Chapter 16.66


16.66.010    Purpose.

16.66.020    Application.

16.66.030    Designation.

16.66.040    Maintenance.

16.66.050    Designation removal.

16.66.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a process to designate a tree, because of its age, size, unique type, or historical association is of special importance to the city, as a heritage tree. (Ord. 1635 § 9, 2020).

16.66.020 Application.

A. In order for a tree to be designated as a heritage tree, a person must submit a written request to the city.

B. The request shall include:

1. A signed declaration by the landowner approving of this declaration;

2. A site map showing the lot, any structures on site, and the current use of the site; the species and size of tree; and

3. A narrative explaining why the applicant wishes to designate that tree as a heritage tree. (Ord. 1635 § 9, 2020).

16.66.030 Designation.

A. Upon receiving a complete and valid request for heritage tree status, the city shall obtain an arborist’s report evaluating the tree’s health, aerial space, open ground area for the root system, longevity of the species, and suitability for long-term retention.

B. Staff shall present to the parks board all information, including the application, arborist’s report, and any additional information discovered by staff.

C. 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.

D. 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.

E. No tree standing on private property shall be designated a heritage tree without the consent of the property owner.

F. No tree on city-owned property shall be designated a heritage tree without the consent of the mayor.

G. Following the designation as a heritage tree:

1. A plaque so signifying shall be placed near the tree;

2. 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.

H. 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. (Ord. 1635 § 9, 2020).

16.66.040 Maintenance.

A. The city shall maintain all heritage trees that are located on city property or on public rights-of-way within the city.

B. 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.

C. The city may give advice and assistance to property owners regarding proper maintenance of heritage trees.

D. A heritage tree, whether standing on public or private property, considered to be hazardous shall be evaluated consistent with the standards in BLMC 16.64.040. With the city’s approval, following a review by the tree board, the recommended course of action shall be carried out by the owner of the heritage tree.

E. In cases where a heritage tree was damaged by a natural disaster or other acts of nature, the provisions of this section may be waived to the extent that the city may alleviate immediate hazards. (Ord. 1635 § 9, 2020).

16.66.050 Designation removal.

A tree that has been designated as a heritage tree can be removed from designation upon a finding by the city council that one or more of the following conditions exist:

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

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

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

D. The tree is on private property and the property owner no longer wants the designation. (Ord. 1635 § 9, 2020).