Chapter 12.24
TREE DEPARTMENT

Sections:

12.24.010    Tree department designated.

12.24.020    Community forestry plan.

12.24.030    Designation of park board as advisory tree board.

12.24.040    Coordination of efforts.

12.24.050    Relation to other ordinances.

12.24.060    Destroying, defacing or injuring trees prohibited.

12.24.070    Planting of certain trees prohibited.

12.24.080    Unauthorized planting in public places prohibited.

12.24.090    Trees and shrubs endangering usefulness of streets and sidewalks – Public nuisance.

12.24.100    Abatement of nuisance.

12.24.110    Fire hazards – Abatement.

12.24.120    Stumps and roots – Removal.

12.24.130    Heritage trees.

12.24.140    Violation – Penalties.

12.24.150    Budget and reporting.

12.24.160    Arbor Day participation.

12.24.010 Tree department designated.

The city of Bonney Lake hereby designates its public works department as the “tree department” legally responsible for the care and management of trees on municipally owned property. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.020 Community forestry plan.

The tree department shall prepare a community forestry work plan that specifies the city’s schedule for the planting of new trees within the city, as well as improving the care and maintenance of trees on its municipally owned properties. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.030 Designation of park board as advisory tree board.

The Bonney Lake park board is hereby designated as an advisory community tree board to advise the tree department, mayor, and city council on the community forestry plan, heritage trees, and related community tree issues. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.040 Coordination of efforts.

The tree department shall work in conjunction with the parks board, the city’s planning and community development department, and the planning commission in the development and administration of the community forestry plan. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.050 Relation to other ordinances.

Nothing in this chapter shall interfere, alter or in any way change the responsibility of the planning and community development department or other city department concerning trees relative to planning for the urban design of the city. Nothing in this chapter shall infringe, or in any way alter the provisions of environmental or critical areas regulations as set forth now or amended. If and where any conflicts may exist between tree installation and maintenance policies or other provisions of this policy and critical areas or development regulations, the critical areas or development regulations shall be controlling. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.060 Destroying, defacing or injuring trees prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to destroy, injure or deface, by any means, any tree in a city park or in city right-of-way, including but not limited to the following:

A. Pouring any toxic material on any tree or on the ground near any tree;

B. Attaching any sign, poster, notice or other object on any tree, or fastening any guy wire, cable, rope, nails, screws or other device to any tree except to support young or broken trees; and except that the city may tie temporary signs or banners associated with street improvement, parades, holiday lighting, or other city activities;

C. Cause or encourage any fire or burning near or around any tree;

D. Harm any tree by cutting the bark or branches with a knife, hatchet or similar object. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.070 Planting of certain trees prohibited.

It is unlawful to plant hereafter anywhere on city property or rights-of-way any willow, cottonwood, poplar, and any other trees the roots of which are likely to obstruct or injure sanitary sewers or other underground utilities, except as approved by the director of public works in accordance with a city-approved plan or project. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.080 Unauthorized planting in public places prohibited.

No trees or shrubs shall hereafter be planted in or abutting any public parking strip, street right-of-way, or any other public place in the city, including sidewalks, without permission of the tree department; provided, that the following species may not be planted in the above-named places in any event: trees named in BMC 12.24.070, fruit trees (except ornamental types), nut trees, Ailanthes, Mountain Ash, Oregon or big leaf maple, American elm, or any other tree the roots of which cause injury to sidewalks or pavements. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.090 Trees and shrubs endangering usefulness of streets and sidewalks – Public nuisance.

Trees, plants, shrubs or vegetation, or parts thereof, which endanger the security or usefulness of any public street, sidewalk, sewer or other underground utility, are declared to be a public nuisance, except that trees may extend over the sidewalk when kept trimmed to a height of eight feet above sidewalks and 14 feet above a roadway. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.100 Abatement of nuisance.

The director of public works shall by written notice require the owner of such nuisances enumerated in BLMC 12.24.090, in addition or alternative to the penalties prescribed by BLMC 12.24.140, to abate the nuisance by trimming, destroying or removal, at the owner’s cost and expense within the time specified by the director; provided further, that if the destruction, trimming, or removal is not made by such owner within the time specified, the director of public works may abate the same and render a bill covering the cost of such abatement. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.110 Fire hazards – Abatement.

Grass, weeds, shrubs, trees, or vegetation growing or which have grown and died upon any property and are a fire hazard or menace to public health, welfare or safety are likewise public nuisances. It is the duty of the property owner wherein or whereon any such nuisance exists to abate the nuisances by destroying, removing, or trimming the growth. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.120 Stumps and roots – Removal.

The stumps and roots of trees or shrubs removed from city parks or rights-of-way shall be removed to a point at least one foot below the top of the adjacent curb or proposed curb grade, treating the remaining roots with a suitable compound to prevent future sprouting or growth. Any roots which have disrupted or broken the adjacent street, curb or sidewalk shall be removed and the street, sidewalk or curb shall be repaired. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.130 Heritage trees.

A heritage tree is any tree that because of its age, size, unique type, or historical association is of special importance to the city and has been designated as a heritage tree by the city council.

A. Request for Designation. In order for a tree to be designated as a heritage tree, a person must submit a written request to the tree department. The request shall include a signed declaration by the land owner approving of this declaration; a site map showing the lot, any structures on site, and the current use of the site; the species and size of tree; a narrative explaining why the applicant wishes to designate that tree as a heritage tree.

B. Criteria for Designation. No tree standing on private property shall be designated a heritage tree without the consent of the property owner. No tree on city-owned property shall be designated a heritage tree without the consent of the mayor. Upon receiving a complete and valid request for heritage tree status, the city shall obtain an arborist’s report evaluating the condition of the tree. The arborist’s report shall include an evaluation on the tree’s health, aerial space, open ground area for the root system, longevity of the species, and suitability for long-term retention.

C. Adoption of Heritage Tree Status. Staff shall present to the parks board all information, including the application, arborist’s report, and any additional information discovered by staff. The parks board shall consider the application at a public meeting and make a recommendation to the city council whether or not to adopt the tree as a heritage tree. Adoption of a tree as a heritage tree shall be accomplished by a motion or resolution of the city council based on the tree’s historical, cultural, or other value as determined by the city council.

D. Protection of Heritage Tree. When a tree is designated as a heritage tree, a plaque so signifying shall be placed near the tree. The city shall place a notice in the land records of the Pierce County auditor for all properties upon which a heritage tree is located, stating that the heritage tree is protected by the provisions of this chapter. The restrictions placed on a heritage tree shall bind all successors, heirs and assigns. It shall be unlawful to remove, damage in any way, or defile a heritage tree, its plaque, or any protective measures for that tree.

E. Maintenance. The city shall maintain all heritage trees that are located on city property or on public rights-of-way within the city. It shall be the duty of every owner of property upon which a heritage tree is standing to maintain that tree to the best of their ability. The city may give advice and assistance to property owners regarding proper maintenance of heritage trees.

F. Hazardous Heritage Tree. If, in the best judgment of the tree department, a heritage tree, whether standing on public or private property, has become a hazard, an arborist’s report shall be obtained evaluating the condition. The arborist shall evaluate the condition of the tree and recommend a suitable course of action. With the tree department’s approval the recommended course of action shall be carried out by the owner of the heritage tree.

G. Removal of Heritage Tree Designation. A tree that has been designated as a heritage tree can be removed from designation upon a finding by the city council, by motion or resolution, that one or more conditions exist:

1. The tree is of poor health, diseased or no longer alive;

2. The tree no longer meets the criteria for designation as a heritage tree;

3. The tree interferes with the needed location of proposed improvements or structures; or

4. The tree is on private property and the property owner no longer wants the designation.

H. Acts of Nature. In cases where a heritage tree was damaged by a natural disaster or other acts of nature, the tree department may waive the provisions of this subsection to the extent that the city may alleviate immediate hazards. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.140 Violation – Penalties.

Violations of the provisions of this title or failure to comply with any of its requirements shall be a misdemeanor. Each day such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense. Each offense shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more than $100.00 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both, in addition to all costs and expenses incurred by the city in securing compliance with this title. Any person found in violation of this chapter shall also be required to pay the replacement and installation value of the injured vegetation as determined by the latest version of “Valuation of Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Other Plants,” published by the International Society of Arboriculture, or by a similar valuation method. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.150 Budget and reporting.

As part of the annual budget process, the mayor shall provide the city council with a report of per capita expenditures on the urban forestry management program and community forestry work plan within the city of Bonney Lake. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).

12.24.160 Arbor Day participation.

The mayor shall provide for a proclamation and the observance of Arbor Day each year within the city of Bonney Lake. (Ord. 1124 § 1, 2005).