of Contents (Printable Version)

 - Note
 20.40.010 Purpose.
 20.40.020 Definitions.
 20.40.030 Urban Forestry Commission.
 20.40.035 Technical Assistance.
 20.40.040 Urban Forestry Master Plan.
 20.40.045 Superintendent.
 20.40.050 City Forester.
 20.40.070 Planting of Trees.
 20.40.080 Maintenance of Trees.
 20.40.090 Removal of Trees.
 20.40.100 Permit Requirements and Conditions.
 20.40.105 Major Improvements.
 20.40.110 New Land Division.
 20.40.120 Protection.
 20.40.130 New Streets.
 20.40.140 Liabilities and Responsibility for Costs.
 20.40.150 Heritage Trees.
 20.40.160 Disposition of Wood from Trees.
 20.40.170 Nuisances - Abatement Procedure.
 20.40.180 Abatement by Owner, Administrative Review, Appeal to the Code Hearings Officer.
 20.40.185 Administrative Review.
 20.40.190 Abatement by the City.
 20.40.195 Notice of Assessment.
 20.40.200 Personal Liability of Owner.
 20.40.205 Cost of Abatement; Low Income, Elderly Persons.
 20.40.210 Criminal Penalty.
 20.40.215 Civil Penalties.
 20.40.220 Civil Remedies.
 20.40.230 Institution of Legal Proceedings.
 20.40.235 Notification to Planning and Sustainability Commission.
 20.40.240 Severability.


- Note
(Added by Ord. 134330; New Chapter substituted by 159490; Mar. 12, 1987.)

20.40.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is the managing, conserving and enhancing the existing trees located in the parks and public areas owned by the City of Portland and in public rights-of-way, and thereby enhancing the appearance of the City and protecting an important environmental and economic resource for the benefit of the City’s residents and visitors, and for the purpose of assisting property owners and public agencies to improve and maintain trees in a manner consistent with adopted City polices.


20.40.020 Definitions.

As used in this Chapter, the singular includes the plural and vice versa.

A. Arboriculture refers to that part of horticulture which deals with the study and care of trees and other woody plants.

B. City means the City of Portland.

C. Commission means the Urban Forestry Commission.

D. Engineer means the City Engineer.

E. Forester means the City Forester.

F. Person includes any individual, firm, association, corporation, agency, or organization of any kind.

G. Plan means the Tree Planting and Maintenance Plan for streets, parks and public areas, also known as the Urban Forestry Plan.

H. Pruning refers to cutting or removing any part of the branching structure of a plant in either the crown, trunk or root areas.

I. Public area means City-owned lands not located in the park or street right-of-way.

J. Removal refers to the cutting or removing of 50 percent or more of the crown, trunk or root system of a plant, resulting in the loss of aesthetic or physiological viability.

K. Street shall have the meaning set forth in Section 9-101 of the City Charter.

L. Superintendent means the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation.

M. Tree shall include only those trees which are located on public property or those which are assigned to the jurisdiction of the Forester by other City policies, procedures and Code provisions.

N. Urban Forestry has as its objective the cultivation and management of trees and related plants for their present and potential contribution to the physiological, sociological and economic well being of urban society. Inherent in this function is a comprehensive program designed to educate the urban populace on the role of trees and related plants in the urban environment. In its broadest sense, urban forestry is one essential component of a multi-managerial system that includes watersheds within the City, wildlife habitats, outdoor recreation opportunities, landscape design, recycling of municipal vegetative wastes and tree care in general.

O. Utility means public utilities, businesses or organizations in the business of supplying electrical energy, gas, heat or steam, water, communications, or other services through or associated with telephone or telegraph, sewage disposal and treatment, and other operations for public service, but does not include transportation service, railroad operations, or service otherwise licensed under City Code.


20.40.030 Urban Forestry Commission.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 171655, effective November 7, 1997.)

A. The Urban Forestry Commission is hereby created. It shall consist of eleven members who have demonstrated an interest in the preservation of trees and the beautification of Portland, appointed by the Mayor in consultation with the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation and confirmed by the City Council. Members shall serve without compensation for terms of 4 years and may be reappointed. At least three members shall have experience and expertise in arboriculture, landscape architecture or urban forestry. One member shall be a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hoyt Arboretum. The remaining seven members, insofar as possible, shall represent diverse regions or interests of the community. Two of the three members initially appointed with experience or expertise in arboriculture or urban forestry shall initially serve a term of two years. Two of the members appointed from geographically diverse regions of the City shall initially serve a term of two years. The City Forester and the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation or the Commissioner’s designee, and the City Engineer or the City Engineer’s designee shall serve as ex-officio members of the Commission.

B. The Urban Forestry Commission shall elect its own chair and adopt such rules of procedure as it deems necessary to the conduct of its duties.

C. The Commission shall meet at least monthly and may meet more often.

D. The Commission shall:

1. Provide assistance in the development of the Urban Forestry Master Plan, submit the same to the City Council for approval, and review and update such plan periodically.

2. Advise the Forester, Superintendent and Bureau of Parks and Recreation Budget Advisory Committee on the preparation and contents of the Annual Forestry Unit budget request.

3. Review plans and policies developed pursuant to other City Code provisions which contain elements or which affect matters related to Urban Forestry and arboricultural concerns in the City and other matters brought forward by the Forester and others.

4. Prepare and submit to the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation an annual report which shall contain a section or sections specifically dealing with the relations with and concerns of the various City bureaus.


20.40.035 Technical Assistance.

A. The Forester shall assist the Forestry Commission in the discharge of its duties.

B. When requested by the Urban Forestry Commission and Commissioner In Charge, the City may retain the services of a professional review panel of not more than three members, either foresters, arboriculturists, landscape architects or some combination thereof to advise the Commission on the efficiency of proposed actions and planting schemes. At least one member of this panel should be very familiar with Portland. The Forester shall present a list of qualified names to the Forestry Commission for its review and selection. No member of the professional review panel shall serve if he/she has a conflict of interest.


20.40.040 Urban Forestry Master Plan.

A. The Urban Forestry Commission shall develop and establish a Comprehensive Urban Forestry Plan for the planting, maintenance and replacement of trees in parks, along streets or in other public areas. When a portion of such plan has been developed and established, it shall be submitted to the City Council for adoption prior to implementation. The Forester shall seek the advice of any bureau which will be affected by the plan.

B. The Forester shall maintain a list of approved varieties of trees that may be planted on any street or in any park or public area, consistent with the provisions of the plan.

C. All tree planting, maintenance and removal shall comply with and conform to the Plan or such portions thereof as shall have been adopted at the time of the planting, maintenance or removal.


20.40.045 Superintendent.

The Superintendent shall have the following responsibilities relating to the Urban Forestry Commission:

A. Preserve and enhance the Urban Forest.

B. Develop and maintain the Urban Forestry Master Plan.

C. Carry out the other responsibilities applicable to the Urban Forestry Commission.

D. The Superintendent will meet with the Urban Forestry Commission upon their written request.

E. The Superintendent shall administer and monitor the implementation of the Master Plan.

F. Upon 15 calendar days’ written notice from the City Engineer of impending, non-emergency road or sewer maintenance activities, the Superintendent shall implement and carry out the abatement procedures in Section 20.40.270 as necessary to provide tree branch clearances over the street as set forth in Title 17.


20.40.050 City Forester.

There shall be a City Forester position within the Bureau of Parks and Recreation. The position shall be filled by a qualified arborist. The duties of the City Forester are:

A. To manage the Forestry Division.

B. To assist the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation in responsibilities specified in 20.40.045.

C. To provide administrative staff services to the Urban Forestry Commission.

D. To develop and periodically update specifications for planting, pruning, removing and maintaining trees in accordance with proper arboricultural practices.

E. To prepare and submit the annual budget request for the operation of the Forestry Division.

F. To provide all supervision of tree maintenance services including cutting, pruning, spraying, planting and tree removal required by or performed by the City bureaus, subject to the annual budget provided for by the City Council for such services and subject to City bureaus’ contracting to have such services provided by private contractors as may be engaged by City bureaus pursuant to the City’s normal contracting procedures through the City’s Bureau of Purchases and Stores.

G. To prepare a monthly report on Urban Forestry activities for Commission review.

H. To carry out the other duties specified in this Chapter.


20.40.070 Planting of Trees.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 163739, 173534 and 176955, effective October 9, 2002.)

A. The Forester may plant or cause trees to be planted in the streets, parks and other property of the City. In addition to using his/her own personnel, he/she may hire independent contractors consistent with City Code provisions.

B. The owner of any property upon which there is new residential or commercial construction or improvements to existing development, which exceed $25,000 in value, as determined by the Bureau of Development Services, shall be required to plant street trees, in accordance with the requirements of this Chapter. The Forester may waive any or all of the requirements of this Subsection if, in the Forester’s judgment, compliance is not practicable. The Forester may impose conditions at the Forester’s discretion upon such waiver, including, without limitation, requiring the planting of trees on the owner’s private property.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person to plant or set out any tree or authorize or cause or procure any person to set out any tree in or upon any part of any street, park or public area without first obtaining from the Forester a written permit to do so and complying in all respects with the conditions set forth in such written permit and with the provisions of this Chapter. Such permit shall be receipted for in writing. All applications for such permit shall describe the work to be done and the variety, size and precise location of each tree to be planted. If the Forester has found that the proposed planting is in accord with the Plan or that trees proposed to be planted have a reasonable likelihood of prospering and such permit specifies the location, variety and grade of each tree and method of planting, including among other things the supplying of suitable soil, then he/she may grant a permit. The permit shall be valid only during the period of time stated in the permit.

D. Any owner of property whose construction or improvements necessitate street tree planting under Section 20.40.070 B. shall obtain from the Forester a permit for such planting as provided in Section 20.40.070 C. The Bureau of Development Services shall have authority to enforce the requirements of this Section 20.40.070 B., and shall not issue any approval of final inspection until this planting required by the Forester under that Section has been accomplished. Whenever tree planting is required for any land division under Section 20.40.110, the Bureau of Development Services shall have the authority to issue and enforce, through its own permitting and enforcement processes, permits required by this Section. When issuing and enforcing such permits, the Bureau of Development Services shall require that plantings conform to the tree species and layout plan designated by the Forester at the time of, and required by, the land division.

E. Every person planting any tree under this Chapter shall conform to the City’s Tree Standards as established by the Forester,

F. The Council may establish, by ordinance, inspection fees as part of the tree permit process.

G. All trees required by this Section must be planted prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. If the applicant files security with the City, which ensures that the trees will be installed, the trees may be deferred during the summer months and planted during the dormant period, in the discretion of the Forester. Any security filed under this Subsection must comply with the regulations for performance guarantees established in Title 33.

H. The Forester may require any property owner subject to this Section to identify street trees on the property deed, and to note on such deed that the trees are subject to the regulations of this Chapter.

I. The Forester shall submit for review all tentative planting proposals in streets to the City Engineer for the purpose of protecting existing utilities and sewer branches. The City Engineer shall issue an appropriate permit for planting, barring any conflict with any known facility.


20.40.080 Maintenance of Trees.

A. The Forester may prune, control insects and disease and maintain or cause to be pruned, sprayed and maintained, all of the trees in the streets, parks and other public areas and those other trees on private property which the Forester determines it is in the public interest to maintain to control infestations of insects or disease or to maintain public safety.

B. It is the duty of every owner of property adjacent to which or in front of which any tree is standing on any street and of every owner of property upon which any tree is standing which projects into the street to maintain and prune such tree using proper arboricultural procedures, according to the requirements for tree branch clearance over street and sidewalk areas and signs as set forth in Titles 16 and 17 of the Code of the City of Portland. The Forester shall give, with each permit printed, standards for proper arboricultural procedures.

C. Every property owner shall be liable to any person who is injured or otherwise suffers damage by reason of the property owner’s failure to maintain or prune trees as required by Titles 16, 17 and 20 of the Code of the City of Portland. Furthermore, every property owner shall be liable to the City of Portland for all expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by the City in defense of or paid by the

City in settlement or satisfaction of any claim, demand, action or suit brought by reason of that property owner’s failure to satisfy the obligations imposed by Titles 16, 17, 20 and 33 of the Code of the City of Portland.

D. Whenever the owner or owners, lessees, occupants or persons in charge of private grounds shall neglect or refuse to prune any tree as provided in this Section, the Forester may prune or treat or cause to be pruned or treated such tree. The person remedying the condition shall be authorized to enter the premises for that purpose.

E. Pruning for or by a utility. Upon obtaining a written permit from the Forester, a utility maintaining its utility system in a street may prune or cause to be pruned, using proper arboricultural practices in accordance with said permit, any tree located in or overhanging the street which interferes with any light, pole, wire, cable, appliance or apparatus used in connection with or as a part of the utility system; but no tree shall be pruned without the consent of the abutting owner until the utility shall have given a written or printed notice to the owner or occupant of the premises. The owner or occupant has one month after receipt of notice to have said trees pruned by a qualified line clearance contractor, at the owner’s or occupant’s expense, and in accordance with the terms of the permit. If the owner or occupant fails, neglects or refuses to have such tree pruned as required by the notice and permit, the utility may prune or cause to be pruned, the tree at its expense in accordance with the conditions of the permit. The Forester, at his/her discretion, may waive the notification and single tree permit process if the utility adequately demonstrates the ability to meet the performance requirements of this Section and to apply consistently proper arboricultural practices to the pruning of trees.

F. Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to impose any liability upon any member of the City Council or the City, or any of its officers or employees nor to relieve the owner of any private property from the duty to prune trees in accordance with Titles 16, 17 and 20 of the Code of the City of Portland.

G. The City may accept gifts which are specifically designated for the purpose of planting or maintaining trees within said City.


20.40.090 Removal of Trees.

A. Diseased trees. When any tree located on a street or on private property is diseased or infested with insects or is, in the opinion of the Forester, infectious and may spread such disease or insects to other trees in the City, the Forester may summarily abate or remove or treat the tree or cause same to be removed or treated at the property owner’s expense.

B. Regulations regarding root interference with sewers and damage to curbs and sidewalks are set forth in Title 17, Public Improvements, of the Code of the City of Portland.

C. The Forester may abate or remove or cause to be abated or removed any tree located in the street area or which encroaches from private property into the street area because of age, disease or other debilitating cause, death, insecure root system or any other condition which, in the opinion of the Forester, causes its continued existence to be detrimental to the public interest. The Forester may require that the removed tree be replaced with a new tree at the expense of the property owner.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person, without a prior written permit from the Forester, to remove, destroy, cut, break, or injure any tree, or to remove, except as provided in this Chapter, any tree that is planted or growing in or upon any street, park or public area or cause or authorize or procure any person to do so; or injure, misuse or remove any device set for the protection of any tree in or upon any street.

E. The approval of a tree removal by the Forester may be conditioned on replacement with a new tree of approved variety if the Forester finds the replacement necessary to maintain an ornamental tree system on the street, block or portion thereof.

If approval by the Forester is so conditioned the tree removal permit shall contain such condition. Cost of replacement is the responsibility of the property owner. If the tree is not replaced in a timely manner, the Forester may plant or cause to be planted the approved tree or trees and assess the costs to the permittee and/or the property owner responsible for maintaining the tree under Section 20.40.080 of the Code of the City of Portland.


20.40.100 Permit Requirements and Conditions.

A. Any person desiring for any purpose to plant, remove, destroy, cut, prune or treat any tree in or upon any street, shall make application to the Forester on forms furnished by the City. Such application must state the number and kind of tree to be planted, removed, pruned or treated, the name of permittee and/or contractor, and the time by which the proposed work is to be done and such other information as may be required by the Forester. Any work done under such written permit must be performed in strict accordance with the terms and provisions of this Chapter. In issuing or denying a permit, the Forester shall apply all the standards as set forth in this Chapter and the objectives of the Street Tree Plan.

B. If the Forester refuses to issue any permit as required by this Chapter, he/she shall at once so notify the applicant, who may appeal to the Commission in writing within 10 days thereafter. The Commission shall proceed to hear and determine the appeal, calling upon the Forester to give his/her reasons. If a permit is again denied, the applicant may appeal to the City Council.

C. In case of emergency caused by a tree being in a hazardous and dangerous condition, such tree may be removed by permission of any member of the Police or Fire Department. In the course of performing unexpected or emergency road or sewer maintenance activities, representatives of the City Engineer and/or City Traffic Engineer may trim and/or prune a tree as required for the performance of the immediate work.


20.40.105 Major Improvements.

When the City Engineer undertakes to plan or design major capital improvements to the road system, the Urban Forestry Commission shall be consulted through the Superintendent. The purpose of these consultations shall be to ensure that the beautification policies of the Arterial Streets Classification Policy are implemented to the maximum extent feasible.


20.40.110 New Land Division.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 173534, effective July 31, 1999.) The Forester shall require the planting of street trees within the planting strips of any new land division in conformity with the Urban Forestry Master Plan. All such planting shall be done in accordance with the planting specifications governing the planting of trees in planting strips as provided by the Forester.


20.40.120 Protection.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to attach or keep attached to any tree in or upon any public street, or to the guard or stake intended for the protection of such tree, any ropes, wires, chains or other device whatsoever, except that the same may be attached to any tree as support or protection thereof.

B. During the erection, repair, alteration or removal of any building or structure, it shall be unlawful for any tree to be injured or for any person in charge of such erection, repair, alteration or removal to leave any tree in or upon any street in the vicinity of such building or structure without a good and sufficient guard or protector as shall prevent injury to such tree arising out of or by reason of such erection, repair, alteration or removal.


20.40.130 New Streets.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 182671, effective May 15, 2009.)  Any proposed change in width in a public street right‑of‑way or any proposed street improvement shall, where feasible, include allowances for tree and landscape planting.  Plans and specifications for planting such areas shall be integrated into the general plan of improvements and it shall be the duty of the City Engineer to coordinate the design of such improvements with the Forester and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability prior to completion of final overall plans.


20.40.140 Liabilities and Responsibility for Costs.

Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to impose any liability upon any member of City Council or the City or any of its officers or employees nor to relieve the owner or occupant of any private property from the duty to keep his/her private property, sidewalks, planting strip and trees in front of such private property in a safe condition so as not to be hazardous to public travel nor to relieve said property owner of the obligation to pay the cost of planting, removal and replanting of street trees in the planting strip adjacent to the property of said property owner or to relieve said property owner of liability to persons injured or otherwise damaged by reason of the property owner’s failure to keep his/her private property, sidewalks, planting strips and trees fronting such private property in a safe condition so as not to be hazardous to public travel, as required by Titles 16, 17 and 20 of the Code of the City of Portland. Furthermore, every property owner shall be liable to the City of Portland for all expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by the City in defense of or paid by the City in settlement or satisfaction of any claim, demand, action or suit brought by reason of that property owner’s failure to satisfy the obligations imposed by Title 16, 17, 20 and 33 of the Code of the City of Portland.


20.40.150 Heritage Trees.

(New section substituted by Ord. No. 165530, amended by 166542, May 19, 1993.)

A. The Forester shall prepare or cause to be prepared as soon as possible after passage of this Section and annually thereafter, a list of trees within the City which, because of their age, size, type, historical association or horticultural value, are of special importance to the City. Upon recommendation of the Urban Forestry Commission, the Council may designate such a tree a "Heritage Tree", provided that the tree’s health aerial space and open ground area for the root system have been certified as sufficient by a qualified arboriculturist. No tree standing on private property shall be designated a "Heritage Tree" without the consent of the property owner; however, the consent of a property owner shall bind all successors, heirs and assigns. Upon unanimous recommendation of the Urban Forestry Commission, the Council may remove the designation of any tree as a Heritage tree if it finds that such designation no longer is appropriate.

B. When a tree is designated as a Heritage Tree, a plaque so signifying may be placed near the tree. The Forester shall maintain all Heritage Trees located on City property or on public rights of way within the City. Subject to the requirements and limitations of subsections C and D of this section, it shall be the duty of every owner of property upon which a Heritage Tree is standing to maintain that tree. The Forester may give advice and assistance to property owners regarding proper maintenance of Heritage Trees. If, in the judgment of the Forester, a Heritage Tree, whether standing on public or private property, has become a hazard, the Forester shall have the authority to effect its removal, subject to the requirements of Subsection D of this Section.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person, without a prior written permit from the Forester, to remove, destroy, cut, prune, break, or injure any Heritage Tree, to injure, misuse or remove any device set for the protection of any Heritage Tree, or to cause or authorize or procure any person to do so. The Forester shall report to the Urban Forestry Commission all such permits issued.

D. No Heritage Tree shall be removed without the consent of the Urban Forestry Commission after a public hearing.


20.40.160 Disposition of Wood from Trees.

All wood removed from trees located in either public rights-of-way or public areas shall be disposed of at the discretion of the Forester who has complete authority for the disposal of said wood and debris. In the event that the wood is given to the adjoining property owner, the property owner shall sign an agreement holding the City harmless.

If the Forester determines that the cost of storage or sale of the wood is not commercially feasible, he/she may cause such surplus wood to be donated to such groups or organizations as may be designated from time to time by the Superintendent of Parks. It shall be unlawful to possess or dispose of any wood from any tree that has been cut or pruned in violation of the provisions of this Chapter. Publicly financed and privately financed street improvements under permit from the City Engineer are excluded from this Section.


20.40.170 Nuisances - Abatement Procedure.
 
(Amended by Ordinance No. 178215, effective February 25, 2004.)
 
A. Any condition of any tree upon, abutting or fronting private property which is in violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter or any other applicable Chapter of the City Code, is hereby declared to be a nuisance. Except for those conditions which this Chapter authorized the Forester to summarily abate, whenever the Forester has knowledge that such nuisance exists, he/she shall post upon the property liable for the abatement of the nuisance a notice directing the removal of the nuisance. The notice shall be substantially in the following form:
 
 
NUISANCE ABATEMENT
 
Notice To Abate Nuisance
 
To the owner, agent of owner and occupant of the following described real property:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
in the City of Portland, Oregon.
You are hereby notified to remove and abate the nuisance existing on the above-described property within 15 days of the date of this notice, or show the Bureau of Parks and Recreation of the City of Portland that no nuisance exists as provided in Section 20.40.180 of the Code of the City of Portland. The nuisance consists of:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
 
In the case of failure to remove the nuisance within the time set forth above, the City of Portland will cause the nuisance to be abated and charge the cost of abatement, Auditor's fee, County Recorder's fee, plus any overhead costs incurred and a civil penalty in the amount of $300 against the property described above. The owner of the above-described property shall be personally liable for the costs of abatement, Auditor's fee, County Recorder's fee plus any overhead and civil penalties.
 
Before planting, removing, destroying, cutting, pruning or treating any tree in or upon any street, you must obtain a permit from the City Forester.
 
Date: ______________
 
________________________________________
City Forester for the Director of Parks
 
B. When summary abatement is authorized, notice to the owner, agent or occupant of the property prior to abatement is not required. Following summary abatement, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation shall post upon the property liable for the abatement a notice describing the action taken to abate the nuisance.
 
C. "Summary abatement" as used in this Chapter means abatement of the nuisance by the City, or a contractor employed by the City, by removal, repair or other acts necessary to abate the nuisance and without notice to the owner, agent or occupant of the property except for the notice required by this Section.
 
D. Upon posting of the notice described in Subsections A and B of this Section, the Director or the Forester as his/her designee shall cause a copy of the notice so posted to be mailed with the postage prepaid to the owner or agent of the owner or real property, directed to his/her last known address or, if that address is unknown, to the owner or agent at the address of the property.
An error in the name of the owner or agent or the use of a name other than that of the true owner or agent of the property shall not render the notice void, but in such case, the posted notice shall be deemed sufficient.

20.40.180 Abatement by Owner, Administrative Review, Appeal to the Code Hearings Officer.
 
(Amended by Ordinance No. 178215, effective February 25, 2004.)
 
A. Within 15 days after the posting and mailing of a notice to remove the nuisance, the owner, agent of the owner or occupant of the affected property shall remove and abate such nuisance or show that no nuisance in fact exists. Such showing may be made by filing a written statement that no nuisance exists, with the City Forester. Upon receipt of the statement, the City Forester shall schedule the matter for administrative review as set out in 20.40.185 of this Title. Notice of the time and place of administrative review shall be given to the person filing the statement not less than 5 days prior to the time set for the review.
 
B. Any person aggrieved by the determination of the administrative review may appeal such determination to the Code Hearings Officer as set out in Chapter 22.10 of this Code.

20.40.185 Administrative Review.
 
(Amended by Ordinance No. 178215, effective February 25, 2004.)
 
A. Upon the request of the person filing the statement described in Section 20.40.180 of this Code, or, if a nuisance has already been abated by the City, upon referral from the Auditor, pursuant to Section 20.40.195, the Forester shall review his/her actions and decisions concerning the alleged nuisance.
 
B. The owner, agent of the owner or occupant of the subject property shall be given the opportunity to present evidence to the Forester in the course of said review.
 
C. In those instances where the nuisance has been abated by the City, the City Forester shall have discretion to waive the cost of abating a nuisance, in whole or in part, if, in the course of its review of its decision, the Bureau finds that any of the following did not conform to the provisions of this Code:
1. The notice to remove the nuisance;
 
2. The work performed in abating the nuisance;
 
3. The computation of charges.

20.40.190 Abatement by the City.
 
(Amended by Ordinance No. 178215, effective February 25, 2004.)
 
A. If within the time fixed in this Chapter, the nuisance described in the notice has not been abated, or cause shown as specified in Section 20.40.180 why such nuisance should not be removed or abated, or where summary abatement is authorized, the City Forester may cause the nuisance to be removed and abated.
 
B. Except as set forth in Section 20.40.205 whenever a nuisance is abated by the City, the City Forester shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred, including cost of abatement, Auditor's fees, County Recorder's charges and a civil penalty of $300 for each nuisance abated.
 
C. When the City has abated a nuisance maintained by any owner of real property, for each subsequent nuisance which is abated by the City within 2 consecutive calendar years concerning real property owned by the same person, an additional civil penalty of 50 percent (minimum of $50) of the cost of abatement shall be added to the costs, charges and civil penalties provided for in Subsection B of this Section. The civil penalty shall be imposed without regard to whether the nuisances abated by the City involve the same real property or are of the same character.
 
D. The City Forester shall, after completing the removal and abatement, file a statement of costs with the Auditor.

20.40.195 Notice of Assessment.
 
(Replaced by Ordinance No. 178215, effective February 25, 2004.)
 
A. Whenever a nuisance is abated by the City, the City Forester shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred, including a civil penalty of $300.00 plus overhead charges of contractor's costs and County Recorder's fees for each nuisance abated.
 
B. When a property meets the conditions for costs or penalties as described in this section, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation shall file a statement of such costs or penalties with the Auditor. Upon receipt of the statement, the Auditor shall mail a notice to the property owner, stating the City's intent to assess the property in question the amount due plus charges to cover the administrative costs of the City Auditor. In the event the amount due set forth in the notice is not paid in full within 30 days of the date of the notice, the Auditor shall enter that amount or the amount of the unpaid balance, plus charges to cover the administrative costs of the City Auditor in the docket of City liens which shall thereafter constitute a lien against the property.
 
C. A determination issued pursuant to Subsection 20.40.195 A. may be appealed to the Code Hearings Officer, as provided for in Chapter 22.10 of the City Code. The Auditor shall not enter any amount on the lien document under Subsection 20.40.195 B. as to any charge which has been appealed to the Code Hearings Officer under this subsection, until the appeal has been decided and the period for seeking judicial review has passed, or any judicial review has become final.

20.40.200 Personal Liability of Owner.

The person who is the owner of the property at the time at which the notice required under Section 20.40.170 of this Code is posted shall be personally liable for the amount of the assessment including all interest, civil penalties and other charges.


20.40.205 Cost of Abatement; Low Income, Elderly Persons.

(Amended by Ordinance. No. 168234, effective October 26, 1994.)

A. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Chapter, the cost of abating a nuisance shall be waived for low income, elderly persons if upon application it appears to the Superintendent that the conditions set forth in Subsection B are met.

B. Persons eligible for a waiver of nuisance abatement costs shall be over 62 years of age, and:

1. A person living alone, whose total income for the preceding calendar year did not exceed 1-1/2 times the maximum amount a Social Security recipient at age 65 may have earned in that year without having any benefits withheld; or the head of a household which household received a total income for the preceding calendar year that did not exceed 2-1/4 times the maximum amount a Social Security recipient at age 65 may have earned in that year without having any benefits withheld; and

2. Must furnish proof of the age and income requirements set forth in Subsection B 1 of this Section in a manner and form acceptable to the Superintendent; and

3. Must own, or be in the process of purchasing the property from which the nuisance is abated; and

4. Be living on the property from which the nuisance is abated.

C. The removal of the nuisance in question must have been required by the Superintendent and the person requesting the waiver of costs must have been officially notified by the Superintendent to remove the nuisance.

D. Applications for waiver of nuisance abatement costs shall be filed with the Superintendent, on forms supplied by the City, within 10 days after receipt of a notice to remove nuisance or a work order notice unless the Superintendent extends that time on good cause shown. All information required to be given on such form shall be supplied and verified by the applicant. An application for waiver of nuisance assessment costs must be submitted for each removal notice sent to the applicant.

E. The maximum amount which may be waived under this Section for any one parcel of real property or any one person shall be $750 per calendar year.

F. No overhead charge or civil penalty shall be imposed for any real property for which a waiver, pursuant to this Section, shall have been approved.


20.40.210 Criminal Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this Chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined a sum not exceeding $1,000 or shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 6 months or shall be punished by both such fine and imprisonment.


20.40.215 Civil Penalties.

(Added by Ordinance No. 181799, effective June 6, 2008.)

 

A.    Any person who cuts or removes any tree that is subject to the provisions of this Chapter, or who contracts for, pays for or otherwise allows or suffers such cutting or removal, if such cutting or removal is undertaken without a permit as required by this Chapter or in non-compliance with any term, condition, limitation or requirement of such permit, shall be subject to a civil penalty as provided in this Section. For purposes of this Section, each tree shall constitute a separate violation, and each day that the person fails to obtain a permit or remains in non-compliance with a permit shall also constitute a separate violation. The Forester, or the Forester's designee, is authorized to initiate proceedings before the Code Hearings Officer, pursuant to the procedures in Title 22 of this Code, to enforce the provisions of this Section.

 

1.     For each separate violation, a civil penalty of up to $1,000 may be assessed.

2.     In determining the amount of any civil penalty to be assessed, the Code Hearings Officer will consider the following:

 

a.     The nature and extent of the responsible party's involvement in the violation;

b.     The benefits, economic, financial or otherwise, accruing or likely to accrue to the violator as a result of the violation;

c.     Whether the violation was isolated and temporary, or repeated and continuing;

d.     The magnitude and seriousness of the violation;

e.     The City's cost of investigation and remedying the violation;

f.     Any other applicable facts bearing on the nature and seriousness of the violation.


20.40.220 Civil Remedies.

In addition to the remedies provided by any other provision of this Chapter, the City shall have the right to obtain, in any court of competent jurisdiction, a judgment against any person removing or causing damage to any tree in violation of this Chapter. In any such action, the measure of damages shall be the actual replacement value of the damaged or destroyed tree(s).


20.40.230 Institution of Legal Proceedings.

In addition to any other remedy provided in this Chapter, the City Attorney, acting in the name of the City, may maintain an action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of any provision of this Chapter.


20.40.235 Notification to Planning and Sustainability Commission.

(Added by Ordinance No. 163739; Amended by Ordinance No. 184046, effective September 10, 2010.)  Prior to the adoption of any amendments to Chapter 20.40, the Forester will submit a copy of the proposed amendments to the Planning and Sustainability Commission for its review and comments.


20.40.240 Severability.

In any provision of this Chapter, or its application to any person or circumstances, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this Chapter, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected.