No person shall plant any tree, shrub or other vegetation within the limits of any public street, park or public right-of-way area without first obtaining a permit from the Superintendent of Public Works and complying with the following requirements: Such permit shall be granted upon the determination of the Superintendent of Public Works, after consulting with the Police Department and the Conservation Advisory Council, that such a planting will not create a traffic hazard and will not interfere with the use of such a street, park, or public area by the public, 'that such planting will enhance the beauty and appearance of the street, park or public area and the surrounding area, and that such planting meets the goals and objectives of the City with regard to green infrastructure and urban forestry objectives. The Conservation Advisory Council may also consult with any other City department which may provide information relating to the planting of the tree.
Trees planted within the limits of any public street, park or public area shall be of the species and quality approved by the Conservation Advisory Council and shall be planted at least 30 feet apart, unless otherwise authorized by the Superintendent in consultation with the Conservation Advisory Council and Arborist. Each tree planted shall measure not less than two inches' nursery caliper.
Should any tree, shrub or plant planted within the limits of any public street, park or public area, in the opinion of the Superintendent of Public Works, after consultation with the Police Department, the Arborist and the Conservation Advisory Council, at any time constitute a traffic hazard, interfere with the use of such street, park or public area by the public or detract from the beauty and appearance of the street, park or public area or the surrounding area, such tree, shrub or plant will be pruned or removed as necessary.
The general care, pruning and maintenance of all trees and shrubs planted within the limits of any public street or public place shall be vested in the Superintendent of Public Works.
No shade or ornamental tree or shrub in any public street, park or public area in the City shall be cut, pruned, broken, climbed, injured, sprayed, cabled, fertilized, treated, damaged, destroyed or removed, nor shall the roots, stems, branches or leaves of any such tree or shrub be cut, broken or otherwise disturbed, until or unless a permit therefor has been approved by the Superintendent of Public Works. Such a permit is not necessary for the usual periodical removal of small branches to allow the free passage of wires, but any such work will be subject to the inspection of the Superintendent of Public Works; and where such work is not up to standard, any expense incurred by the City in repairing the same will be charged to the public utility responsible.
No person not duly authorized by the Superintendent of Public Works shall place any rope, sign, poster or other fixture on either a tree or guard thereof standing in the public street, park or public area or damage, misuse or remove any device placed to protect such tree or shrub.
No person shall pour salt water or other injurious chemicals upon any public highway or place within the City in such a way as to injure any tree planted or growing thereon.
No horse or other animal shall be permitted to stand in any public street, park or public area within the City in such a manner or position that it may cut, deface or mutilate any tree or shrub standing thereon.
In the erection or repair of any building or structure, the owner thereof shall place such guards around all nearby trees standing in any public street, park or public area to effectually prevent injury thereto. To the extent possible, the guards shall be placed at a minimum standard of one foot of radius for each diameter inch of tree.
Any person, including public utilities, their agents, servants and employees, is prohibited from climbing trees with the aid of spurs.
Any wires of the public utilities passing among the branches of City trees shall be properly insulated so as to prevent damage to said trees.
No person shall, without the written permission of the Superintendent of Public Works, attach any electrical or other wire, insulators or any device for the holding of an electric or other wire to any tree growing or planted upon any public street, park or public area, nor shall the approved attachments be attached to the tree in such a manner as to girdle or restrict growth.
Every person having any wire charged with electricity extending over a public street, park or public area within the City shall, upon written notice from the Superintendent of Public Works, temporarily remove such wire or discontinue the transmission of the electric current through the same when necessary for the safety of workmen engaged upon the trees or shrubs growing on such public street, park or public area. The work of removing such wire or ceasing of the transmission of electricity through it shall be completed within 24 hours after the service of a written notice by said Superintendent making such request.
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with the Superintendent of Public Works or any of his employees in the planting, pruning, spraying, removing or otherwise treating of any tree or shrub standing or growing in the public street, park or public area within the City or in the removal of stone, cement or other substance about the trunk of any such tree or shrub which, in the opinion of said Superintendent, tends to retard its growth.
Property owners and other persons are prohibited from planting silver maples and allied species, ailanthus and poplars of any variety within a distance of 20 feet from any public street, sidewalk, park or public place.
No person shall remove a tree greater than eight inches in diameter, measured 54 inches from the base of said tree, in an historic district, without first having a tree removal permit approved by the Superintendent of Public Works.
The Superintendent of Public Works is authorized and empowered to obtain the assistance of the Arborist or other persons professionally trained and experienced in tree planting, preservation and landscaping.
Where privately owned trees encroach upon any public street, park or public area, the Superintendent of Public Works or the Building Inspector may serve, personally or by mail, upon the owner of such property, a written notice to trim the encroaching branches. If such owner fails to comply with such notice, the City may abate such condition and assess a lien against the property for the costs of such abatement, together with an administrative fee of 15%, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chapter 226 of the City Code.
Where any dead tree or trees located on private property adjacent to a public street, park or public area constitute a danger or are potentially dangerous to the traveling public, the Superintendent of Public Works or Building Inspector may serve personally or by mail upon the owner of such property a written notice to remove the dead tree. If such owner fails to comply with such notice, the City may abate such condition and assess a lien against the property for the costs of such abatement, together with an administrative fee of 15%, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chapter 226 of the City Code.
A tree may be designated as protected by the Architectural Review Commission after consultation with the CAC and a public hearing. Such designation may be made because of the tree's age, history, uniqueness or special beauty. Such designation may be made anywhere within the limits of the City. No protected tree designation may be made without written consent of the tree's owner.
Trees designated as protected may not be removed unless the Superintendent of Public Works, as advised by the Arborist, determines, because of their condition, they are a danger to persons or property or that they are diseased and cannot be saved.
Whenever any tree or trees are removed, cut down, damaged or destroyed in violation of this article, the removal, cutting, damaging or destroying of each and every tree shall be construed as a separate and independent offense. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this article will be required to replace in kind each and every tree removed, cut down or destroyed. If the tree was so large and so mature that it cannot be replaced, the Superintendent of Public Works may require the planting of multiple trees. If multiple trees cannot be planted on the site of the violation, other available planting spaces on public property will be used to accommodate the balance of the penalty. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any new construction on property on which occurred any violation of this article unless and until the provisions of this subsection have been complied with.
In addition to any other penalty, any person, firm or corporation, or the individual hired by such person, firm or corporation, violating any provision of this article shall be subject to prosecution as a violation and, upon conviction, shall subject the violator to penalties prescribed by § 1-12 of the City Code of Ordinances or shall be subject to a civil penalty of $500, collectable by the City in a civil action, and shall be subject by an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance or to restrain by injunction, notwithstanding the fact that the above penalties are also provided for, sought or imposed for such violation.
In addition to the foregoing, any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of tree removal or care who or which shall aid, assist or abet in the violation of this article may be denied the status of a permittee under this article for a reasonable period of time to ensure future compliance, in the discretion of the Superintendent of Public Works, subject to appeal to the City Manager.
The Superintendent of Public Works and the Building Inspector, with the assistance of the police, shall enforce this article.