CITY OF ST. REGIS PARK
ORDINANCE 5, SERIES 2013-2014
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A TREE BOARD AND RELATING TO THE PLANTING, MAINTENANCE AND REMOVAL OF TREES AND SHRUBS WITHIN THE CITY OF ST. REGIS PARK
WHEREAS, the City finds a public policy that trees are an important natural resource that contributes to the aesthetic appeal and beneficial enjoyment of all lands in the City; and
WHEREAS, trees in the City provide air, water and soil protection, filter pollutants, and provide for habitat and biological diversity; and
WHEREAS, well selected and maintained trees contribute to significant increases in property values for residential, commercial and public lands; and
WHEREAS, the City resolves to have a Community Forestry Program meeting the standard of The Tree City USA program, as sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters,
NOW THEREFORE, be it ordained by the City of St. Regis Park:
This subchapter provides full power and authority over trees and shrubs located within street rights-of-way, parks and public spaces of the City of St. Regis Park; and to trees and shrubs located on private property adjacent to street rights-of-way that constitute a hazard, or threat as described herein.
ESTABLISHMENT OF TREE BOARD.
There is hereby established a Tree Board for the city, which shall consist of three voting members, who shall be citizens and residents of the City of St. Regis Park. The members shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the consent and approval of the Council, for staggered, three year terms. The Tree Board members shall serve without compensation. The Tree Board shall hold meetings no less than once per year and any and all meeting must be open to the public, publically announced, and be conducted in accordance with the Open Meeting law of Kentucky.
The city shall retain the services of a certified arborist to advise and assist the Tree Board with their duties and responsibilities described in this subchapter, with a cost and contract to be approved annually by the city as part of its normal budget cycle. Such City Arborist, or any company associated with the City Arborist, shall not perform any trimming, pruning or removals for the city.
ANNUAL TREE WORK PLAN.
The Tree Board shall study, develop, update annually and administer a written annual tree work plan, cost of implementation of which shall be within an annual budget to be submitted and approved by the city as part of its annual budget cycle each year. The plan shall address species diversity, planting needs, hazardous trees, insect and disease problems, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs along streets and other public areas and a pattern of regular care such as pruning and watering. The plan shall be presented annually to the City Council for their review, acceptance and approval.
The Tree Board may be assigned by the City Council to research, investigate, consider, and make findings and report upon any other matter in relation to trees and tree preservation.
The city shall have an annual observance of Arbor Day, for this the Tree Board shall make a proclamation and hold a celebratory ceremony such as presentation of an award, or planting of a tree.
The city shall fund the Annual Work Plan and Arbor Day observation with an annual budget contribution of at least $2 per capita, according to the most recent census. The cost of the City Arborist shall not be included in this budget calculation.
REVIEW AND APPEAL.
The City Council may review the conduct, acts and decisions of the Tree Board. Any property owner has the right to appeal a request, or decision, of the Tree Board to the City Council; which may hear the matter and then, in that event, make a final decision in writing within 60 days.
TREE AND SHRUB PLANTING, MAINTENANCE AND TRIMMING STANDARDS.
(A) Tree list and planting guidelines. The Tree Board and the City Arborist shall create a list of preferred tree species to be planted in the city and establish planting distances and clearances from fire plugs, utilities, sidewalks and other obstructions. The Tree Board shall create additional pruning and maintenance recommendations and best practices to fulfill the Tree Board’s purpose herein. These recommendations shall be mandatory for any tree located (or to be located) within any right of way. The recommendations shall not be mandatory for any tree located on private property.
(B) Trees in public areas. The city shall have the right to plant, trim, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the right of way of all streets and public right of way, as may be necessary for public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public ground. The Tree Board may select locations in the city for planting of new street trees, in consultation with the City Arborist. No person shall be allowed to prune, top, or remove, a tree in the public right of way without the advice and consent of the Tree Board and the City Arborist. The city will perform and pay for the partial removal of any tree, whether in the right of way or not, that due to a storm event, or other natural condition, has been damaged so as to block a public roadway or sidewalk. The obligation of the city shall extend only to clearing of the public roadway or sidewalk and any further restoration or complete removal of the tree and its cost shall be borne by the homeowner.
(C) Trees on private property. Property owners are responsible for removing or trimming any tree or shrub that extends over, or obstructs, any street, sidewalk, city sign or right of way. Property owners are also responsible for removing or trimming any diseased, dead or dying tree or shrub; which, if it falls, could obstruct the right of way, endanger life or limb, or impact utilities. The City Arborist shall determine whether any tree or shrub meets these criteria and advise the Citation Officer on pruning or removal; with said pruning or removal by the homeowner to occur within 30 days of the notice.
(D) Maintenance of sidewalks and drainage. It shall be unlawful for the owner or resident of any property abutting any public way to permit weeds or vegetation (other than properly cut grass) to grow or remain in the area between his or her property line and the paved portion of the street and it shall be the duty of such abutting owner, or resident, to maintain the grass in the unpaved portion of the public way adjacent to his or her property and to keep sidewalks and drainage swales adjacent to said property free from obstruction.
(E) Tree incentive program. The Tree Board and City Arborist, as part of its annual tree work plan, shall submit a proposal to incentivize the planting, re-planting and maintenance of trees in the city. The proposal shall contain specific criteria for a cost-sharing between the property owners and the city, based on clear and certain public purpose spending and accounting standards. Additionally, the details of said incentive program must be approved by the City Council each year as part of the Tree Board’s annual budget and a not to exceed amount for the incentive program shall be set by the City Council each year. Awards of any of the funds after the approval of the incentive program shall be administered by the Tree Board, who shall report on same to the City Council.
(A) If a property owner does not comply with a notice from the city about a provision of this subchapter, the Mayor, at the recommendation of the Tree Board, may hire and send specialists or contractors upon a property, accompanied by the City Citation Officer, to carry out the requirements of the notice. If the owner is responsible for the cost according to this subchapter, the city may then bill the property owner for the cost, and it not paid, file a lien to recover the cost.
(B) Any person found to have violated this subchapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 per occurrence. The amount of the fine shall be recommended by the Tree Board and approved by the City Council.
(C) No person shall be fined for any violation of this subchapter without first having been notified in writing by the city of the violation and having been given 30 days to correct the violation or to appeal the fine.
This ordinance was unanimously adopted by the City Council of St. Regis Park by roll call vote at its regular monthly meeting on January 7, 2014, the ordinance taking effect immediately upon its adoption, passage and publication.