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A. Emergency Tree Removal Permit. An Emergency Tree Removal Permit shall be granted if the approval authority finds that the application meets all of the following criteria, or can be made to conform through the imposition of conditions.

1. If the condition of a tree presents an immediate danger of collapse, as defined in part 18.6, and represents a clear and present hazard to persons or property, an emergency tree removal permit may be issued and the payment of a fee may be waived. The Staff Advisor may require the applicant to hire an arborist to review the evidence to ascertain whether the tree presented an immediate danger of collapse.

B. Tree Removal Permit.

1. Hazard Tree. A Hazard Tree Removal Permit shall be granted if the approval authority finds that the application meets all of the following criteria, or can be made to conform through the imposition of conditions.

a. The applicant must demonstrate that the condition or location of the tree presents a clear public safety hazard (i.e., likely to fall and injure persons or property) or a foreseeable danger of property damage to an existing structure or facility, and such hazard or danger cannot reasonably be alleviated by treatment, relocation, or pruning. See definition of hazard tree in part 18.6.

b. The City may require the applicant to mitigate for the removal of each hazard tree pursuant to section 18.5.7.050. Such mitigation requirements shall be a condition of approval of the permit.

2. Tree That is Not a Hazard. A Tree Removal Permit for a tree that is not a hazard shall be granted if the approval authority finds that the application meets all of the following criteria, or can be made to conform through the imposition of conditions.

a. The tree is proposed for removal in order to permit the application to be consistent with other applicable Land Use Ordinance requirements and standards, including but not limited to applicable Site Development and Design Standards in part 18.4 and Physical and Environmental Constraints in part 18.3.10.

b. Removal of the tree will not have a significant negative impact on erosion, soil stability, flow of surface waters, protection of adjacent trees, or existing windbreaks.

c. Removal of the tree will not have a significant negative impact on the tree densities, sizes, canopies, and species diversity within 200 feet of the subject property. The City shall grant an exception to this criterion when alternatives to the tree removal have been considered and no reasonable alternative exists to allow the property to be used as permitted in the zone.

d. Nothing in this section shall require that the residential density to be reduced below the permitted density allowed by the zone. In making this determination, the City may consider alternative site plans or placement of structures of alternate landscaping designs that would lessen the impact on trees, so long as the alternatives continue to comply with the other provisions of this ordinance.

e. The City shall require the applicant to mitigate for the removal of each tree granted approval pursuant to section 18.5.7.050. Such mitigation requirements shall be a condition of approval of the permit.

C. Tree Topping Permit. Topping is an injurious pruning practice, which may lead to stress, disease, and decay in trees. It should be avoided whenever an alternative exists. A Tree Topping Permit may be issued if all of the following apply.

1. A utility, public agency, or other person who routinely tops trees in furtherance of public safety, may apply for a topping permit pursuant to this section based upon an arborist’s report establishing a methodology for topping in compliance with this subsection.

2. Trees under utility wires may be topped only where other pruning techniques are impractical.

3. The City, in granting approval for tree removal in an open space or undeveloped area, may allow a tree to be topped to a designated height in order to maintain a snag for wildlife habitat.

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