[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Blue Mounds as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Sec. 19.07 of the 2001 Village Code]
Trees standing in and upon any public street or place, or upon any lot or land adjacent thereto shall be pruned and trimmed by the owner or owners or occupants of the property on or in front of which such trees are growing so that the lowest branches projecting over the public street or alley will provide a clearance of not less than 14 feet and a clearance of not less than 10 feet over any other public place and so that no dead, broken or otherwise hazardous branches shall be likely to fall and do injury to the public. Any tree not trimmed as herein provided shall be deemed hazardous.
Any tree or part thereof, whether alive or dead, which the Director of Public Works shall find to be infected, hazardous or a nuisance so as to endanger the public or other trees, plants or shrubs growing within the Village, or to be injurious to sewers, sidewalks or other public improvements whether growing upon public or private premises, shall be removed, trimmed or treated by the owner of the property upon or adjacent to which such tree or part thereof is located. The Director of Public Works shall give written notice to said owner to remedy the situation which shall be served personally or posted upon the affected tree. Such notice shall specifically state the period of time within which the action must be taken, which shall be within not less than 24 hours nor more than 14 days as determined by the Director of Public Works on the basis of the seriousness of the condition of the tree or danger to the public. If the owner shall fail to remove, treat or trim said tree within the time limited, the Director of Public Works shall cause the tree to be removed, treated or trimmed and shall report the full cost thereof to the Village Clerk/Treasurer who shall thereupon enter such cost as a special charge against the property.
No person shall plant or maintain within the Village of Blue Mounds any female tree of the species Populous deltoides, commonly called the "cottonwood," or any tree commonly called the seed-bearing Box elder or Acer negundo, which may now or hereafter become infested with Box elder bugs, and such trees are hereby declared a nuisance. Any person having any such trees on his premises shall cause the same to be removed. If any owner shall fail to remove any such tree within 30 days after receiving written notice from the Director of Public Works, the Director shall cause the removal of such tree and report the full cost thereof to the Village Clerk/Treasurer, who shall place such charge upon the next tax roll as a special charge against the premises.
No person shall hereafter plant any catalpa, Chinese elm, White poplar, Lombardy poplar, or any fruit or nut tree in or upon any public street, parkway, boulevard or other public place within the Village of Blue Mounds unless he shall first secure written permission from the Director of Public Works, who shall not approve any such planting if in his opinion said tree will constitute a nuisance to the public or adjoining property owners or interfere with the safety of the public or the operation of any sewer or water system. The Director of Public Works shall cause the removal of any tree planted in violation of this section.
The penalty for violation of any provision of this article shall be a penalty as provided in § 1-3 of the Village Code.
[Adopted 5-10-2006 by Ord. No. A-183]
It is the policy of the Village to regulate and provide for the control of planting, removal, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs in or upon all public areas and terrace areas of the Village; to eliminate and guard against dangerous conditions which may result in injury to persons using the streets, alleys, sidewalks or other public areas; to promote and enhance the beauty and general welfare of the Village; to prohibit the undesirable and unsafe planting, removal, treatment and maintenance of trees and shrubs located in public areas; and to guard all trees and shrubs, both public and private, within the Village against the spread of disease insects or pests.
The provisions of this article shall apply to trees and shrubs growing or hereafter planted in or upon public areas and terrace areas and also to all trees and shrubs growing or to be planted in or upon any private property which shall threaten the life, health, safety or welfare of the public or of any public areas.
Wis. Stats. § 27.09, relating to the Village Forester duties and tree planting, and § 86.03, regarding tree obstructions adjacent to highways, and any amendments thereto, are hereby adopted and incorporated herein by reference.
Whenever the following words or terms are used in this article, they shall be construed to have the following meaning:
- A person, firm, association, LLC, LLP, corporation or other business entity.
- PUBLIC AREAS
- Includes all public parks and other lands owned, controlled or leased by the Village, except the terrace areas.
- A. Any tree or shrub or part thereof which by reason of its condition interferes with the use of any public area; is infected with a plant disease; is infested with injurious insects or pests; is injurious to public improvements; or endangers the life, health, safety or welfare of persons or property.
- B. Dutch elm disease, defined as follows:
- (1) Any living or standing elm tree or part thereof infected with Dutch elm disease fungus Ceratocystis ulmi (Buisman) or which harbors any of the elm bark beetle Scolytus multistriatus (Eich.) or Hylurgopinus rufipes (Marsh).
- (2) Any dead elm or part thereof, including logs, branches, stumps, firewood or other elm material not buried or burned or from which the bark has not been removed.
- PUBLIC TREES AND SHRUBS
- All trees and shrubs located or to be planted in or upon public areas.
- TERRACE AREAS
- The land between the edge of the paved street or street curb and the sidewalk. Where there is no sidewalk, the area within the public right-of-way that is four feet from the edge of the paved street or street curb shall be deemed to be a terrace for the purpose of this article.
- The Village of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin.
- VILLAGE FORESTER
- The Public Works Director. In addition to the duties and authority set forth in this article, the Village Forester shall also have the duties and authority set forth in Wis. Stats. § 27.09.
The Village Park and Recreation Committee is designated as the Village Tree Board. The Park and Recreation Committee, as the Village Tree Board, shall have the following powers and duties:
To prepare and recommend to the Village Board a plan for the planting, care and maintenance of trees in the Village, including the number, species and location. To annually review the progress of said plan and assist in plan implementation.
To annually conduct Arbor Day observance and ceremonies.
To work towards and maintain Tree City, USA, status.
To review and assess other tree or landscaping issues as may be directed by the Village Board.
To hear appeals and conduct hearings as required under this article.
Whenever the Village Forester shall find upon examination or inspection that any tree or shrub or part thereof, whether alive or dead, is infected, hazardous or a public nuisance, as defined herein, so as to endanger the public or other trees, plants or shrubs growing within the Village, or to be injurious to sewers, sidewalks, streets, traffic, or other public improvements, whether growing upon public or private premises, shall be abated, removed, trimmed or treated by the owner of the property upon or adjacent to which such tree or part thereof is located. In the event that the owner does not cause such abatement, removal, trimming or treatment, the Forester shall conduct the abatement as required herein, or cause the tree or shrub to be trimmed, sprayed, removed, or burned in such manner as to destroy or prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch elm disease fungus or the insects or pests known to carry such disease.
Except as provided below, the Village Forester is authorized to abate any public nuisance or conduct any tree or shrub trimming, removal or trimming on all public property, including but not limited to parks, parkways, streets and boulevards.
Before abating any public nuisance on private property or in any terrace areas, the Village Forester shall proceed as follows:
Removal order process.
If the Village Forester determines that danger to health, safety or welfare of the public, or danger to other elm trees is not imminent, the Village Forester shall make a written report of the public nuisance and make recommendations to the Park and Recreation Committee.
The Park and Recreation Committee shall proceed with a notice and hearing as provided in Wis. Stats. § 27.09(4), including two weeks' advance written notice to the property owner (or abutting property owner) of the recommended work or abatement action to be taken, the timing of the work, and the date and time of the Park and Recreation Committee meeting at which the hearing on the recommended work or abatement will be considered.
At said hearing, the Park and Recreation Committee shall consider, amend, approve or deny the recommendations of the Village Forester. Subject to the recommendation and approval of the Park and Recreation Committee, the Forester shall then order the property owner to abate the public nuisance. Such order shall state the period of time within which the action must be taken, which shall be within not less than 24 hours nor more than 14 days.
If the owner shall fail to abate the nuisance or remove, treat or trim said tree within the time limit, the Village Forester shall cause the nuisance to be abated or cause the tree to be removed, treated or trimmed and shall report the full cost thereof to the Village Clerk/Treasurer.
If the Village Forester determines that danger to health, safety or welfare of the public, or the danger to other elm trees within the Village is imminent, the Village Forester shall give written notice to said owner to remedy the situation, which shall be served personally or posted upon the affected tree. Such notice shall specifically state the period of time within which the action must be taken, which shall be within not less than 24 hours nor more than 14 days as determined by the Village Forester on the basis of the seriousness of the condition of the tree or danger to the public. If the owner shall fail to remove, treat or trim said tree within the time limit, the Village Forester shall cause the tree to be removed, treated or trimmed and shall report the full cost thereof to the Village Clerk/Treasurer, who shall thereupon enter such cost as a special charge against the property.
No damage shall be awarded to the owner for destruction of any elm tree, elm wood, elm material or any part thereof pursuant to this chapter.
The entire cost of abating any public nuisance as defined herein shall be charged to and assessed against the parcel or lot abutting the street, alley, boulevard or parkway upon or in which such tree is located or stands, in accordance with Wis. Stats. § 66.0627 or 27.09(5). The cost of abating any public nuisance or part thereof which is located in or upon any park, parkway, terrace area, or public grounds shall be borne by the Village. The entire cost of planting, removal, Dutch elm disease treatment or removal, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs on all terrace areas in the Village shall be borne by the Village.
Permit required. No person, except upon order of the Village Forester, shall plant or remove, or do major alterations as determined by the Forester, on a tree or shrub in the public right-of-way terrace area or any public area or cause such act to be done by others without first obtaining a written permit for such work from the Village Forester as herein provided.
Permit exemptions. No permit shall be required to cultivate, fertilize or water trees or shrubs. No permit is necessary to plant trees inside the property line.
Permit requirements and conditions. If the Village Forester determines that the proposed work or planting described in an application for a permit is necessary and in accord with the purposes of this article, and taking into account the safety, health and welfare of the public, location of utilities, public sidewalk, driveways and streetlights, general character of the area in which the tree or shrub is located or proposed to be located, type of soil, and characteristics of the tree or shrub, the Forester may issue a permit to the applicant.
Permit form; expiration; inspection. Every permit shall be issued by the Village Forester on a standard form and shall include a description of the work to be done and shall specify the genus, species and variety, size, nursery grade and location of trees or shrubs to be planted, if any. Any work under such permit must be performed in strict accordance with the terms thereof and the provisions of this article. Permits issued under this section shall expire six months after date of issuance. There will be no charge for this permit.
Permits to public utilities.
Whenever a permit is issued under this section to a public utility to remove, trim, prune, cut, disturb, alter or do surgery on any public tree or shrub, the Village Forester shall limit the work to be done to the actual necessities of the utility and may assign an inspector to supervise the work done under the provisions of the permit. The expense of such inspection or supervision shall be charged to the utility at the usual Village rate.
A public utility may secure an annual working agreement with the Village Forester's office which gives the Village Forester the authorization to supervise and direct work done associated with trees and shrubs.
Trees, plants or shrubs planted within any terrace areas, public planting easement, or other public property without the authorization and approval of the Forester may be removed. The Forester shall notify the abutting owner in writing, listing the unlawfully planted trees, plants or shrubs, ordering their removal, and establishing a reasonable time within which such removal shall be accomplished. In the event that removal is not to be accomplished within the time specified, the Village may remove such trees, plants or shrubs and assess the costs thereof to the owner.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, no person shall maintain, plant or permit to remain on any private or public property situated at the intersection of two or more streets or alleys in the Village any hedge, tree, shrub, or other growth which may obstruct the view of the operator of any motor vehicle or pedestrian approaching such intersection.
It is unlawful for any person to plant, cause to grow, allow to grow, or maintain any trees, bushes, shrubs or vegetation of any kind which is an obstruction to the clear and complete vision of any traffic sign in the Village. It shall be the duty of every owner of such tree, bush, shrub or vegetation to remove such obstruction.
Any shrub, tree or other plant which obstructs the view at an intersection or the view of a traffic sign shall be deemed to be dangerous to public travel, and the Forester shall notify the property owner in writing, describing the conditions, stating the steps necessary to correct the conditions, and establishing a reasonable time within which the corrective steps shall be taken. In the event that effective steps are not taken within the time specified, it shall be lawful for the Village to abate these conditions to the extent necessary to assure compliance with the foregoing requirements, and the costs thereof shall be assessed to the property owner.
In cutting down trees located in public and terrace areas, the tree must be removed with the root stump grubbed out or ground out to a depth of at least nine inches below grade measured in a straight line, normal grade of sidewalk to top of curb. All wood and debris must be removed from the street prior to the end of each working day and all holes shall be filled to normal grade level with topsoil as soon as practicable.
No person shall, without the consent of the owner in the case of a private tree or shrub or without written permit from the Village Forester in the case of a terrace area tree, public tree or shrub, do or cause to be done by others any of the following acts:
Secure, fasten or run any rope, wire sign, unprotected electrical installation or other device or material to, around or through a tree or shrub.
Break, injure, mutilate, deface, kill or destroy any tree or shrub or permit any fire to burn where it will injure any tree or shrub.
Permit any toxic chemical, gas, smoke, oil or other injurious substance to seep, drain, or be emptied upon or about any tree or shrub, or place cement or other solid substance around the base of the same.
Remove any guard, stake or other device or material intended for the protection of a public tree or shrub, or close or obstruct any open space about the base of a public tree or shrub designed to permit access of air, water and fertilizer.
Attach any sign, poster, notice, or other object on any tree, or fasten any guy wire, cable, rope, nails, screws, or other device to any tree, except that the Village may tie temporary "no parking" signs to trees when necessary in conjunction with street improvement work, tree maintenance work, or parades.
Cause or encourage any fire or burning near or around any tree.
All trees on any park or other publicly owned property near any excavation or construction of any building, structure, or street work shall be sufficiently guarded and protected by those responsible for such work as to prevent any injury to said trees. No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or install pavement within a radius of 10 feet from any public tree without a permit from the Village Forester.
The Village Forester or his/her authorized representative may enter upon private property at all reasonable times for the purpose of examining any tree or shrub located upon or over such property and to carry out any provisions of this article.
No person shall interfere with the Village Forester or his/her authorized representative while engaged in carrying out any work or activities authorized by this article.
Any person who receives determination or order from the Village Forester and objects to all or any part thereof may appeal in writing to the Park and Recreation Committee within seven days of receipt of the order, and the Park and Recreation Committee shall hear such appeal within 30 days of receipt of written notice of the appeal. After such hearing, the Park and Recreation Committee may reverse, affirm, or modify the determination appealed from, and the grounds for its decision shall be stated in writing. The Park and Recreation Committee shall by letter, notify the party appealing the order or determination of its decision within 10 days after the hearing has been concluded and file its written decision with the Village Clerk/Treasurer.
The Village Forester is hereby authorized to issue municipal citations for violation of any provisions of this article. In addition to any other applicable penalty provided by law, any person who shall violate this article shall, upon conviction, forfeit an amount as provided in § 1-3 of the Village Code.