Chapter 18.52


18.52.010    Purpose.

18.52.020    Applicability.

18.52.030    Landscape plans required.

18.52.040    Landscape development standards.

18.52.050    Inspections.

18.52.060    Cutting and removal of heritage oak and public trees.

18.52.070    Maintenance required.

18.52.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations to enhance the appearance of the community, establish buffers between abutting land uses and public rights-of-way, reduce heat and glare, control soil erosion, provide for the conservation and safeguard of water resources and ensure compliance with all state-mandated water conservation regulations through the efficient use of water and appropriate use of plant materials, and ensure the ongoing maintenance of landscape areas.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)

18.52.020 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all development as follows:

A.    New Projects. All new single-family units and residential subdivisions, multifamily projects, and nonresidential projects shall provide landscaping in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Existing Nonresidential Development. Where a modification to an existing nonresidential development is proposed to increase the gross building square footage by twenty-five percent (25%) or more, the original approving authority for the project shall evaluate the existing on-site landscaping to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)

18.52.030 Landscape plans required.

A.    Preliminary Landscape Plans. A preliminary landscape plan is required to be submitted for all new and modified development applications listed in Section 18.52.020. The preliminary landscape plan is a conceptual plan that depicts, at a minimum, the general descriptions of types, locations and quantities of planned landscaping in accordance with the requirements of Section 18.52.040. Submittal requirements are listed on the current permit application forms.

B.    Final Landscape and Irrigation Plans. Final landscape and irrigation plans shall be submitted in conjunction with improvement plans prior to the issuance of building permits for all new and modified development requiring such plans per Section 18.52.020. The plans shall be consistent with the preliminary landscape plan prepared for the project and shall be prepared by a landscape architect registered to practice in the state of California. Submittal requirements are listed on the permit application forms. Revisions to approved landscape and irrigation plans shall be resubmitted for approval prior to installation of any improvements associated with the plan. The construction and installation of all landscaping and irrigation improvements shall be accomplished in compliance with the approved plans as a prerequisite to any final approval or occupancy clearance of the development or use to which it relates.

C.    Surety. When required by the Community Development Director, a statement of surety in the form of cash, performance bond, letter of credit or certificate of deposit, in an amount equal to one hundred percent (100%) of the total value of all plant materials, irrigation, installation and maintenance shall be posted with the City. The applicant shall provide a detailed cost breakdown of the value of the improvements listed herein. The Director may require statements of surety for phased development projects, a legitimate delay in landscape installation due to seasonal requirements (including adverse weather conditions) and similar circumstances where it may not be advisable or desirable to install all of a project’s landscaping before occupancy of the site.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)

18.52.040 Landscape development standards.

A.    Required Landscape Planting Areas. Landscaping shall be installed in the following locations for all types of developments unless the approving authority determines that the required landscaping is not necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.

1.    Setbacks. All setback areas required by this section shall be landscaped in compliance with this chapter.

2.    Unused Areas. All areas of a multifamily or nonresidential project site not intended for a specific use (including areas planned for future phases of a planned development) shall be landscaped and irrigated.

3.    Parking Areas. All parking areas of multifamily and nonresidential projects shall be landscaped to ensure shade and climate control, to screen the visual impact of vehicles and large expanses of pavement, and to enhance project design.

B.    Landscape Requirements. The minimum landscape area requirements by land use are as follows:

1.    Single-Family Residential.

a.    Front Yard Landscape Plan Required. A front yard landscape plan is required upon application to construct a single-family residence. The applicant shall submit a front yard landscape and automatic irrigation plan with the building permit application and upon approval shall be a condition for issuance of a building permit. Landscaping and moisture-sensing automatic irrigation shall be installed prior to occupancy of the structure.

b.    Front Yard Landscape Plan Content. The plan shall include the entire front yard and street side yard as defined by the zoning district. The landscape plan shall include at a minimum:

i.    No more than fifty percent (50%) of the front and street side yard areas shall be paved with hardscape materials (concrete, pavers, etc.), excluding the required driveway to the garage and walkway from the driveway to the residence entry.

ii.    A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of the front and street side yards that are not covered with a hardscape material shall be covered with living vegetation or artificial turf (rocks, mulch, etc., may cover the remaining fifty percent (50%)).

iii.    No more than fifty percent (50%) of a subdivision approved after the date of adoption of this Development Code shall have turf installed in the front or side yards of the units within the subdivision. All turf associated with the front yard landscape plan shall be planted in a “lay down” sod-type lawn or other as approved by the Community Development Department.

iv.    One (1) fifteen (15) gallon street tree shall be planted and maintained in the front yard within seven (7) to ten (10) feet of the front property line. Refer to Section 18.52.070 for additional regulations regarding street trees.

v.    All plants shall be from the approved list in the City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines or as approved by the Community Development Department.

vi.    An automatic irrigation plan, which shall include a moisture-sensing controller.

c.    Model Home Landscape Plan Submittal Requirements. One (1) model home out of each model home complex shall be landscaped to demonstrate water conserving landscape techniques. A landscape plan for the selected model home shall be prepared in conformance with the City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines. The guidelines outline the submittal requirements and are hereby incorporated by reference.

d.    Exemptions. The following are exempted from the requirements of this chapter:

i.    Existing, lawfully established single-family residence(s).

ii.    Expansion or modification of an existing, lawfully established single-family residence.

iii.    Placement or expansion of accessory structures.

iv.    Valid building permits for single-family residences that were applied for before the effective date of the Development Code.

2.    Multifamily Residential. All required setback areas, parking areas and all unused areas of all multifamily projects shall be landscaped in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and with the City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines, and shall be subject to site plan review and approval on a project-specific basis.

3.    Mobilehome Parks. Landscaping for a mobilehome park shall conform to the following standards:

a.    Street Yards. A landscaped yard not less than twenty-five (25) feet wide shall be provided adjoining all public streets.

b.    Interior Yards. A landscaped yard not less than ten (10) feet wide shall be provided adjoining all interior property lines.

c.    Irrigation System. All required yards shall be provided an irrigation system.

4.    Nonresidential Development. All new and modified nonresidential development shall be landscaped in accordance with Section 18.52.020, and as follows, at a minimum:

a.    Table 18.52-1 identifies the minimum landscape area required by zoning district.

Table 18.52-1 

Minimum Landscaped Area Required

Zoning District

Minimum % of Lot Required to Be Landscaped

Public/Quasi Public (PQ)

Per site plan review

Commercial (C)


Highway Commercial (HC)


Office Professional (OP)


Mixed Use (MU)

Per site plan review

Light Industrial (LM)


Industrial (M)



Refer to Chapter 18.28

b.    Parking. Refer to Chapter 18.48.

c.    Planting Requirements. The following quantities of plants shall be installed at the time of planting:

i.    Trees.

(A)    Twenty-five percent (25%) twenty-four (24) inch box.

(B)    Seventy-five percent (75%) fifteen (15) gallon.

ii.    Shrubs.

(A)    Seventy-five percent (75%) five (5) gallon.

(B)    Twenty-five percent (25%) one (1) gallon.

iii.    Groundcover.

(A)    One hundred percent (100%) coverage within one (1) year of planting.

d.    Screening of Drive-Through Aisles. A minimum forty-two (42) inch tall barrier shall be established along the outer edge of drive-through aisles to screen vehicles within the aisle and block headlight glare from such vehicles onto adjacent properties and rights-of-way.

5.    Parking Areas. Landscaping shall be installed in all parking areas used for residents, visitors, customers and employees of all new and modified multifamily and nonresidential projects requiring approval of a landscape plan per Section 18.52.020. Parking areas for vehicle storage and industrial operations (i.e., warehouse and distribution) that are not visible from a public right-of-way shall be excluded from this requirement. The minimum landscape requirements for parking areas shall be as follows:

a.    A minimum of ten percent (10%) of parking areas shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs, and live ground cover. The use of turf is prohibited.

b.    One (1) fifteen (15) gallon shade tree is required per four (4) off-street, uncovered parking spaces within the parking lot area. A minimum of thirty percent (30%) of the trees planted within a parking area shall be broad-leaved evergreen shade trees.

c.    A landscape island with a minimum planting width of five (5) feet shall be installed at the ends of each parking row and at intervals of every fifteen (15) spaces within a parking row (see Figure 18.52-1). In addition, tree wells shall be provided at intervals of every five (5) parking spaces on average within each double-loaded row. The minimum tree well planting area shall be four (4) feet by nine (9) feet.

Figure 18.52-1

Parking Lot Landscape Island

d.    The innermost two (2) feet of each parking space (between curb and any planter or sidewalk) may be planted with low ground cover, and added to any required or proposed landscaping, to allow for bumper overhang. This additional planting area is considered part of the parking space and may not count toward satisfying any landscaping requirement.

e.    Parking spaces shall be separated from an adjacent building by a minimum four (4) foot wide walkway or landscape.

f.    A landscaped planter with a minimum planting width of five (5) feet shall be installed between any parking lot and abutting street right-of-way (see Figure 18.52-2). Said planter shall be designed and maintained for partial screening of vehicles to a maximum height of thirty-six (36) inches, measured from the finished grade of the parking lot. Screening materials may include plant materials, berms, raised planters, solid masonry walls and other similar screening methods.

Figure 18.52-2

Parking Lot Landscaping

6.    Project Entry Landscaping. Entries to new multi-tenant residential and nonresidential projects, and developments containing a single commercial building over one hundred thousand (100,000) square feet shall be designed as special statements to identify the project to visitors, patrons and tenants, and to enhance the surrounding community (see Figure 18.52-3). Said project entries shall be improved with a combination of flowering plant materials, berms, raised planters, masonry walls, specimen trees, seating and similar materials.

Figure 18.52-3

Clock Tower Plaza

7.    Buffer Planting.

a.    A combination of a minimum six (6) foot tall solid decorative masonry block wall and landscape planter shall be provided between abutting residential and nonresidential uses. Buffer areas shall include a minimum ten (10) foot wide planting area planted with minimum twenty-four (24) inch box trees (a minimum fifty percent (50%) of the trees shall be evergreen species) planted thirty (30) feet on center.

b.    Buffer planting shall occur along freeway and major arterial rights-of-way. The buffering improvements may include a combination of plant materials, trees and solid masonry walls, subject to design review, in compliance with the Galt Landscape Design Guidelines.

C.    General Standards. The following standards apply to all landscaped areas.

1.    All new and modified landscape areas shall provide for water efficiency consistent with Section 65591 of the California Government Code (Water Conservation in Landscaping Act), and shall be consistent with all other state-mandated water efficiency requirements and those within the City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines.

2.    Trees and shrubs shall be planted so that at maturity, they do not interfere with utility lines, traffic safety sight areas (TSSA), and the basic property rights of adjacent property owners, particularly the right of solar access. Shrubs in the TSSA shall be no taller than thirty-six (36) inches above ground level and trees shall be pruned so that the canopy is no less than six (6) feet above ground level.

3.    Trees planted within ten (10) feet of a street, sidewalk, or walkway shall be a deep- rooted species, or shall have a root barrier installed to protect the hardscape. Trees planted within paved areas shall have expandable protective tree grates.

4.    A minimum distance of fifteen (15) feet is required between the center of trees and light poles.

5.    A minimum six (6) inch concrete mow strips shall be used to separate turf areas from other landscaped areas and to separate landscaped areas from adjacent undeveloped properties. This applies to all developments except single-family residential.

6.    Plants used to screen above-ground utility equipment shall be of sufficient size so that a minimum of seventy-five percent (75%) of the utility equipment is screened at the time of planting.

7.    All landscape areas, including pots (except those associated with a residential unit) and raised planters, shall be supported by a permanent, automatic irrigation system that is designed to meet the needs of the various planting areas and plant species, and which shall be designed to conserve water and avoid overspray outside of the designated planting area.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)

18.52.050 Inspections.

The Community Development Director, or his designee, shall inspect the landscaping and automatic irrigation for conformance to the plan. The applicant shall demonstrate that the automatic irrigation system is operational. The landscaping and automatic irrigation shall substantially conform to the approved plan prior occupancy of the structure.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)

18.52.060 Cutting and removal of heritage oak and public trees.

A.    Scope. The provisions of this section shall apply to all heritage oak trees on public property, public trees as defined in this chapter, and to heritage oak trees on private property not specifically exempted by subsection D of this section.

B.    Definitions. As used in this section:

1.    “Approving body” means any one (1) of the following: City Council, Planning Commission or Community Development Director.

2.    “Cutting” means the detaching or separating from a protected tree, any limb, branch or root. “Cutting” includes pruning.

3.    “Damage” means any action undertaken which causes injury, death or disfigurement to a tree. This includes, but is not limited to, cutting, poisoning, overwatering, relocation or transplanting a protected tree, or trenching, excavating or paving within the protected zone of a tree.

4.    “Deadwood” means limbs, branches or a portion of a tree that contains no green leaves during a period of the year when they should be present.

5.    “Dripline” means the outermost edge of the tree’s canopy (see Figure 18.52-4). When depicted on a map, the dripline will appear as a circle that follows the outermost edge of a single branch or branches, as seen from overhead.

Figure 18.52-4

Tree Dripline

6.    “Encroachment” means any intrusion or human activity into the dripline of an oak tree including, but not limited to, pruning, grading, excavating, trenching, parking of vehicles, storage of materials or equipment, or the construction of structures or other improvements.

7.    “Heritage oak tree” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: valley oak (Quercus lobata), interior live oak (Quercus wislizenii), blue oak (Quercus douglasii), coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) or oracle oak (Quercus morehus) having at least one (1) trunk of six (6) inch diameter measured four (4) feet above the ground, or multi-trunks with an aggregate diameter of eight (8) inches or more, measured four (4) feet above ground.

8.    “Person” means any natural person, partnership, firm, association, corporation or any entity, public or private in nature.

9.    “Private land” means all land owned by private interest, and not designated public land.

10.    “Public land” means all lands in public trust, federal, state and local, including, but not limited to, public rights-of-way, easements and parks.

11.    “Public nuisance” means any person who intentionally, negligently, accidentally causes harm to oak trees. This includes neglect in the pruning or trimming of overgrown, diseased, decaying, dead or rotting limbs, branches and foliage and other actions which may cause injury to oak trees.

12.    “Public tree” means any tree with one-half or more of its trunk or branches on or above public land.

13.    “Removal” means the physical removal of a tree or causing the death of a tree through damaging, poisoning or other direct or indirect action.

14.    “Routine maintenance” means actions needed for the continued good health of property landscaping, as well as the continued good health of oak trees or public trees including, but not limited to, mowing, pruning, removal of deadwood, insect control, and watering.

15.    “Tree” means any heritage oak tree or public tree.

16.    “Tree permit” means a written authorization by the Community Development Director or his designee for the removal of the tree.

C.    Prohibition. No City department shall issue tree cutting, encroachment or any other permits which purport to authorize use, construction, or other activity which is subject to the provisions of this chapter or the Development Code prior to review and approval as provided in this chapter.

D.    Exemptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following:

1.    In cases of emergency caused by a tree, being in a hazardous or dangerous condition requiring immediate action for the safety of the structures or human life, such tree may be removed by the permission of the City Manager, Community Development Director, Public Works Director, or any member of the Galt Police Department, or an affected public utility company;

2.    The necessary cutting and trimming of trees when done for the purpose of protection or maintaining overhead public utility lines pursuant to Rule No. 35 of General Order No. 95 of the Public Utilities Commission of the state;

3.    Any lot located in the City that was created by a final subdivision map, consisting of five (5) or more lots, and each residential lot having an area of ten thousand (10,000) square feet or less, except in the case of a cul-de-sac lot which may be as large as eighteen thousand (18,000) square feet and developed with a single-family detached house, duplex or a half-plex.

E.    Jurisdiction.

1.    Discretionary Project. The preservation or removal of trees as a condition of approval of a discretionary project shall be monitored and enforced by the Community Development Director or his duly authorized representative.

2.    Parks. The preservation, enhancement or removal of trees within parks, parkways and public recreation easements shall be the responsibility of the Director of Public Works.

3.    Other Public Land. Preservation, enhancement or removal of trees within other City-owned lands or public easements shall be the responsibility of the Public Works Director.

4.    Building Permits. When any building permit or zoning permit is applied for pursuant to this code and a proposed structure would require the removal or pruning of a heritage oak tree or public tree, the official issuing the permit shall take into consideration the provisions of this chapter and the granting or denying of the permit; and the applicant shall be required to obtain the requisite permit.

In the event a permit to destroy or remove a heritage oak tree or public tree is issued in order to enable the applicant to carry out some project of development or improvement of his property, such permit shall be valid and effective only in connection with the actual accomplishment of such project.

F.    Permission Required for Removal. No person, firm or corporation shall remove or injure any tree, shrub or plant within any street tree area or other public place of the City without prior permission and written approval therefor from the Community Development Director or his duly authorized representative. The Community Development Director or his duly authorized representative is authorized to grant such permission in his discretion and where necessary. No permission shall be valid for a longer period than sixty (60) days after its issuance. Exception is made for authorized public agencies.

G.    Consideration of Permits. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate the need for a permit or other approval issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

H.    Permit Application Criteria. Prior to the issuance of the permit, the approving body shall ascertain whether or not the tree(s) cannot or should not be retained. The determination of the approving body in granting or denying a permit shall be based upon reasonable criteria, including, but not limited to, the following:

1.    The condition of the heritage oak tree or public tree with respect to its general health, status as a public nuisance, danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures, interference with utility services and its status as a host for plant, pest or disease endangering other species of trees or plants with infection or infestations;

2.    The necessity of the requested action to allow construction of improvements necessary for the reasonable economic or other reasonable enjoyment of property;

3.    The topography of the land and the effect of the requested action on soil retention, water retention and diversion or increased flow of surface waters;

4.    The number, species, size and location of existing trees in the area and the effect of the requested action on shade areas, air pollution, historic values, scenic beauty and the general welfare of the City as a whole;

5.    Good forestry practices such as, but not limited to, the number of healthy trees the subject parcel of land will support.

I.    Development Control Measures. The approving body may mandate any or all of the following control measures to mitigate damage to heritage oak trees or public trees caused by the land development; further, these measures are the minimum requirements and shall not be construed to limit the City’s authority for additional mitigation or development requirements.

1.    No grade cuts greater than one (1) foot shall occur within the driplines of oak trees, and no grade cuts whatsoever shall occur within five (5) feet of their trunks.

2.    No fill greater than one (1) foot shall be placed within the driplines of oak trees and no fill whatsoever shall be placed within five (5) feet of their trunks.

3.    No trenching whatsoever shall be allowed within the driplines of oak trees. If it is absolutely necessary to install underground utilities within the driplines of an oak tree, the trench shall be either bored or drilled.

4.    No irrigation system shall be installed within ten (10) feet of the trunk of heritage oak tree(s) which may be detrimental to the preservation of the heritage oak tree(s) unless specifically authorized by the approving body or the Community Development Director.

5.    Landscaping beneath oak trees may include nonplant materials such as boulders, wood chips, etc. The only plant species which shall be planted within the driplines of oak trees are those which are tolerant of the natural semiarid environs of the trees. Limited drip irrigation approximately twice per summer is recommended for the understory plants. Permitted plants are listed in the City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines.

6.    Paving within the driplines of oak trees should be stringently minimized. When it is absolutely necessary, porous material should be used.

7.    Trees which are to be preserved, and those at the edge of construction sites on adjacent properties, shall be protected prior to and during site grading and construction activities. Protection shall include a minimum setback of fifteen (15) feet from tree trunks (to be expanded based upon tree size and extent of dripline), and placement of a chain link fence (minimum five (5) feet high) as a barrier around trees to prevent accidental damage to trunks or soil compaction and/or excessive burial of root systems. Installation of fencing shall occur under the direction of the Community Development Director designate and may include additional mitigation if so determined.

8.    The entire trunk and dripline of existing heritage oak trees and public trees shall be maintained on a single parcel large enough to accommodate reasonable tree growth so as to reduce the risk of tree damage from construction activities on adjacent properties.

J.    Grading beneath Heritage Oak Tree Driplines. Grading beneath heritage oak trees to be saved shall be given special attention. Every reasonable effort shall be made to avoid creating conditions adverse to the tree’s health. The natural ground within the driplines of protected trees shall remain as undisturbed as possible. Grading within the driplines of oak trees will not be permitted unless specifically authorized by the approving body or by the Community Development Director.

1.    Major roots two (2) inches or greater in diameter encountered within the tree’s dripline in the course of excavation from beneath trees which are not to be removed shall not be cut and shall be kept moist and covered with earth as soon as possible. Roots one (1) inch to two (2) inches in diameter which are severed shall be trimmed and treated with pruning compound and covered with earth as soon as possible. Such covering and treatment shall occur no later than the same working day.

2.    Support roots that are inside the dripline of the tree shall be protected. The permittee is required to hand-dig within the dripline of heritage oak trees to prevent root cutting and mangling which may be caused by heavy equipment.

3.    Cross sections may be required where trees are located adjacent to roadways, new slopes or critical areas. In addition, a dimension from the face of a tree to some critical point or line may be required.

4.    Any condition imposed by the approving body relating to grading in the vicinity is incorporated into and made a part of the improvement standards. The consulting engineer for the project shall verify in writing on a form to be provided by the Community Development Department that the grading has been completed as required by this section and any conditions imposed by the City Council, Planning Commission, or the Community Development Director.

K.    Performance Security (for Projects Involving Heritage Oak Trees).

1.    Adequate security may be required for any project for which a permit or other approval is required pursuant to provisions of this chapter or other City adopted codes. The purpose of such security shall be to guarantee the applicant’s compliance with conditions of approval and City ordinance provisions regarding tree protection and preservation. Security may also be required at the discretion of the approving body to insure to completion of any additional work specified as a condition of permit approval or other approvals.

2.    The minimum security shall be in the amount of one hundred percent (100%) of the estimated cost of the required work as determined by the City based on a certified arborist’s report.

3.    The security may be in the form of a letter of credit, cash deposit or a combination thereof and shall be approved by the City Council.

4.    The security and fee deposits may be required by the approving body whenever it appears that substantial work is required by the City or its agencies on the following:

a.    Land containing trees;

b.    Where substantial grading is required; and

c.    When action may be required by the City or any of its agencies to correct a violation of the Development Code or other written policies or regulations of the City.

5.    The terms and conditions of the security shall be determined by the approving body and shall be stated in the conditions of approval.

6.    Security posted on actual work required shall be maintained for a period of time not to exceed five (5) years, unless such circumstances dictate a longer period.

7.    Any interest gained on cash security posted by the requirement of the agency shall accrue to the applicant and his or her designee.

L.    Standards for Street Trees. The following standards are applicable to trees and shrubs in designated street tree areas.

1.    City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines. The City of Galt Landscape Design Guidelines shall be the official guide for planting within street tree areas.

2.    Planting of Trees in New Subdivisions. Before any street improvements in any new subdivision of real property in the City are accepted by the City Council, the subdivider shall submit a street tree plan and have the street trees on the approved street tree plan planted to conform to the provisions of the Galt Landscape Design Guidelines. Watering and care of the trees thereafter shall be the responsibility of the subdivider or the purchasers of the property.

3.    Prohibited Trees. It is unlawful for any person to plant in any street tree area the following trees:



Black Walnut

Tree of Heaven







It is unlawful to plant willow, cottonwood, or poplar trees anywhere in the City unless the City Engineer or his duly authorized representative approves the site as one (1) where the roots will not interfere with public utilities. Any tree planted within a street tree area must be in compliance with the Galt Landscape Design Guidelines.

M.    Tree Removal Provisions.

1.    If a permit is denied, the approving body shall provide written notification, including the reasons for denial, to the applicant.

2.    A granted permit shall be valid for a period of six (6) months from the date of issuance. An extension of time may be granted not to exceed an additional six (6) months.

3.    It shall be the responsibility of the person trenching, grading or filling within a tree’s dripline or cutting or removing any tree under this chapter to have the tree permit or a copy of the conditions of approval imposed by the approving body at the tree removal site.

N.    Permit to Engage in Commercial Tree Trimming or Removal Required. Any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of tree removal, tree pruning, stump removal, or engaged in tree or limb cabling or guying, is considered to be a contractor if the total cost (labor and materials) of the project is three hundred dollars ($300.00) or more. Contractors must possess a C-61, Subdivision D-49 (tree services) specialty contractor’s license. Such contractors shall also be required to secure a business license to operate in the City. The requirement for a contractor’s license is not applicable to persons, firms or corporations performing the activities of a nurseryman who in the normal course of routine work performs incidental pruning of trees, or guying of planted trees and their limbs. Nor does the contractor’s license requirement apply to a gardener who in the normal course of routine work performs incidental pruning of trees measuring less than fifteen (15) feet in height after planting. However, the requirement for a City business license is applicable.

O.    Tree Preservation Fund. A tree preservation fund is established for the City. The moneys received in lieu of replacement trees and illegally removed trees shall be forwarded to the Finance Director for deposit in the tree preservation fund. Under no circumstances shall the funds collected by the City Finance Director for the tree preservation fund be directed to any other fund to be used for any other purposes other than the planting, enhancement, maintenance and/or monitoring of trees on publicly owned property, easements or rights-of-way.

P.    Abuse or Mutilations of Trees Prohibited. It is a violation of this chapter to abuse, destroy or mutilate any heritage oak tree, public tree, plant or shrub in a street tree area or any other public place, or to attach or place any rope, wire (other than one used to support a young or broken tree), sign, poster, handbill, or other things to or on any heritage oak tree or public tree growing in a public place, or to cause or permit any wire charged with electricity to be placed or attached to any such heritage oak tree or public tree, or allow any gaseous, liquid or solid substances which are harmful to such heritage oak trees or public trees to come in contact with their roots or leaves.

Q.    Public Nuisance. Any heritage oak tree, public tree or shrub growing in a street tree area or public place or in private property which is endangering or which in any way may endanger the security or usefulness of any public street or sidewalk is declared to be a public nuisance, and the City may require the property owner to trim or remove any such heritage oak tree or public tree on private property or on a parking strip abutting such owner’s property or may permit any public utility to do so or the City may trim or remove such oak tree or public tree. Failure of the property owner or his duly authorized agent to trim or remove such tree in the time ordered by the Community Development Director or his duly authorized representative based on the dangerous nature of the tree, shall be deemed to be a violation of this chapter, and the Community Development Director or his duly authorized representative may then abate the nuisance by trimming or removing the heritage oak tree or public tree and the cost of such abatement shall become a lien on the property.

R.    Stop Work Order. Whenever the Community Development Director, the Planning Commission, or the City Council determines that any permit, or variance or any action being taken thereunder, or any action under it without a permit, is in conflict with this chapter or with the standards established by the City or any department thereof, or ordinance, regulations, or policy, it shall issue a stop work order which shall prohibit any action thereunder. Such stop work order shall set forth the alleged violations and may list remedies to be taken to correct the violations. The person receiving such a stop work order shall report in writing to the officer, person or body issuing the order within forty-eight (48) hours regarding the next steps to be taken to correct the violations. Such stop work order may be extended to provide an opportunity for a hearing being extended to the affected party. During the period of such extension, the Planning Commission shall review the matter as herein provided. A stop work order issued pursuant to this section may be withdrawn by the Community Development Department or the officer who issued it upon a finding that the circumstances giving rise to the order no longer exist.

S.    Mitigation, Suspension, Revocation and Restoration. In addition to or instead of the measures set forth in this chapter, the Community Development Director or his duly authorized representative, the Planning Commission, or the City Council may suspend any permit subject to a public post-suspension hearing upon the finding that a violation of conditions of approval has occurred. Such hearing shall be set and conducted pursuant to Section 21.03.060.

If the Hearing Officer revokes the permit or finds that a violation of conditions of approval has occurred, he or she may require conditions of restoration. Said restoration shall include a requirement to replace in kind any oak tree(s) which have been removed without a permit. Further, the replacement shall consist of specimen trees (no less than a thirty-six (36) inch box size) having a total combined diameter equal to the total combined diameter of the illegally removed tree(s). If the project site is not capable of supporting all the required replacement trees, the violator shall pay to the City a sum equivalent to the retail cost of the number of trees that cannot be accommodated plus the cost of installation of the trees, which shall not be less than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per inch. These funds will be deposited in the tree preservation fund maintained by the City Finance Department.

T.    Other Species of Trees. The approving body shall have the authority to adopt mitigation measures as conditions of approval for discretionary projects in order to protect other species of trees.

U.    Cumulative Penalties. The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative, not exclusive.

V.    Nonliability of City. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to impose any liability for damages or a duty of care and maintenance upon the City or upon any of its officers or employees. The person in possession of any public property or the owner of any private property shall have a duty to keep the heritage oak trees upon the property and under their control in a safe, healthy condition. Except as provided in subsection D of this section, any person who feels a tree located on property possessed, owned or controlled by them is a danger to the safety of themselves, others or structural improvements on site or off site shall have an obligation to secure the area around the tree or support the tree, as appropriate to safeguard both persons and improvements from harm.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)

18.52.070 Maintenance required.

A.    Maintenance Required. All landscaping and irrigation systems shall be continually maintained. Dirt yards are prohibited. Maintenance shall consist of regular watering, mowing, pruning, fertilizing, clearing of debris and weeds, monitoring for pests and disease, the removal and replacement of dead plants, and the repair of the irrigation system, including its individual components.

B.    Water Waste Prohibited. Water waste resulting from inefficient landscape irrigation is prohibited. Water waste includes, but is not limited to, excessive runoff, low head drainage, overspray and other similar conditions where water flows onto adjacent property, nonirrigated areas, walkways, and other areas located outside of the landscaped are intended to be irrigated.

(Ord. 2015-05, Repealed and Replaced, 06/16/2015)