City of Weldon Spring, MO
St. Charles County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 01-14 §1(Art. I §§1.1 — 1.2), 6-12-2001]
A. 
Purpose And Intent. The purpose of this Chapter is to conserve relative large trees and to protect trees from unnecessary damage and destruction. It is the intent of this Chapter to minimize the removal of protected trees, to ensure that reasonable measures are taken to minimize such removal and to ensure that protected trees that are removed are adequately replaced. It is the further intent of this Chapter to be consistent with and supplement the regulations contained in the landscaping requirements found in the City's Zoning Ordinance.
B. 
Applicability. A pre-development tree plan shall be prepared, submitted to the City and approved by the appropriate board or commission prior to removal of any protected tree except as specifically exempted by this Chapter. This Chapter shall apply to every site development plan, minor site plan, preliminary subdivision plat, area plan, final plan and section plan filed after the effective date of this Chapter and shall apply to every individual proposing to remove a monarch tree after the effective date of this Section except as exempted by Section 215.030(A). No monarch tree, as defined herein, shall be removed without a tree removal permit except as allowed by Section 215.030(A). The procedures and requirements contained in this Chapter are in addition to the procedures and requirements contained in other City ordinances which shall remain applicable to the parcel for which the application is filed. In case of conflict between the provisions of any other City ordinance with provisions of this Chapter, the more restrictive requirement shall control unless the context clearly shows otherwise.
[Ord. No. 01-14 §1(Art. II §§2.1 — 2.2), 6-12-2001]
A. 
This Section provides the general rules for interpreting language and the definition of terms, words and phrases within this Chapter.
B. 
Rules For Interpreting Language. For the purposes of this Chapter, certain terms, words or phrases used herein shall be interpreted as follows: the words "shall" and "must" are mandatory, the word "may" is permissive; the word "person" includes a firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company or corporation as well as an individual; the present tense includes the future tense, the singular number includes the plural and the plural number includes the singular unless the context clearly indicates otherwise; the word "lot" includes the words "plot", "parcel", "tract", "site" and "space".
C. 
Definitions Of Words, Terms And Phrases. For the purpose of the administration and enforcement of this Chapter and unless otherwise stated in this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have a meaning as indicated herein. All words not specifically defined herein shall have a meaning as found in a recent English language dictionary.
CALIPER
The diameter of a tree measured one (1) foot above ground level.
CROWN
The main mass of branching of a tree above the ground.
DRIP LINE
The outmost perimeter of the crown of a tree as projected vertically to the ground.
MASS OF TREES
A group of trees located in such close proximity that no one (1) tree is more than thirty (30) feet from any other tree and which contains:
1. 
Five (5) or more deciduous trees of at least three (3) inch caliper size,
2. 
Five (5) or more coniferous trees at least six (6) feet in height, or
3. 
A combination of five (5) or more such deciduous and coniferous trees.
MONARCH TREE
A tree which has a life expectancy of greater than fifteen (15) years, has a relatively sound and solid trunk with no extensive decay, no more than one (1) major and several minor dead limbs (if deciduous), no major insect or disease problems and has a diameter of at least twenty-four (24) inches if deciduous or twenty (20) inches if coniferous.
PROTECTED TREE
Any deciduous tree that has a caliper of six (6) inches or more and any coniferous tree exceeding ten (10) feet in height unless any such tree is specifically defined by this Section as an unprotected tree or is otherwise exempted by this Chapter.
REMOVE
To relocate, cut down, damage, poison or in any other manner destroy or cause a tree to be destroyed.
STREET TREE — APPROVED
A deciduous hardwood tree with a minimum caliper of three (3) inches and with a clear trunk of at least six (6) feet which is suitable for urban environments, is tolerant of disease and salt and is included in the following list:
1. 
Thornless Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos "inermis")
2. 
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
3. 
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
4. 
Hedge Maple (Acer campestre)
5. 
Seedless Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica "Marshall Seedless")
6. 
White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
7. 
Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
8. 
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
9. 
Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)
10. 
Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
11. 
Little Leaf Linden (Tilia cordata)
12. 
Silver Linden (Tilia tomentosum)
TREE
A woody perennial plant with a single main stem having a caliper of at least three (3) inches.
TREE PROTECTION ZONE
A circular zone around a monarch tree or protected tree which shall encompass the entire drip line of the tree but in no case shall be less than a radius of six (6) feet around the tree.
UNDISTURBED TREE AREA
A portion of a site which is identified on a predevelopment tree plan as an area containing a mass of trees in which no tree will be removed or adversely affected during development.
UNPROTECTED TREE
A tree that is not a monarch tree, not an approved street tree, does not meet the minimum caliper or height requirements to be a protected tree or regardless of its caliper size or height is not a species protected by this Chapter because it is a nuisance tree, is an undesirable softwood variety or may be intolerant of disease. Such trees include, but are not limited to, the following species:
1. 
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
2. 
Lombardy Black Poplar (Populus nigra "Italica")
3. 
Mulberry (Morus alba)
4. 
Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)
5. 
Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus glandulosa)
6. 
Common Crab Apple (Malus spp.)
7. 
Black Willow (Salix nigra)
8. 
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) (female varieties only)
9. 
All species and varieties of elm, Zelkova and planera affected with the fungus Creatosomella ulmi
[Ord. No. 01-14 §1(Art. III §§3.1 — 3.7), 6-12-2001]
A. 
Exemptions. The following are exempt from the provisions of this Section and will not require a tree removal permit:
1. 
Single-family lots of five (5) acres or less. Any lot or parcel of land of five (5) acres or less in size which existed or received final plat approval prior to the effective date of this Section and that is within a single-family zoning district and used for a single-family residence shall be exempt from the requirements of this Chapter.
2. 
Unprotected trees. Unprotected trees as defined in Section 215.020(C) shall be exempt from the requirements of this Chapter.
3. 
Tree farms. Any land used as part of a tree farm is exempt from the requirements of this Chapter in regard to trees grown specifically to be harvested.
4. 
Logging operations. Any logging operations existing prior to the effective date of this Chapter may continue and shall be exempt from the requirements of this Chapter. Any logging operations established on or after the effective date of this Chapter shall be subject to all requirements of this Chapter.
5. 
Utility operations. Tree removals by duly constituted communication, water, sewer, electrical, gas or other utility companies or Federal, State or County agencies, or engineers or surveyors working under contract with such utility companies or agencies shall be exempt, provided that any removal is limited to those areas necessary for maintenance of existing lines or facilities or for the construction of major new lines or facilities, such as interceptor and force main sewers and major transmission lines in furtherance of providing utility service to its customers and, provided further, that the activity is conducted so as to avoid any unnecessary removal. In addition, in the case of aerial electrical utility lines, removal of protected trees shall not be greater than the requirements specified by the National Electrical Safety Codes as necessary to achieve safe electrical clearances. The installation of minor utility lines for new subdivisions and similar developments including, but not limited to, laterals, distribution and collection mains and lines serving individual lots are not included in this exemption.
6. 
Surveyors. A Missouri licensed land surveyor in the performance of his/her duties provided such tree removal is limited to a swath three (3) feet or less in width and every effort is made to work around protected trees and remove limbs rather than entire trees and that no monarch tree is removed.
7. 
Emergencies. In case of a tornado, severe wind storm, ice storm or other similar emergency, the Board of Aldermen may suspend these three (3) protection regulations to facilitate clearing of damaged trees in furtherance of protecting the public health, safety and convenience.
8. 
Dead or dying trees. Dead trees or trees that are dying may be removed without a permit.
B. 
Pre-Development Tree Plan. The applicant for any site development plan, minor site plan, preliminary subdivision plat or area plan shall cause a tree plan to be prepared for the site proposed for development. For minor site plan applications, the tree plan need only show the area affected by new impervious surfaces and any monarch trees or protected trees to be removed. The tree plan shall be submitted with the site development plan, minor site plan, preliminary subdivision plat or area plan application. The tree plan shall include a survey of the entire site covered by the application with the site divided into grids of approximately two hundred (200) feet square (forty thousand (40,000) square feet). The tree plan shall indicate the following within each grid:
1. 
A clear indication of any undisturbed tree areas and the square footage of such undisturbed tree areas.
2. 
The location of every monarch tree and every protected tree, the species, and the caliper size if deciduous or a monarch tree, or the height if coniferous unless the monarch tree or protected tree is within an undisturbed tree area. Any dead or dying monarch tree shall also be noted if not located within an undisturbed tree area.
3. 
The location of every unprotected tree which is proposed for removal including the species or caliper size or height sufficient to determine that it is an unprotected tree.
4. 
A notation of all monarch trees and all protected trees to remain (except those within an undisturbed tree area) and all monarch trees and all protected trees to be removed. In the case of a monarch tree, the reason for removal shall also be provided.
5. 
A tally of the total number of monarch trees and the total number of protected trees to be removed. The tally shall also include the total number of protected trees to remain and the total number of protected trees to be removed within each two hundred (200) foot square grid.
C. 
Conditions For Removal Of Monarch Trees. Monarch trees may be removed after the acquisition of a tree removal permit which will include a determination by the Zoning Commissioner or his/her designee that one (1) of the following reasons has been met for each monarch tree to be removed and that replacement trees will be added to the site based on the replacement schedule in Subsection (D). The reason for removal shall be indicated on the predevelopment tree plan.
1. 
Trees within a roadway. Monarch trees within the paved area of a proposed road may be removed after preliminary subdivision plat approval provided that efforts were made to the satisfaction of the Planning and Zoning Commission to route roads around the monarch trees during the layout of the subdivision.
2. 
Trees within the building footprint. Monarch trees within the proposed building footprint may be removed after approval of a site development plan, final plan or section plan provided that efforts were made to the satisfaction of the Board of Aldermen to position the building in an effort to save the monarch tree.
3. 
Proximity to structures. Monarch trees may be removed when the Board of Aldermen determine that they are located in such proximity to an existing structure that the safety, utility or structural integrity of the structure is materially impaired and that such safety, utility or structural integrity cannot be maintained through the removal of one (1) or more offending limbs of the tree.
4. 
Compliance with City ordinances. Monarch trees located on steep slopes (slopes having a grade exceeding one (1) foot vertical to three (3) feet horizontal (3:1 slope)) or in close proximity to watercourses or that pose a significant detriment to compliance with other City ordinances may be removed. The applicant shall work with the City staff to try to preserve such trees and shall document the reasons why any such tree needs to be removed.
5. 
Traffic hazard. Monarch trees which create a hazard to motor, bicycle or pedestrian traffic by virtue of physical proximity to traffic or impairment of vision may be removed.
6. 
Diseased trees. Any monarch tree which is diseased or weakened by age, storm or fire and is likely to cause injury to people or damage to buildings or other improvements may be removed.
D. 
Replacement Of Removed Trees. Monarch trees removed pursuant to Subsection (C), and protected trees removed pursuant to the tree plan required by Subsection (B), shall be replaced at the developer's expense based on the following schedule:
1. 
For every monarch tree removed based on the conditions enumerated in Subsection (C), one (1) replacement tree shall be installed for every three (3) inches of diameter of the monarch tree (for example, a twenty-four (24) inch diameter monarch tree will be replaced by eight (8) three (3) inch diameter trees). Where fractional trees result, the number of replacement trees required shall be the next greater whole number.
2. 
Within each grid, as described in Subsection (B), fifty percent (50%) of the protected trees should be retained. For every protected tree removed over this fifty percent (50%) figure, two (2) replacement trees shall be installed.
3. 
A replacement tree may consist of a deciduous tree which is not a species identified as an unprotected tree and is a minimum of three (3) inch caliper size.
4. 
Replacement trees shall be installed on the site of the removed tree or, at the discretion of the Board of Aldermen, may be installed on a City park site.
E. 
Tree Removal Credits. For every one thousand (1,000) square feet of undisturbed tree area on a site, a credit of one (1) replacement tree shall be earned.
F. 
Tree Removal Permit. A tree removal permit shall be required prior to the removal of any monarch tree or any protected tree except as exempted by Subsection (A). An application shall be filed with the Zoning Commissioner indicating the reason for removing the protected tree and indicating how and when the removed tree will be replaced. Such permit may be filed for more than one (1) tree provided that all trees proposed for removal are on the same site.
1. 
Contents of an application. The application for a tree removal permit shall provide the following information:
a. 
Name of the applicant.
b. 
Address of the property from which tree(s) is to be removed.
c. 
Name of the approved site development plan, minor site plan or preliminary subdivision plat for the property (if applicable).
d. 
Size of the site in acres.
e. 
Number of monarch and protected trees to be removed including the reason for removal of each tree.
f. 
A copy of the tree plan if the application is for a site which received site development plan, minor site plan or preliminary subdivision plat approval subsequent to the effective date of this Section.
g. 
For single-family lots larger than five (5) acres, a sketch of the property indicating the approximate location of all trees to be removed.
h. 
The location where all replacement trees will be planted, with a schedule indicating the number, species and size.
2. 
Review and approval of the application. The application, along with all necessary supporting information, shall be submitted to the Zoning Commissioner. The Zoning Commissioner or designee shall have thirty (30) working days to review the application. At the end of that period, the Zoning Commissioner or designee shall approve the permit application, request additional information necessary to meet the requirements of Subsection (A) above, or shall deny the permit enumerating in writing the reasons for denial.
G. 
Protection Of Trees During Development Activities. To assure the health and survival of monarch trees and protected trees that are not to be removed, the developer shall avoid the following kinds of tree injuries during all development activities.
1. 
Mechanical injuries to roots, trunk and branches.
a. 
Prior to any land preparation or other development activities, a protective barrier easily visible to equipment operators shall be placed around all monarch trees and protected trees so as to encompass the entire tree protection zone.
b. 
No attachment, wires (other than supporting wires), signs or permits may be fastened to any monarch tree or protected tree.
c. 
No equipment, construction materials or debris of any kind shall be driven or placed within the protective barrier.
d. 
In lieu of constructing the barriers around individual trees as required above, the developer may physically designate large areas as undisturbed tree areas where no land preparation or other development activities of any kind will occur. The area shall be designated by placing stakes a maximum of twenty-five (25) feet apart and tying ribbon, plastic tape, rope or some other suitable material from stake to stake along the outside perimeter of the area. This perimeter line shall be beyond the tree protection zone of any monarch trees and protected trees growing within the area.
e. 
Required protective barriers and perimeter lines shall remain in place until all construction activity, except landscaping within the protected area, is completed.
2. 
Injuries by chemical poisoning.
a. 
No fuel, paint, solvent, oil, thinner, asphalt, cement, grout or any other construction chemical or other material or tools of any kind shall be stored or allowed in any manner to enter within a required protective barrier or perimeter line.
b. 
No equipment shall be cleaned within a required protective barrier or perimeter line.
3. 
Injuries by grade changes. Grade changes shall not be made within the tree protection zone unless special protective measures are taken. The specific plan for protecting trees due to any grade changes within the tree protection zone shall be submitted with the site development plan, minor site plan or preliminary subdivision plat application and shall be approved by the Zoning Commissioner or designee prior to commencement of development.
4. 
Injuries by excavations.
a. 
Water, sewer, gas and other similar utility lines should be routed around the tree protection zones of monarch trees and protected trees.
b. 
If a line cannot reasonably be routed around the tree protection zone, the line shall be tunneled instead of trenched beneath the area within the zone. The tunnel shall be offset to one (1) side of the trunk to prevent damage to the main taproots.
5. 
Injuries by paving. Porous paving may be placed within the tree protection zone of a protected tree, so long as no damage is inflicted to the tree by grade change, compaction of the soil, or any other cause.
[Ord. No. 01-14 §1(Art. IV §§4.1 — 4.5), 6-12-2001]
A. 
Maintenance. All trees installed to comply with the provisions of this Section shall be properly maintained and any such tree that dies or becomes diseased within two (2) years of the issuance of final plat approval for a subdivision or the issuance of a land use permit for a building approved through a site development plan or minor site plan shall be replaced by the person who installed the trees.
B. 
Escrow. For any site for which replacement trees are required, the owner of the site shall be responsible to provide an escrow fund to ensure installation and maintenance of such replacement trees. The escrow amount shall be an amount equal to the installed cost of one (1) three (3) inch caliper Red Maple tree for each replacement tree required. The escrow funds shall not be totally released by the City until twelve (12) months after all replacement trees have been installed, but the Zoning Commissioner or his/her designee may authorize partial release from time to time.
C. 
Tree Protection Enforcement. The City, through the Code Enforcement Officer, may initiate injunction or abatement proceedings or other appropriate action in the courts against any person who violates or fails to comply with any provisions of this Chapter, or against the owner or agent of the owner of any property on which a tree protection violation occurs. Any person who violates or fails to comply with any provisions of this Chapter or the owner of property on which a violation occurs shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Subsection (D).
D. 
Violations And Penalties. Every monarch tree and protected tree that is removed from a site or injured during site development without a tree removal permit and every monarch tree and protected tree that is removed from a site subsequent to site development without a tree removal permit (except those specifically exempted by this Chapter) shall be a violation of this Chapter and the owner shall replace the trees based on the schedule in Section 215.030(D) and shall pay upon conviction to the City a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) per tree, but at least two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) per tree.
E. 
Variances. The Board of Aldermen shall retain the discretion to waive certain provisions of this Chapter in order to allow for reasonable development of tracts of ground, so long as the developer's plan is consistent with the need for conservation and protection of trees.