Chapter 26
TREES1

Sections:

26.1    Definitions.

26.2    Purpose.

26.3    Enforcement of chapter.

26.4    Master tree list—Composition by director; on file with commission; revisions.

26.5    Same—Trees which must be on list.

26.5-1    Master street tree planting plan.

26.6    Jurisdiction, supervision and control.

26.7    Permit—Required to cut, trim, plant, etc., trees in public streets.

26.8    Same—Utilities, etc., shall have permit to allow maintenance of safe operation; scope of permit; term.

26.9    Same—Only those qualified may act under permit; exception; necessary qualifications.

26.10    Same—Owner to be notified prior to cutting tree in front of land.

26.11    Inspections to determine hazards, etc., and public nuisances; owner must remove public nuisance within time limit.

26.12    Liability of city; owner to properly maintain trees on his property.

26.13    Appeal from decisions.

26.14    Marring, defacing, etc., trees on private property.

26.15    Marring, defacing, etc., trees on public property.

26.15-1    Protection of roots.

26.16    Tree planting requirements.

26.17    Penalty for violations.

26.1 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:

“Commission” means the parks and recreation commission of the City of Gilroy.

“Director” means the director of parks and recreation of the City of Gilroy.

“Owner” means the legal owner of real property fronting on any street of the city and any lessee of such owner.

“Person” includes lessees, trustees, receivers, agents, servants, and employees of any person.

“Public streets” or “streets” means all roads, streets, avenues, boulevards, alleys, parkways and public rights of way or any portion thereof, of the city. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.2 Purpose.

It is for the best interests of the city and of the citizens and public thereof that a comprehensive plan for the planting and maintenance of trees in or which may overhang public streets within the city should be developed and established. This chapter, therefore, is for the purpose of developing and providing for such a plan and program and for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations relating to the planting and removal of such trees. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.3 Enforcement of chapter.

The director of parks and recreation shall be charged with the enforcement of this chapter. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.4 Master tree list—Composition by director; on file with commission; revisions.

The director is hereby charged with the duty of promptly determining the types and species of trees suitable and desirable for planting and the areas in which and conditions under which such trees shall be planted in or which may overhang the public streets within the city. Such determination shall be made by the director, who shall consult with those familiar with the subject of such plantings, such as landscape architects, arborists, nurserymen, and park executives. When such determination has been made, the director shall report his findings in writing to the commission for its review and final approval. When approved by the commission, said report shall be known as the master tree list, and shall be placed on file in the office of the commission, and shall thereafter be the official master tree list. Revisions or changes in such master tree list may be made from time to time by the director in the manner described in this section for the development, approval, and filing of the original master tree list. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75; Ord. No. 94-14, § 1, 8-1-94)

26.5 Same—Trees which must be on list.

All trees hereafter planted in or which may overhang the public streets of the city must be on the master tree list, unless a written permit from the director shall have first been obtained to plant a tree not on said list. Such permit may be granted by the director only upon his obtaining approval therefor from the commission. It shall be unlawful to plant any tree except as in this section provided. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.5-1 Master street tree planting plan.

The director shall develop a tree planting plan whereby specific tree species are designated for specific locations in the city. Such plan shall be submitted to the commission for its review and final approval. When approved by the commission, such plan shall be placed on file in the office of the commission and shall thereafter be the official master street tree planting plan. All trees planted thereafter in any public street shall be of the designated species. Additions or changes in such master street tree planting plan may be made from time to time by the director in the manner described in this section for the development, approval, and filing of the original master street tree planting plan. (Ord. No. 83-16, § 1, 8-15-83; Ord. No. 94-14, § 2, 8-1-94)

26.6 Jurisdiction, supervision and control.

The director shall have jurisdiction and control of the planting, setting out, location and placement of all trees in the public streets of the city, and shall likewise have supervision, direction and control of the care, trimming, removal, relocation and replacement thereof. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.7 Permit—Required to cut, trim, plant, etc., trees in public streets.

It shall be unlawful and it is hereby prohibited for any person other than the director or his authorized agents or employees to cut, trim, prune, spray, brace, plant, move, remove or replace any tree in any public street within the city or to cause the same to be done, unless and until a written permit to do so shall have first been obtained from the director. Any such permit may be declared void by the director if its terms are violated. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.8 Same—Utilities, etc., shall have permit to allow maintenance of safe operation; scope of permit; term.

Any person doing business as a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the state public utilities commission and any duly constituted public agency authorized to provide and providing utility service shall be given a permit from the director, valid for one year from the date of issuance, permitting such person to trim, brace, remove or perform such other acts with respect to trees growing adjacent to the public streets of the city or which grow upon private property to the extent that they encroach upon such public streets as may be necessary to comply with the safety regulations of such commission and as may be necessary to maintain the safe operation of its business. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.9 Same—Only those qualified may act under permit; exception; necessary qualifications.

No person other than an owner or the city or public utility may do any act for which a permit is required under section 26.7 hereof except a person whose principal business is tree surgery, trimming or maintenance and who, in the opinion of the director is qualified for such business and who has obtained a license to carry on such business in the city from the director of finance. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.10 Same—Owner to be notified prior to cutting tree in front of land.

Before the director shall consent to the cutting of any tree or any part thereof, the director must be satisfied that the owner of the lot or land on the side of the street immediately in front of which such tree is growing has received notice of the intention to cut such tree. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.11 Inspections to determine hazards, etc., and public nuisances; owner must remove public nuisance within time limit.

The director may inspect any tree adjacent to or overhanging any public street in the city to determine whether the same or any portion thereof is in such a condition as to constitute a hazard or impediment to the progress or vision of anyone traveling on such public street. Any tree or part thereof growing upon private property, by overhanging or interfering with the use of any street, that in the opinion of the director, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public shall be declared a public nuisance. If the owner of such private property does not correct or remove such nuisance within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice thereof to do so from the director, the director shall cause the nuisance to be corrected or removed and the cost shall be assessed to such owner. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.12 Liability of city; owner to properly maintain trees on his property.

Nothing contained in the preceding section shall be deemed to impose any liability upon the city, its officers or employees nor to relieve the owner of any private property from the duty to keep any tree upon his property or under his control in such a condition as to prevent it from constituting a public nuisance as defined in this chapter. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.13 Appeal from decisions.

Any person aggrieved by any act of determination of the director in the exercise of the authority granted in this chapter shall have the right to a hearing before the commission which shall decide the matter, subject to the right of appeal to the city council, whose decision, after public hearing of such matter, shall be final and conclusive. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.14 Marring, defacing, etc., trees on private property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to mar, deface, cut or in any manner injure or damage any tree growing on private property within the limits of the city without the consent of the owner thereof. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.15 Marring, defacing, etc., trees on public property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to break, injure, deface, mutilate, kill or destroy any tree or set fire or permit any fire to burn where such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any tree in any public street or on any public property in the city nor shall any person place, apply, attach or keep attached to any such tree or to the guard or stake intended for the protection thereof any wire, rope other than one used to support a young or broken tree, sign, paint or any other substance, structure, thing or device of any kind or nature whatsoever, without having first obtained a written permit from the director. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.15-1 Protection of roots.

It shall be unlawful, except with written permission from the director, for any person to place or construct any concrete, brick, asphalt, plastic sheeting or other material impervious to air and water around any street tree so as to impede the free access of air and water to the roots of any street tree. Impervious materials, except sidewalks and curbs, shall be placed no closer than three (3) feet to any street tree. It shall be unlawful to place any excess soil, building materials, debris, or equipment, or pour any deleterious material, around any street tree. (Ord. No. 83-16, § 1, 8-15-83)

26.16 Tree planting requirements.

The planting of trees in subdivisions as required by section 21.35 shall be administered under the provisions of this chapter. The subdivider or developer shall be charged fees sufficient to defray the actual cost of the city for time and material expended in such plantings. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)

26.17 Penalty for violations.

Any violation of any provision of this chapter, or the failure to comply with said provisions, shall be an infraction. (Ord. No. 75-13, § 1, 8-4-75)


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Prior legislation: Ords. 265 and 596.

    Cross referencesAttaching advertising matter to trees, § 3.5.