Chamblee, City of

Sec. 34-403. General rules and regulations; city property.

(a) Utility companies, private contractors, outside governments, and individuals must apply for and procure a permit, comply with tree protection and replacement administrative guidelines to this article to protect and preserve city properties in any modification of their landscape. Written plans outlining purpose, proposed operations, and approximate dates shall be submitted to the permits and inspections director for approval.

(b) Wherever it is necessary to remove a tree or trees from a planting strip in connection with paving of a sidewalk, or the paving or widening of a street or highway used for vehicular traffic, the City shall replant such trees or replace them; provided that if conditions prevent planting on planting strip, this requirement will be satisfied if an equivalent number of trees of the same potential size and species are planted in an attractive manner on adjoining property or other public property.

(c)No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain on any public place of the municipality, any stone, brick, sand, concrete, or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air, and fertilizer to the roots of any tree growing therein, except by written permit of the permit and inspections department.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98)

Sec. 34-404. Applicability.

(a) The terms and provisions of this article shall apply to any activity on real property, including any activity which requires the issuance of a building or soil erosion and sedimentation control permit, which affects the following:

(1) The covered area of specimen trees or stands;

(2) All undeveloped property;

(3) The yard areas of all developed property;

(4) Public rights-of-way and parks.

(b) Exemptions. The following shall be exempt from compliance with this article:

(1) All privately-owned developed property, including yard areas, designated single-family residential areas by the city zoning ordinance and developed with single-family or two-family residential uses; however, this exemption shall not apply for new structures or expansion of existing structures on designated single-family or two-family residential uses.

(2) Construction and maintenance of public streets, highways, and rights-of-way by local, state, and federal governments and public authorities.

(3) During the period of an emergency, such as a tornado, ice storm, or other act of nature, the requirements of this article may be waived by the city manager or his/her designee.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98; Ord. No. 517, pt. I, 4-16-02; Ord. No. 534, pt. I, 5-18-04)

Sec. 34-405. Permitting process.

(a) No person, firm, organization, public agency or society shall directly or indirectly destroy or remove any trees situated on property described in section 34-404 of this article without obtaining a permit as provided herein, except for property and activities exempted in section 34-404(b).

(b) Permits shall be obtained by making application to the permits and inspections department, and the application shall thereafter be referred to the city tree consultant. The permit fee shall be as fixed from time to time by the mayor and city council and shall be in the amounts as specified in the Tree Preservation Ordinance administrative guidelines. The application, when made in conjunction with an application for a building permit or a soil erosion control permit, shall also include a landscaping plan, a plan for protection of trees during construction, and any other documentation required for all areas of the parcel within the protected zone. The applicant may be required to submit a tree replacement plan if, at the discretion of the city tree consultant, replacement is deemed reasonable and suitable. Methods and standards for tree protection and replacement shall be established from time to time and set forth in the Tree Preservation Ordinance administrative guidelines and shall be effective upon approval by the city council.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98; Ord. No. 510, pt. I, 10-16-01; Ord. No. 517, pt. I, 4-16-02)

Sec. 34-406. Protection of trees.

(a) All trees on any street or other publicly owned property near an excavation or construction of any building, structure, or street work, shall be guarded with a good substantial fence, frame, or box not less than four feet high and eight feet square, or at a minimum distance in feet from the tree equal to the diameter of the trunk, whichever is greater. Any barrier with lessor dimensions than those specified above shall be subject to approval by the city tree consultant. All building material, dirt, or other debris shall be kept outside the barrier.

(b) No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnel, trenches, or lay any drive within a radius of ten feet from any public tree without first obtaining a written permit from the permits and inspections director.

© Unless specifically authorized by the permits and inspections director, no person shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant, or remove any public tree or shrub; attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters, or other contrivance to any public tree or shrub; allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such plants to come in contact with them; or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any public tree or shrub.

(d) It shall be the duty of any person or persons owning or occupying real property bordering on any street upon which property there may be trees, to prune such trees in such manner that they will not obstruct or shade the street lights, obstruct the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, obstruct the vision of traffic signs, or obstruct the view of any street or alley intersection. The minimum clearance of any overhanging portion thereof shall be ten feet over sidewalks, and 12 feet over all streets except truck thoroughfares which shall have a clearance of 16 feet.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98)

Sec. 34-407. Planting of trees.

In any instance where the cutting of any paved sidewalk in a right-of-way of the city is necessary for the planting of any shrub or tree, such work shall be supervised by the permits and inspections department or shall be done according to plans approved by and a permit issued by the permits and inspections director.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98)

Sec. 34-408. Easements to plant trees on private property.

The city is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the owners of private property located within the city for the purpose of acquiring easements to plant trees on such property, in consideration for which said private property owner shall acquire ownership of such trees as the city may plant. Provided however, that any such agreement shall limit the duration of the easement to a time period of two years and shall limit the property interest acquired by the city to that distance sufficient to allow the planting of trees. Provided, further, that under such agreement the private property owner shall agree to maintain the trees planted thereon and shall also agree to hold the city harmless for any liability attributable to the planting or presence of the trees on the private property.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98)

Sec. 34-409. Violation and penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall be punished as described in section 1-6, general penalty, of this Code, and in addition thereto may be enjoined from continuing the violation. Each tree cut, damaged or poisoned shall constitute a separate offense and shall be subject to a fine of $1000.00 per specimen tree and $500.00 per nonspecimen tree as defined in the Tree Preservation Ordinance administrative guidelines. Any tree, specimen or nonspecimen, which is removed without the appropriate review and approval of the administrator must be replaced by trees with a total density equal to eight times the unit value of the tree(s) removed with a minimum four-inch tree caliper as specified in the Tree Preservation Ordinance administrative guidelines. The owner of any buildings or premises or parts thereof, where anything in violation of this section exists, and any architect, builder, contractor or any other agent of the owner, or any tenant, who commits or assists in the commission of any violation, shall be guilty of a separate offense and subject to the above stated penalties. The same penalties shall be assessed for trees damaged directly or indirectly on any existing residential or nonresidential property adjacent to a site under development or construction without having first obtained a tree removal permit and permission of the owner of such adjacent residential or nonresidential property.

(Ord. No. 462, § 1, 10-20-98; Ord. No. 517, pt. I, 4-16-02; Ord. No. 534, pt. I, 5-18-04)

Sec. 34-410. Judicial review.

All final decisions of the city, concerning denial, approval or conditional approval of a permit shall be reviewable in DeKalb County Superior Court. Based on these proceedings and the decision of the court, the city may, within the time specified by the court, elect to:

(1)Approve the permit application with lesser restrictions or conditions (i.e., grant a variance); or

(2)Institute other appropriate actions ordered by the court that fall within the jurisdiction of the city.

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