Chapter 13.20


13.20.010    Purpose of chapter.

13.20.020    Tree planting on streets.

13.20.030    Removal of trees.

13.20.040    Authority to remove obstructing trees.

13.20.050    Notice to owner.

13.20.060    Penalty for violation.

13.20.070    Exception – Unused portion of rights-of-way.

13.20.010 Purpose of chapter.*

The regulation of planting, care, maintenance, trimming and pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs upon or near the public streets within the city of Clarkston is hereby declared and ordained to be subject to regulation for the purpose of keeping the public rights-of-way free from hazardous obstruction, preventing obscure vision and lighting and preventing damage to public improvements. The city council does hereby ordain and set forth the standards, rules and regulations as detailed in this chapter for the regulation and control of the planting, maintaining, trimming and pruning of ornamental shrubs and trees within the corporate limits of the city. [Ord. 441 § 1, 1948.]

*    For statutory authority relating to removal of overhanging or obstructing trees, plants, etc., see RCW 35.21.310.

13.20.020 Tree planting on streets.

From and after the effective date of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to plant or cause to be planted any ornamental tree, bush or shrub, either bearing or nonbearing of fruits, upon the public street or any portion thereof dedicated to the public use. For the purpose of this chapter, the public streets shall be deemed to be the entire dedicated portion of the street from property line to property line, including that portion normally devoted to sidewalks, curbs or parking. [Ord. 441 § 2, 1948.]

13.20.030 Removal of trees.

The city council or its duly authorized employees or representatives shall be entitled to remove any tree, bush or shrub heretofore or hereinafter planted in the public street as defined in this chapter. It shall be the policy, however, of the city to remove or cause such removal to be made only where necessary or advisable in the best interest of the city and to avoid wholesale removals until adjoining property owners have had adequate notice of the terms of this chapter and opportunity to replant for shade and ornamental purposes within their respective property lines. [Ord. 441 § 3, 1948.]

13.20.040 Authority to remove obstructing trees.

The city council or its duly authorized employees or representatives shall have the power and authority to trim any tree, bush or shrub planted upon or whose branches extend or protrude over the public street in such a manner as to provide a minimum clearance of 14 feet from the ground surface to the lower protrusions thereof and to cut or remove any tree, limb or branch extending further into the traveled portion of the street than the curb lines. For the purpose of this chapter, the curb line shall be deemed to be set parallel to the property line and one-fifth the width of the street therefrom. [Ord. 441 § 4, 1948.]

13.20.050 Notice to owner.

In the event that any tree, bush or shrub planted upon private property has, in its development and growth, caused the main trunk thereof to interfere with public travel either by vehicle or pedestrian upon the streets or sidewalks, or the roots of which have so grown or become so enlarged as to disturb the surface of any sidewalk or street, then the city council may of its own motion or upon complaint by any individual cause notice of such hazardous conditions so created to be given to the owner or occupant of the property upon which the tree, bush or shrub is planted, requiring the owner or occupant to remove the tree, bush or shrub or correct the hazard and repair the sidewalks within 30 days from the date of the notice mailed to the owner or occupant at the street address of the property in question. [Ord. 441 § 5, 1948.]

13.20.060 Penalty for violation.

In the event that the owner or occupant shall fail to comply with the terms and conditions in the notice, then the city may enter upon the property to the extent necessary to correct said hazard and remove the offending portions of the tree, bush or shrub and repair any damage caused thereby and certify the costs thereof to the treasurer of the city for collection; or the city, upon complaint of a council member or any individual, may proceed against the owner or occupant of said premises or the person deemed responsible therefor for the collection of penalties for violation of this chapter. Any person found guilty of violation of this chapter in addition to the civil remedies above described shall be required to pay a fine of not exceeding $25.00 for the first offense and not exceeding $50.00 for all subsequent offenses. Any act of violation if not corrected within 15 days after conviction therefor shall be deemed a second or subsequent offense. [Ord. 441 § 6, 1948.]

13.20.070 Exception – Unused portion of rights-of-way.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall remove the city’s authority to either perform or authorize planting of ornamental shrubs or trees near or upon the non-used portion of road rights-of-way upon the sidewalk for the purpose of esthetic enhancement of the city. [Ord. 821 § 1, 1978; Ord. 441 § 7, 1948.]