|City of Tower City, North Dakota
Tree Ordinance 2009
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TOWER CITY, CASS COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA.
TREE ORDINANCE GOALS. The purpose of the Tree Ordinance for the City of Tower City is to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Tower City through clearly stated practices regarding our community forest.
1. Establish and maintain maximum tree cover.
2. Maintain trees in a healthy condition.
3. Establish and maintain a variety of species.
4. Promote conservation.
5. Centralize tree management under the authority of a Tree Board.
6. Foster community support for forest programs and encourage good tree management on private properties.
7. Facilitate the resolution of tree-related conflicts between citizens.
SECTION 1. PURPOSE OF ORDINANCE
This ordinance establishes policies, regulations, and standards necessary to ensure that the City of Tower City will continue to realize benefits from its community forest by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintaining, and removing of trees and shrubs within Tower City.
SECTION 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TREE BOARD
This ordinance creates and establishes a city Tree Board for the City of Tower City.
A. The membership of the Tree Board shall be as follows: One/two members from the City Council, three members who are citizens and members of the community; who are appointed by the City Council; who are compensated at the rate of $25.00 per meeting.
B. The term of the office shall be as follows: The term of the three individuals to be appointed by the City Council shall be three years, except that the term of one of the members appointed to the first Committee shall be for only one year and the term of one member of the Committee shall be for two years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, a successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.
C. The responsibilities of the Tree Board are as follows:
1. Conduct an inventory of existing trees.
2. Identify planting sites.
3. Establish a plan for new/replacement planting.
4. Determine standards for tree selection, citing, planting and pruning.
5. Schedule maintenance for new or established trees.
6. Protect existing trees.
7. Establish a plan for disease and pest control.
8. Plan for the utilization of waste wood.
9. Conduct educational forums and activities.
D. The operation of the Tree Board is as follows: The Committee shall choose its own officers, make its own rules and regulations and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.
SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following words and phrases shall have the following meaning:
A. Boulevard tree/Street tree - trees lying between property lines and the street or avenue.
B. Park tree - trees in public parks, on city-owned areas, and in areas to which public has access.
C. Private tree - trees on private property.
D. Heritage tree - a tree planted during the founding of Tower City.
E. Right-of-way - the land over which a public road is built.
F. Easement - limited use of land belonging to an individual.
G. Boulevard - the broad, often landscaped, area abutting a street or road.
H. Alter - to take action by cutting or pruning a tree, or by filling, surfacing, grading, compacting or changing the draining pattern of the soil around any tree in a manner that threatens to diminish the health of a tree.
SECTION 4. JURISDICTION
The City of Tower City shall have control of all street trees, shrubs and other plantings now or hereafter in any street, park, right-of-way or easement, or other public place within the City limits, and shall have the power to plant, care for, maintain, remove, and replace such trees, shrubs, and other plantings.
The Tree Board shall formulate an official Street/Boulevard Tree species list for the City of Tower City. No species other than those included in this list may be planted as Street/Boulevard trees without written permission of the Tree Board.
SECTION 5. POLICIES
This ordinance sets forth the guidelines for the planting, maintaining, and removal of trees.
A. Species. The Tree Board will establish an official list of species. The varieties will be further divided into categories of small trees, medium trees, and large trees.
B. Planting distances. The spacing of Street/Boulevard Trees from other trees will be as follows: small trees - 20 feet; medium trees - 30 feet; large trees - 40 feet.
1. From curb and sidewalk: The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curb lines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three tree species size classes listed in Section 5B of this ordinance, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following:
1. Small trees - 2 feet
2. Medium trees - 3 feet
3. Large trees - 4 feet
2. From street corners and fire hydrants. No Street/Boulevard Tree shall be planted closer than 20 feet of any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curb lines. No Street/Boulevard Tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet of any fire hydrant.
3. From utilities. No Street/Boulevard Trees other than those listed as small trees in Section 5A of this ordinance may be planted under or within 10 lateral feet of any overhead utility wire, or over or within 5 lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, transmission line or other utility.
C. Tree Care: The City of Tower City shall have the right to plant, prune, spray, preserve and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds, as may be necessary to ensure safety when serving City utilities or to preserve the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The Tree Board 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 line, water lines or other public improvements, or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.
D. Corner clearance and trimming: 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 and so that there shall be a clear space of eight feet (8') above the surface of the street or right-of-way. Said 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 property spread of light along the street from a street light, or interferes with the visibility of any traffic control devices or signs, such pruning to be confined to the area immediately above the right-of-
E. Removal of dead or diseased trees on private property: The City shall have the right of cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the City of Tower City, when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the city. The Tree Board will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within sixty (60) days after the day of service notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the City shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner's property tax notice.
F. Removal of stumps: All stumps of Street/Boulevard and Park Trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface.
SECTION 6. INTERFERENCE WITH CITY TREE BOARD
Interference with planting, maintenance, and removal is unlawful. This ordinance prohibits interference with authorized persons involved in tree-related activities.
SECTION 7. LOCAL GOVERNMENT DISCLAIMS LIABILITY
To avoid accepting liability for personal injury or property damage caused by trees on private property.
SECTION 8. REVIEW BY CITY COUNCIL
The City Council shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decisions of the Tree Board. Any person may appeal from any ruling or order of the Tree Board to the City Council who may hear the matter and make a final decision.
SECTION 9. PENALTY
Any person violating any provision of this ordinance shall be, upon conviction or a plea of guilty, subject to a fine not to exceed $500.00.
SECTION 10. SEVERABILITY
Should any part or provision of this ordinance be declared by court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of the ordinance as a whole, or any part thereof, other than the part declared to be invalid.
SECTION 11. EFFECTIVE DATE
This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its final passage, approval, and publication of its title and penalty clause.
Dated this 2nd day of February, 2009.
Scott Salberg, Mayor
City of Tower City,
Cass County, North Dakota
Jenni Richman, City Auditor
City of Tower City,
Cass County, North Dakota
First Reading: January 5, 2009
Second Reading and Final Passage: February 2, 2009