Chapter 2.105


2.105.010    Intent.

2.105.020    Definitions.

2.105.025    Delegation of authority.

2.105.030    Creation and establishment of a town tree board.

2.105.040    Term of office of tree board members.

2.105.050    Duty and responsibilities of the tree board.

2.105.060    Operation.

2.105.070    Public tree care.

2.105.080    Tree topping.

2.105.090    Pruning.

2.105.100    Dead, diseased or hazardous tree removal on private property.

2.105.110    Licensing requirements.

2.105.120    Penalty.

2.105.010 Intent.

Recognizing the positive cost to benefit ratio trees provide in maintaining a healthy urban ecosystem through their energy-saving, beautification, storm water management, pollution abatement and shade potential, as well as their role in improving the quality of our community, it is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the regulation of the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees in the public right-of-way and on town-owned property, and to provide for the removal of existing trees on private property where such trees are dead, diseased, or hazardous. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.020 Definitions.

(1) “Town-owned property” means property within the town limits of Twisp, and:

(a) Owned by the town in fee simple; or

(b) Impliedly or expressly dedicated to the public for present or future use for the purposes of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, public easements or for public parks, or area to which the public has free access as a park.

(2) “Street trees” means trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on public rights-of-way, and land lying between property lines on either side of all streets or avenues within the town.

(3) “Park trees” means the trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks, or any area to which the public has free access as a park.

(4) “Topping” means the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree’s crown to such a degree as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.025 Delegation of authority.

Final authority of all tree management issues within the town limits of the town of Twisp is delegated to the public works director, who shall draw upon the expertise and input of the tree board. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.030 Creation and establishment of a town tree board.

There is hereby created and established a town tree board for the town of Twisp, Washington, hereinafter “tree board,” which shall consist of at least three, and not more than five, members, with at least four of the members residing in the town of Twisp. All board members of the tree board shall be appointed by the mayor, with approval by the town council. The tree board may select potential future members for consideration and shall submit the names of such potential members for approval by the town council and mayor. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.040 Term of office of tree board members.

The term of office for tree board members shall be two years, and such tree board members shall serve without compensation. Tree board members should have some degree of knowledge in tree biology and tree care. If a vacancy occurs on the tree board during the term of any tree board member, their successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the vacant position’s term.

Whenever a tree board member is absent for three consecutive regular meetings of the tree board or an aggregate of five regular or special meetings of the tree board within a calendar year, unless permission is granted by the majority of the tree board, the person’s right to the position shall be automatically terminated. Tree board members may be removed by the mayor with approval of the town council for inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.050 Duty and responsibilities of the tree board.

It shall be the responsibility of the tree board to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting and removal of trees, shrubs, bushes and other woody vegetation on town-owned property. Such plan shall be presented annually to the town council and mayor by the tree board, and upon approval of the town council and mayor, shall constitute the official comprehensive tree management plan for the town of Twisp for the ensuing year.

The tree board, when requested by the mayor, town council and/or public works director, shall consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter of question coming within the scope of the tree board’s work. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.060 Operation.

The tree board shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from its tree board members at the first meeting of the year and the chairman shall preside at the meeting of the tree board. The mayor shall designate a member of the paid staff of the town to serve as the secretary. All meetings shall be subject to the Open Public Meetings Act (Chapter 42.30 RCW).

The presence of a majority of appointed members of the tree board shall be required to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A majority vote of those present shall be necessary to carry any motion. The tree board may establish by-laws or procedures for conducting its meetings.

Public meetings of the tree board shall be held at such time and dates as a majority of the tree board shall establish. A special meeting may be called at any time by the presiding officer, or by a majority of tree board members of the tree board upon written notice delivered at least 24 hours before the time of such meeting as specified in the notice. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.070 Public tree care.

The tree board will advise the public works director on any and all public tree care issues, including issues involving removal of trees with disease, fungus, insect damage or other tree defects that might be a public safety concern or adversely affect the long-term health of Twisp street trees.

A tree care standards and policy manual shall be on file at Town Hall to give the town and the board professional guidance on public tree planting and tree care. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.080 Tree topping.

It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or town department to top any street trees, park trees, or other trees on public property. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes, or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical, may be exempted from this section at the determination of the public works director, acting upon the advice of the tree board. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.090 Pruning.

Any owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the town shall be responsible for pruning or causing to be pruned the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection so that there be a clear space of eight to 10 feet from the base of the tree. Tree limbs that grow near high-voltage electrical conductors shall be maintained clear of such conductors by the electric utility company in compliance with any applicable franchise agreements. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.100 Dead, diseased or hazardous tree removal on private property.

The town shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the town limits, if such trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor significant infestation of insects or disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within the town.

In the event the tree board determines that a dead or diseased tree on private property constitutes a hazard to life and property, or harbors significant infestation of insects or disease, the tree board shall notify in writing the public works director, who will notify the owners of such property upon which the trees exist. Removal of such trees shall be done by the owners at their expense within 60 days after the date of notification in writing. In the event of the failure of the owners to comply with the provisions of this section, the town may remove such trees and the cost of such removal shall be paid to the town within 30 days of the town forwarding a cost assessment to the owner via first class mail with postage prepaid. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.110 Licensing requirements.

It shall be required of any person or firm who engages in the business or occupation of pruning, treating or removing town street trees or park trees to apply and procure a license from the town. The license fee shall be $25.00 annually, paid in advance; provided, that no license shall be required of any public service company or town employee for doing such work in the pursuit of their public service duties. Before any license shall be issued, each applicant shall first file evidence of liability insurance in the minimum amount of $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 property damage for any person injured or property damaged resulting from the pursuit of such endeavors as described in this section, and shall include the town of Twisp as an additional insured. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)

2.105.120 Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a civil infraction, and a civil penalty of up to $250.00 may be imposed for each violation of this chapter. Each day that a violation occurs shall constitute a separate violation. The remedy prescribed in this section is in addition to all other remedies provided or authorized by law, including damages to the town’s proprietary interest. (Ord. 742 § 2, 2018)