CHAPTER XIII. STREETS AND SIDEWALKSCHAPTER XIII. STREETS AND SIDEWALKS\ARTICLE 3. TREES AND SHRUBS

The city shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds, as may be necessary to insure safety when servicing city utilities or to preserve the symmetry and beauty of public grounds. The city may remove, or cause or order to be removed, any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, water lines or other public improvements, or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.

(Code 1998)

Whenever any competent city authority or competent state or federal authority shall file with the govern­ing body a statement in writing based upon a laboratory test or other supporting evidence that trees or tree materials or shrubs located upon private property within the city are infected or infested with or harbor any tree or plant disease or insect or larvae, the uncontrolled presence of which may constitute a hazard to or result in the damage or extinction of other trees or shrubs in the community, describing the same and where located, the governing body shall direct the city clerk to forthwith issue notice requiring the owner or agent of the owner of the premises to treat or to remove any such designated tree, tree material or shrub within a time specified in the notice.

(Code 1998)

Notice shall be served by a police officer by delivering a copy thereof to the owner, and the person in possession of such property, or if the same be unoccupied or the owner a nonresident of the city, then the city clerk shall notify the owner by mailing a notice by certified mail to his last known address.

(Code 1998)

If the owner or agent shall fail to comply with the requirements of the notice within the time specified in the notice, then the city administrator shall proceed to have the designated tree, tree material or shrub treated or removed and report the cost thereof to the city clerk. In lieu of city employees performing any such work, the governing body may contract with any competent person, company or corporation for the performance of such work.

(Code 2009)

No tree, tree materials or shrubs as mentioned herein which have been cut down, either by the property owner or by the city, shall be permitted to remain on the premises, but shall be immediately treated, removed and burned or immediately burned upon the premises, if safe to do so, so as to prevent the spread of the tree disease.

(Code 1998)

(a)   Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the city shall prune 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 shall be a clear space of 14 feet above the surface of the street or right-of-way. The owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The city shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light, or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign.

(b)   The city shall have the right to cause the removal of any dangerous, dead or diseased trees on private property within the city, when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property. The city will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within 60 days after the date of service of notice. The owners, within 30 days of the notice, may request a hearing covering the ordered removal. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove the trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner's property tax notice.

(Ord. 971, Sec. 3; Code 1998)

The city shall have the authority to treat or to remove any tree as defined in section 13-301 of this article, or to remove any dead tree as mentioned herein, which is located within the limits of any public right-of-way within the city. The adjacent property owners shall not be responsible for the cost of treatment or removal of any such trees within the public right-of-way and this expense shall be borne by the city at large.

(Code 1998)

No person shall willfully break, cut, take away, destroy, injure, mutilate, or attempt to willfully break, cut, take away, destroy, injure or mutilate any tree, shrub, vine, flower or landscaping standing, growing, or being upon the premises in the possession of another, or growing on any public ground, street, sidewalk, promenade or park in the city.

(Code 1998)

No person shall plant or cause to be planted nor allow to grow upon property owned by him or her any shrubs, trees, or planting of any kind within 10 feet of any fire hydrant in the city, in order that every fire hydrant shall be in full view day or night, to fire apparatus approaching from any direction.

(Code 1998)

The city shall designate a public officer to be charged with the administration and enforcement of this article. The public officer or an authorized assistant shall notify in writing the owner, occupant or agent in charge of any street, alley, avenue, boulevard or other public right-of-way in the city upon which trees and/or shrubbery exist in violation of this article by personal service of such written notice to the property if there are improvements thereon and by mail to the owner if the property is vacant and without improvements. Such notice shall include the following:

(a)   The owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property is in violation of this article.

(b)   The owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property is ordered to cure the unlawful condition within 30 days of the receipt of notice.

(c)   If the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property does not cure the unlawful condition, the city or its authorized agent will take such action to plant, maintain, treat and/or remove the trees and/or shrubbery involved and assess the cost of the same, including a reasonable administrative fee against the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property.

(d)   The owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property will be given an opportunity to pay the assessment and if it is not paid, it will be added to the property tax as a special assessment.

(e)   The public officer should be contacted if there are any questions regarding the order.

(Ord. 971, Sec. 4)

(a)   Upon the expiration of 30 days after receipt of the notice required by section 13-310 and in the event that the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the premises shall neglect or fail to comply with the requirements of the notice, the public officer or an authorized assistant shall cause all such trees and/or shrubs to be planted, treated, otherwise maintained and/or removed and abate the nuisance created thereby as soon as is practicable.

(b)   The public officer or an authorized assistant shall give notice to the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the premises by certified mail of the costs of abatement of the nuisance. The notice shall state that payment of the costs is due and payable within 30 days following receipt of the notice.

(c)   If the costs to treat, plant, maintain and/or remove the trees and/or shrubbery remain unpaid after 30 days following receipt of notice, a record of those costs shall be certified to the city clerk who shall cause such costs to be assessed against the particular lot or piece of land on which such trees and/or shrubs were so planted, treated, maintained and/or removed and against such lots or pieces of land in front of or abutting on such street, alley, avenue, boulevard and/or such other city right-of-way on which such foliage were so affected. The city clerk shall certify the assessment to the county clerk at the time other special assessments are certified for spreading on the tax rolls of the county.

(Ord. 971, Sec. 5)

The public officer and the public officer’s authorized assistants, employees, contracting agents or other representatives are hereby expressly authorized to enter upon private property at all reasonable hours for the purpose of planting, maintaining, treating and/or removing such trees and shrubbery in a manner not inconsistent with the article.

(Ord. 971, Sec. 6)