Chapter 17.52 Trees


- Note

(Chapter replaced by Ordinance No. 134329, effective May 8, 1972.)


17.52.010 Clearances.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 138415, 173369, 177028 and 184957, effective November 25, 2011.)  It is unlawful for owners or occupants to permit any tree upon or in front of their premises, to interfere with or come in contact with wires belonging to the City, or to permit the branches of such trees to be less than 7-1/2 feet above the sidewalk, or 11 feet above the roadway; provided, however, that on any street which is designated as a Regional Trafficway, Major City Traffic Street, or a District Collector, or a one-way street, and where parking has been prohibited, limbs of trees shall be trimmed to a height of 14 feet above the crown of the street.  Whenever the Director of the Bureau of Transportation finds that a condition prohibited by this Section exists, the condition is a public nuisance.  In addition to the penal enforcement of this Title, the Commissioner of the department under whom the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Transportation is administered may take steps in accordance with the procedures set forth in Title 29 concerning abatement of nuisances, including assessment of cost of abatement against the property on which or in front of which the tree is located.


17.52.020 Sidewalks to be Kept Cleaned of Leaves and Organic Matter.

It is the duty of the occupants of the premises or the owner of such premises, if the same is unoccupied, to keep the sidewalk clean from branches, leaves, flowers, fruit or other organic matter fallen thereon.


17.52.030 Interference with Sewer by Tree Roots.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 173369, 182760 and 184957, effective November 25, 2011.)  Roots of any tree in dedicated street area which have entered any sewer, drain or house connection in the street area, or roots of any tree which have entered any sewer, drain or connection in a City‑owned sewer easement, and which are stopping, restricting or retarding the flow of sewage or drainage, are hereby declared to be a public nuisance.  Whenever the Director of the Bureau of Transportation finds that such condition appears to exist, the Commissioner of the department under whom the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Transportation is administered shall take steps in accordance with the procedure set forth in Title 29 concerning abatement of nuisances, including assessment of costs of abatement against the property abutting the street area and owning the tree.  As a part of the abatement, reasonable steps shall be taken to prevent future root entry and interference with the flow of sewage or drainage.  If the Director of the Bureau of Transportation believes that only removal of the tree will reasonably prevent future root entry into the sewage or drainage facility, the Director of the Bureau of Transportation shall so notify the owner and the Director of the Bureau of Parks and Recreation.  Thereupon if the Director of the Bureau of Parks and Recreation concurs with the determination that the removal is necessary, and the owner has not removed the tree, the Director of the Bureau of Transportation shall require the tree to be removed as a part of the nuisance abatement and the notice to abate shall so state.  A permit for removal shall be obtained, by the owner removing the tree, from the Bureau of Nuisance Abatement, as provided in this Chapter.


17.52.040 Curb or Sidewalk Damage from Ornamental Trees.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 184957, effective November 25, 2011.)  When the curb or sidewalk, or both, abutting any land becomes damaged or in a state of disrepair because of an ornamental tree maintained by the property owner, the repair of the curb or sidewalk, or both, shall be treated as other curb or sidewalk repairs in accordance with the provisions of this Title.  The removal of any tree or portion thereof as the Director of the Bureau of Transportation may determine necessary, shall be deemed a part of the curb or sidewalk repair.


17.52.050 Tree Tubs.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 182760 and 184957, effective November 25, 2011.)  Any person desiring to place a tub or receptacle for a tree or shrub on top of the paved or hard surfaced portion of street area shall first apply to the Director of the Bureau of Transportation for a permit.  The permit may be issued by the Director of the Bureau of Transportation under such safeguards and conditions as the Director of the Bureau of Transportation and the City Attorney may find necessary or appropriate to protect the public safety and to protect the City against claims of liability.  The permit may be revoked by the Director of the Bureau of Transportation for any violation of conditions or terms of the permit, or for neglect of the plantings or abandonment of use.  After revocation, it is unlawful for the permittee or permittee’s successor in Title to the abutting property to allow the tub or receptacle to remain in street area.


17.52.060 Trimming For or By City.

(Added by Ordinance No. 156125; effective June 13, 1984.) In maintaining its utility system, the City may trim or cause to be trimmed any tree which interferes with any light, pole, wire, cable, appliance or apparatus used in connection with or as a part of the utility system. The person remedying the condition shall be authorized to enter the premises for that purpose.