Village of Cottage Grove, WI
Dane County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of Village of Cottage Grove 8-18-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee — See Ch. 12, § 12-2.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 230.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 250.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 274.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintenance, protection and removal of trees and shrubs within the Village of Cottage Grove.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given in this section:
PRIVATE TREES
Any and all trees growing on private property within the Village limits as of or after the effective date of this chapter and which are not defined or designated in this chapter as street trees, park trees or public trees.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Any tree or shrub or part thereof growing upon private or public property which interferes with the use of any public area, is infected with an infectious pest or endangers the life, health, safety or welfare of persons or property.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
A portion of property reserved for public use and accepted for such use by the Village to provide circulation and travel to abutting properties, including but not limited to streets, alleys, sidewalks, provisions for public utilities, cut and fill slopes and public open spaces.
PUBLIC TREES
All trees growing on any street, tree terrace, park or any public place owned and/or managed by the Village of Cottage Grove as of or after the effective date of this chapter identified in this chapter or its successor ordinances.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any public, private or cooperatively owned line, facility or system for producing, transmitting or distributing communications, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil products, water, wastewater or stormwater which directly or indirectly serves the public or any part thereof within the corporate limits of the Village.
TREE TERRACE
The area between the curb and sidewalk and the area between the sidewalk and private property line that is Village-owned property, unpaved streetside Village property or an area on private property where an easement has been given to the Village for the purpose of planting trees.
TREE TOPPING
The specific reduction in the overall size of a tree and/or the cutting back of branches or limbs to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.
URBAN FORESTRY PROGRAM
The program which is a part of the Department of Public Works and which, at the direction of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee, is responsible for the care and maintenance of the urban forest resources located on Village property.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
VILLAGE FORESTER
The Village urban forester who is recommended to that position by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee, selected or appointed by the Village President and confirmed by the Village Board.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
A. 
Appointment. The Village of Cottage Grove may enter into a contract for the services of a Village Forester.
B. 
Powers and duties. The Village Forester shall have the following general powers and duties, subject to the direction and authorization of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee and Village Board, as detailed in the contract of employment:
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
(1) 
To recommend to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee and the Village Board regarding the Village street tree program, including all planting, removal, maintenance and protection of all trees and shrubs on all public areas, and to further direct, manage and/or supervise any aspects of the street tree program as recommended by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee and Village Board.
(2) 
To guard all trees and shrubs within the Village so as to prevent the spread of disease or pests and to eliminate dangerous conditions as determined by the Village Forester which may affect the life, health or safety of persons or property.
C. 
The Village Forester, after giving advance notice to and receiving permission from the property owner or tenant having charge, shall have the authority to enter upon private premises at reasonable times for the purpose of examining and inspecting any suspected nuisance tree or shrub. Should the landowner deny permission to enter the property for inspection purposes, a special inspection warrant shall be applied for and executed according to ss. 66.122 and 66.123, Wis. Stats.
D. 
Abatement. If the Village Forester shall find any private or public premises infested with injurious insects or plant disease or if any tree, shrub or plant upon private premises endangers the public, interferes with vehicular or pedestrian traffic or is injurious to any public utility, he/she shall provide the owner or person having charge of such premises notice of required corrective action. If such owner or occupant does not comply with said notice within a minimum two-week period, the Village Forester may, to the extent allowed by law, cause the work to be done and all costs involved charged against the property as a special assessment. No damages shall be awarded to the owner for the destruction of any tree pursuant to this section.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 294-4, Urban forestry plan, was repealed 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017.
A. 
The developer of new subdivisions, residential, commercial or industrial development, shall pay for the cost of tree plantings in tree terraces as defined in § 294-2.
(1) 
If an exact count of trees for the development cannot be determined, the fee for such plantings shall be determined as follows:
(a) 
Number of trees equals total running feet curb frontage in subdivision or along property.
(b) 
Proper spacing of trees for tree terrace width (20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet): as defined in Subsection B(2) and (4).
(c) 
Price per tree: $200 (subject to change or reviewed on an annual basis).
(2) 
All fees collected shall be used only for planting and replacement operations in the specific subdivision or property for which the fees are paid. The Village Forester shall oversee the planting and maintenance of such trees at such times and places as the development of the property, its occupants and other conditions allow.
B. 
Tree plantings shall conform to these guidelines:
(1) 
Tree species. The Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee has developed a list of desirable trees for planting along streets in three size classes, as listed in § 294-7.[2],[3]
[2]
Editor’s Note: The reference to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee in this subsection was changed to read “Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee” pursuant to Ord. No. 05-2014, adopted 7-7-2014.
[3]
Editor’s Note: Section 294-7 was amended to remove said list 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017. Tree lists can be found in the Village offices.
(2) 
Spacing. The spacing of street trees should be in accordance with the tree species size classes listed in § 294-7 of this chapter: large trees, 40 feet; medium trees, 30 feet; and small trees, 25 feet.[4] The Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee may approve variances to these guidelines for special plantings.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
[4]
Editor’s Note: Section 294-7 was amended to remove said list 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017. Tree lists can be found in the Village offices.
(3) 
Planting restrictions. All planting sites shall be at least 35 feet away from street corners (measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines), 20 feet from streetlights, 10 feet from fire hydrants, driveways and utility poles and five feet from any underground waterline or water stop box. Because of these complexities, exact planting locations shall be selected and staked by the Village Forester prior to planting.
(4) 
Utilities. Only street trees which reach a maximum mature height of 25 feet or less shall be planted under or within 20 lateral feet of any overhead utility wire. Every effort shall be made by public and private utility companies to utilize the public right-of-way/tree terrace in a cooperative manner. Underground utilities which parallel the abutting street shall be placed as close to the street or sidewalk as possible to minimize future tree/utility conflicts. This will allow tree planting in the center of the tree terrace, which will minimize future tree/concrete problems. Utilities placed in improper locations after the adoption date of this chapter may be required to be moved to proper locations if abuse of the public right-of-way has been determined.
(5) 
Distance from curb and sidewalk. Development of tree terraces less than four feet wide is not permitted without special approval of the Village Plan Commission and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee. The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the tree species size classes listed in § 294-7 of this chapter, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk without approval by the Village Forester than the following: small trees, two feet; medium trees, three feet; and large trees, four feet.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
(6) 
Tree preservation. In the development of new subdivisions or commercial property, the developer will work with the Village Forester in developing a tree preservation plan that shows exactly which trees are to be removed to install the infrastructure for the development. The developer will also provide a plan specifying methods of protecting trees not approved for removal. The developer shall ensure protective structures shall remain in place until construction on the site is complete. The Village Plan Commission, in conjunction with the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee, will review the tree preservation plan and must accept it as a condition for approval of the subdivision.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 274, Subdivision of Land.
A. 
No person shall plant, trim, spray or remove any tree, shrub or other plant in any Village tree terrace or other public place without a written permit issued by the Village Forester or Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee. Permit applications are available at the Village Hall. All work performed under permit is subject to inspection by the Village Forester. If work is found to be unacceptable under the standards specified in the permit, the permit holder must take corrective action within a period of no more than two weeks. If corrective action is not taken within this period, the Village Forester may, to the extent allowed by law, cause the work to be done and all costs involved charged against the permit holder as a special assessment.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
B. 
Topping. It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm or Village department to top any public tree 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 chapter by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
C. 
Excavation. No person or firm shall excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet from any public tree without first obtaining a written permit from the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
D. 
Placing materials on public property. No person or firm shall deposit, place or store upon any public place of the Village any stone, brick, dirt, sand, concrete or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air or nutrients to the roots of any tree on said property, except by written permit by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
E. 
Seasonal trimming and removal of oak and elm trees. To prevent the spread of the diseases known as "oak wilt" and "Dutch elm disease," no person or firm shall remove, trim or cause fresh wounds to any oak or elm tree or portion there of, including roots, within the Village of Cottage Grove between the dates of April 15 and July 15 without first securing written permission from the Village Forester. If storm damage work on these trees is required during this period, a sterile would dressing shall be applied to all cut surfaces as per ANSI A300-5.2.6 (American National Standard for Tree Care Operations).
[Amended 1-3-2006 by Ord. No. 01-2006]
[Amended 7-7-2014 by Ord. No. 05-2014; 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
A. 
The species of trees or such other trees as may be subsequently approved by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee or Village Board are acceptable to plant on the tree terraces in the Village of Cottage Grove with approval by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee.
B. 
These lists shall be located at the Village Municipal Building and maintained by the Village Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and the Village Forester.
[Added 3-16-2009 by Ord. No. 08-2008[1]]
A. 
Intent and purpose. The Village of Cottage Grove recognizes that specific trees in Cottage Grove are deserving of special status due to distinctive form, size, age, location, species, unique qualities or historical significance. It is the intent of this section to establish regulations for the identification, maintenance and removal of heritage trees within the Village in order to retain as many trees as possible consistent with the purpose of this section and the reasonable enjoyment of public property.
(1) 
This section applies to any Village-owned land, including but not limited to parks, terraces, easements and road rights-of-way.
(2) 
This section can also apply to any private property whose owners voluntarily nominate a tree.
B. 
"Heritage trees defined." As used in this section, a "heritage tree" means:
(1) 
Any deciduous tree (oak, hickory, walnut, etc.): 24 inches dbh.
(2) 
Any conifer tree (pine, spruce, etc.): 20 inches dbh.
(3) 
Any tree not meeting the above requirements of dbh may be considered if any one of the following criteria is present:
(a) 
Age greater than 50 years;
(b) 
Canopy spread or height are unusual for its diameter;
(c) 
A rare or unique species, whether native or not;
(d) 
Exceptional quality, i.e., shape, having more than one trunk, unusual bark, special beauty or horticultural interest;
(e) 
Historic significance, such as a tree linked to the past through photos and historical accounts as provided by citizens or the Cottage Grove Area Historical Society;
(f) 
Having ecological function(s) due to location, size, species, condition, nesting or roosting site;
(g) 
Situated in a site where it plays a critical role in stabilizing soil or providing shade needed by other plant or animal species;
(h) 
Having special aesthetic value due to its form or that serves in a landscape, i.e., a pair of trees that frame an entrance;
(i) 
Important local native species or trees that arc associated with the character of Cottage Grove;
(j) 
Any tree planted during Arbor Day observances or trees planted as public memorials; or
(k) 
Trees that affect the greater landscape beyond the property on which they grow.
(4) 
The tree shall be healthy, indicate at least a seventy-percent chance of surviving more than 10 years, and be able to be maintained without excessive threat to the public health, safety and welfare.
C. 
Protected tree location.
(1) 
"Public protected tree location" is defined as any land owned by the Village of Cottage Grove, other governmental agencies or authorities, i.e., the Vethe School Forest, or any land upon which easements are imposed for the benefit of the Village, including but not limited to rights-of-way, parks, public areas and easements for drainage, sewer, water and other public utilities.
(2) 
"Private property" is defined as any privately owned land within the Village of Cottage Grove limits and any annexed land at the time of annexation.
D. 
Procedure for designation on public and private property.
(1) 
The Village of Cottage Grove Forester may designate Heritage trees on public property in accordance with the above requirements.
(2) 
Interested persons may also participate by nominating a tree on Village-owned land in accordance with the above requirements.
(3) 
Private property owners may nominate a tree on their own land in accordance with the above requirements.
(4) 
Individuals wishing to nominate a tree on public or private property will submit an application to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee. Applications are available at Village Hall.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
(5) 
Nominations are initially screened by the Forester, after which the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee accepts or rejects the nomination based on the above criteria.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
(6) 
Following acceptance of the nomination, it is forwarded to the Village Board for approval.
(7) 
Upon approval, the tree is catalogued in the Heritage Tree Registry and photographed.
(8) 
If someone other than the Forester nominates a tree, that person is notified of the tree's official designation.
(9) 
The Village shall place a tag on all designated trees bearing substantially the following statement: "LOCAL HERITAGE TREE (Chapter 294 of the Village Code)."
(10) 
The Heritage Tree Registry and photos are kept on display at Village Hall.
E. 
Care, treatment and removal of designated heritage trees on public and private property.
(1) 
The Village Forester shall inspect all heritage trees at least twice a year.
(2) 
The Village Forester shall direct any trimming and other maintenance of designated trees.
(3) 
In case of storm or other immediate necessity, the Forester is empowered to contact Public Works or the Village's tree service to handle the removal of a designated tree in a timely manner to protect the safety and well-being of the public.
(4) 
If, for any reason other than emergency necessity such as disease, insect infestation or storm damage, removal from the Heritage Tree Local Registry is desired, an application for removal shall be made to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee, and if approved by both the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee and Village Board, a public hearing (Class I notice) will be held. Upon removal, the designated tree will be taken from the Local Registry.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
(5) 
For every heritage tree that is removed from public property, every effort shall be made to replace site-suited tree(s) in the same location, if possible, or in locations approved by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee or the Village Forester: minimum two inches caliper for deciduous and minimum six feet height for evergreens. (See Village Tree Ordinance, Chapter 294, Trees and Shrubs, for a list of recommended trees.)
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
(6) 
Designated heritage trees on private property may be trimmed only with the approval of the Village Forester.
(7) 
When private property with a designated heritage tree is sold, the seller should notify the Village Forester or the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee. The buyer may have the option of continuing the designation or removing the designation as defined in Subsection E(4).
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 05-2017]
F. 
Preservation area.
(1) 
Tree preservation area is a no-violation zone that is typically bordered by the limit of the disturbance line.
(2) 
A line as shown on a site plan and tree preservation plan that identifies the limit of construction, demolition, grading, or excavation activity of any kind. This line will typically delineate the tree preservation area. (For more information see "The Forest Where We Live: A Guide to Caring for Trees," p. 14, WIDNR Forestry Program, Publ-FR-108-2002.)
(3) 
Predevelopment drainage patterns shall be maintained around the tree(s). (See Publ-FR-108-2002 listed above and "The Forest Where We Live: Growing a Legacy, WIDNR, August 2006.)
G. 
Removal of tree from registry.
(1) 
At the time a tree is either removed from heritage tree status or with proper authorization is felled, it will be no longer considered a heritage tree. The tag will be taken from the tree, and it will be removed from the registry.
(2) 
If a heritage tree is located in a right-of-way, park or easement and the tree preservation area (see Subsection F above) falls within the lands to be developed, this section must be followed.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former § 294-8, Enforcement, as § 294-9.
Enforcement shall be provided pursuant to Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-19 of this Code.