COSHOCTON CITY TREE COMMISSION

TERM: 3 years
 

Steve Fox - Chairman
Dorothy Skowrunski - Vice Chair
Ann Miller
Tom Edwards
Tom Heading

01-01-15 to 12-31-16
01-01-15 to 12-31-15
01-01-15 to 12-31-16
01-01-15 to 12-31-15
01-01-15 to 12-31-17







CHAPTER 925 25 Tree Rules and Regulations


925.01 Definitions.

925.02 Creation and establishment of a City Tree Commission.

925.03 Jurisdiction.

925.04 Term of office.

925.05 Compensation.

925.06 Duties and responsibilities.

925.07 Operation.

925.08 Planting Guidelines for trees outside of the right of way.

925.09 Public tree care.

925.10 Tree topping.

925.11 Pruning for street and sidewalk clearance.

925.12 City pruning on private property.

925.13 Tree removal on private property.

925.14 Removal of stumps.

925.15 Removal or mutilation of public trees.

925.16 Excavation restrictions near public trees.

925.17 Construction near public trees.

925.18 Replacement of trees.

925.19 Work by utility companies.

925.20 Contractors doing city tree work.

925.01 DEFINITIONS.

(a) Person: "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or organization of any kind.

(b) Street or Highway: "Street or Highway" means the entire width of every public right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the public, including alleys, for the purpose of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

(c) Park: "Park" includes all public parks having individual names.

Public Places:

(d) "Public Places" includes all grounds owned by the City of Coshocton.

(e) Tree Lawn: "Tree Lawn" is the property between the sidewalk and the curb.

(f) Property Owner: "Property Owner" means the person owning such property as shown by the records of the Recorders Office of Coshocton County, Ohio, including the executor, administrator, or beneficiary of the estate of a deceased owner.

(g) Tree: "Tree" means a tall growing woody plant with one or more perennial main stems or trunk which develops branches from the aerial section of the stem rather than from the base; capable of being pruned to at least six feet of clear branchless trunk below the crown within five years of planting.

(h) Shrub: "Shrub" means a low growing woody plant with one or several perennial main stems producing branches, shoots, or multiple stems from or near the base of the plant and incapable of being pruned to provide at least six feet of clear branchless trunk within five years of planting.

(i) Public Trees: "Public Trees" shall include all shade and ornamental trees growing along any street right-of-way or any city-owned property.

(j) Street Trees: Trees growing along the streets, generally located in the tree lawn.

(k) Topping: "Topping" means the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs to such a degree as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.

(l) Pruning: "Pruning" means to cut branches, stems, etc. from a plant to improve shape and/or growth, or for convenience such as to remove impediments to passage of vehicles and pedestrians and to improve visual safety.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.02 CREATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A CITY TREE COMMISSION.

There is hereby established a City Tree Commission (CTC) for the City, which shall consist of five members. All five shall be appointed by the Mayor.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.03 JURISDICTION.

The CTC is responsible for prioritizing and implementing the planting, pruning, and removal of all public trees. ORC 2744.02(B)(3) states "Except as otherwise provided in section 3746.24 of the Revised Code, political subdivisions are liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by their negligent failure to keep public roads in repair and other negligent failure to remove obstructions from public roads…" In the event of an emergency the Mayor may temporarily suspend the enforcement of this ordinance by the publication of a statement informing the public of said suspension. (Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.04 TERM OF OFFICE.

The term of the five (5) persons to be appointed to the CTC shall be three (3) years, except that the term of two (2) of the members appointed to the first CTC shall be for only one (1) year and the term of two (2) of the members of the first CTC shall be for

two (2) years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his or her successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term. (Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.05 COMPENSATION.

Members of the CTC shall serve without compensation. CTC members may be reimbursed for any travel expenses when authorized by the CTC if funds are available.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.06 DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

It shall be the responsibility of the CTC to report to Council annually. The CTC shall also be responsible to disseminate news and information to residents of the City and to educate them in the proper care and handling of trees, shrubs, and other landscaping.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.07 OPERATION.

The CTC shall meet at least six (6) times a year and, as needed, conduct special meetings. The CTC shall select its own officers, make its own rules and regulations, and keep minutes of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.08 PLANTING GUIDELINES FOR TREES OUTSIDE OF THE RIGHT OF WAY.

All trees outside the right-of-way must be planted at least 5 feet from public sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, trees must be planted at least 5 feet from the outer edge of the right-of-way.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.09 PUBLIC TREE CARE.

The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the right-of-way of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares, and public grounds and, as may be necessary to insure public safety. The City may remove 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 infected with any injurious fungus, insect, or other pest. As funding is available the city shall remove, cut or trim trees on the public right-of-way.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.10 TREE TOPPING.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, utility, or City department to top any street tree, park tree or other tree on public property.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.11 PRUNING FOR STREET AND SIDEWALK CLEARANCE.

Every owner of any tree on private property overhanging a street or right-of-way within the City shall, upon 15 days notification, prune the branches so that the branches shall not obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight (8) feet above the sidewalk and twelve (12) feet above the street surface, except truck thoroughfares which shall have a clearance of 14 feet. Owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs on private property which constitute a threat to the safety of the public. The City shall have the right to prune, after 15 days, any tree or shrub that does not meet the above specified clearances with cost of the work to be included as an assessment on the owner's property tax duplicate. (Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.12 CITY PRUNING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

(a) In addition to pruning for street and sidewalk clearance, the City shall have the right to prune portions of any tree or shrub on private property as follows:

(1) Where it encroaches on public property

(2) When it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light

(3) When it interferes with visibility of any traffic control device, sign, fire hydrant, or sight triangle at intersection

(b) The City shall have the right to prune, after 15 days, such tree and charge the cost to be included as an assessment on the owner's property tax duplicate.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.13 TREE REMOVAL ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Trees, shrubs, plants or parts thereof which are dead or diseased shall be removed when such trees pose a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which potentially threaten other trees. The CTC will notify the owners in writing of such trees. Removal shall be done by the owner at their own expense within 60 days of the notice date. If the owner fails to comply the City shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal to be included as an assessment on the owner's property tax duplicate.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.14 REMOVAL OF STUMPS.

All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed to a depth of 12-18 inches.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.15 REMOVAL OR MUTILATION OF PUBLIC TREES.

No person, without privilege to do so, shall remove, destroy, girdle, or otherwise injure a vine, bush, shrub, sapling, tree, or crop standing or growing on the land of another or upon public land. In addition to the penalty provided in Section 23 herein, whoever violates this section is liable in treble damages to the City for tree lawn trees or

to the owner of the tree for all other trees for the injury caused. (Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.16 EXCAVATION RESTRICTIONS NEAR PUBLIC TREES.

No person shall excavate any ditch, tunnel, or trench, or lay any drive within ten (10) feet of a public tree without first obtaining permission in writing from the CTC.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.17 CONSTRUCTION NEAR PUBLIC TREES.

All utility and sidewalk contractors are required to notify the City if a public tree will be impacted in any way. (Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.18 REPLACEMENT OF TREES.

When it is necessary for the City to remove trees from a Tree Lawn in connection with the repair, replacement or construction of a sidewalk or street, the City shall plant an equal number of trees. If conditions prevent planting on the Tree Lawn, an equivalent number of trees will be planted on other City property.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.19 WORK BY UTILITY COMPANIES.

Utility companies shall provide written evidence to the CTC of adherence to established guidelines for pruning as recommended by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) for line clearance work. These guidelines shall cover tree trimming/pruning, tree removal, brushing, right-of-way clearance for new transmission lines, and chemical brush control precautions.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.20 CONTRACTORS DOING CITY TREE WORK.

(a) No person or firm shall engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating, spraying or removing trees for the City without first registering under the city's contractor registration requirements.

(b) Preference will be given to firms or companies that are ISA certified.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.21 INTERFERENCE WITH TREE COMMISSION WORK.

No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with the CTC, or any of its agents while engaging in the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds when said actions were previously authorized by the CTC.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.22 TREE COMMISSION HEARINGS.

Any person affected by any rule or regulation pursuant to this chapter may appeal by a written request within ten (10) days of receipt of notice, and shall be granted a hearing

before the CTC. The CTC shall have the power to reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or modify such rule or regulation. If it is a matter of determining if a tree represents a clear and present danger of falling, the tree owner, at his/her own expense, may bring in a certified arborist to verify his/her position.

(Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)

925.99 PENALTY.

Whoever violates this chapter is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. The City may also elect to bring an action consistent with Ohio R.C. 901.51 and the penalties provided in Ohio R.C. 901.99 in addition or in replace of this Section. (Ord. 17-14. Passed 7-14-14.)
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