Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Comission
   

FEBRUARY 15, 2005 PROPOSED CODE AMENDMENT TO AMEND THE CITY TREE REVIEW PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURE (Case No. ZON2004-00160) FEBRUARY 15, 2005 PROPOSED CODE AMENDMENT TO AMEND THE CITY TREE REVIEW PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURE (Case No. ZON2004-00160)

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: FEBRUARY 15, 2005

SUBJECT: PROPOSED CODE AMENDMENT TO AMEND THE CITY TREE REVIEW PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURE (Case No. ZON2004-00160)

RECOMMENDATION

Staff recommends that the City Council 1) Review the proposed amendments to streamline the City Tree Review Permit process; and 2) If the proposed amendments are acceptable to the City Council, introduce Ordinance No.___ amending Section 17.76.100 of the RPV Municipal Code.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Pursuant to Council direction on June 17, 2003, Staff presented specific cost reduction proposal for view restoration services to the Council for its consideration. At that time, the Council directed Staff, among other things, to initiate a code amendment to streamline the City Tree Review Permit (CTRP) process and establish a fee for the revised process. The CTRP process was created to allow residents to restore a view that is being impaired by City-owned trees. A streamlined CTRP process would reduce the amount of Staff time required to process CTRP applications, which would help reduce City costs.

A draft code amendment to create a more streamlined CTRP review process was presented by Staff to the Planning Commission for its review and consideration. After reviewing the matter, on June 22, 2004, the Planning Commission forwarded its recommendations to the City Council to streamline the CTRP process. The major proposed changes are:

    1. to establish a new application fee;
    2. to eliminate two of the three permit review findings;
    3. to eliminate customized tree trimming and instead require tree removal;
    4. to expand the permit approval notification list.

The proposed CTRP code amendment is now being presented to the Council for its consideration. As a separate agenda item a City-wide Fee Study is being presented to the Council that includes establishing a CTRP processing fee of $200.00.

BACKGROUND

At the Budget Policy Issues Workshop held on April 14, 2003, the City Council directed Staff to take steps to make the overall View Restoration program more cost effective through a combination of disincentives for non-compliance, new fees and revised review criteria for City Tree Review Permit (CTRP) requests. In response, Staff presented cost reduction proposals to the Council on June 17, 2003. At that time, the City Council directed Staff to develop a new fee structure to better cover the costs of View Restoration services, develop penalties to deter non-compliance with the City’s foliage maintenance directives and to initiate a code amendment to streamline the CTRP process (June 17, 2003 Staff Report and related minutes are attached as Exhibit B). Pursuant to Council direction, Staff prepared draft code amendment language and presented it to the Planning Commission for its review and consideration on April 27, 2004. The Planning Commission completed its review of the draft language on June 22, 2004, and forwarded its recommendation to the City Council for review and approval (the June 22, 2004 PC Staff Report and related minutes are attached as Exhibits C & D).

DISCUSSION

The proposed amendments to the existing CTRP review process are consistent with the City Council’s previous direction to streamline the permit review process in an attempt to reduce the overall costs associated with administrating this element of the view restoration program. It is believed that the streamlined process, in conjunction with the pending cost recovery for View Restoration and View Preservation permits, will help reduce the overall costs associated with administrating the View Restoration program. The new fees and penalties being proposed for the View Restoration program are discussed as part of a separate item on this agenda.

The proposed CTRP amendment language is contained at the end of this staff report. Language that is proposed to be deleted is shown in strikeout text, while language proposed to be added is underlined. Aside from minor clarification language, there are four (4) major revisions to the existing code that are being recommended. These major changes are summarized as follows:

New Application fee

Consistent with the Council’s direction in June 2003 to reduce City costs, Staff has incorporated into the CTRP code language a requirement that an application fee be submitted at the time an application request is received by Staff. As discussed in the Fee Study Staff Report (a separate agenda item), although the Fee Study revealed that it costs the City $2,271 to process a typical CTRP, Staff is proposing that a nominal $200 filing fee be established. The purpose of the fee is to help offset some of Staff’s costs associated with administrating the CTRP process and to reduce the number of frivolous permit requests received by Staff.

Notwithstanding the Council’s previous direction to impose a fee on CTRPs, the Planning Commission felt that since City trees are involved that it would not be appropriate for the City to charge a fee. As an alternative, the Commission suggested that a fee be imposed only if the Director cannot make the necessary findings for approval. In other words, an applicant would submit an application with a fee, and if the Director approves the request (finding that a City tree significantly impairs a resident’s view), then the application fee is refunded back to the applicant. Although there are some frivolous cases that are filed, most applications historically result in an approval of the request. Therefore, charging a fee only if a CTRP request is denied would only apply to a minute number of cases and no-to-little recovery cost for service would be achieved. If the City Council disagrees with the establishment of a $200 application fee, that direction should be given to City Staff.

Significance Finding as the Sole Finding for Approval

The current review criteria requires the Planning Director to make three findings in order to approve a CTRP application request: 1) that the subject City tree(s) creates a significant view impairment from the applicant’s viewing area, 2) that the subject City tree(s) are located less than 1000 feet from the applicant’s property, and 3) that the subject City tree(s) did not exist as view impairing trees when the applicant’s lot was created. In order to streamline the review criteria, the language has been amended to require that the Director make only one finding. The finding should be whether the subject tree(s) create a significant view impairment from the applicant’s viewing area. Based on Staff’s experience in processing the permits, findings 2 and 3 are considered to be unnecessary findings because in most cases, the subject city tree(s) are located near the applicant’s property making the finding of significance the only pertinent finding to be made by the Planning Director.

Removal of City trees that Significantly Impair a View

It is proposed to eliminate the customized trimming of City trees by requiring that all view-impairing trees, with the exception of City park trees, be removed should they be found to be significantly impairing a view. If removed, then the City shall require the replanting of replacement tree(s). Should residents object to the City tree removal, residents residing adjacent to the subject trees would continue to have the ability to assume the maintenance of the tree by adopting the tree(s).

Staff believes that instituting the automatic removal of view impairing tree(s) would almost entirely eliminate the need to coordinate and monitor customized trimming work, as well as eliminate the need to perform required annual maintenance trimming. Automatic removal of City trees would substantially reduce Staff’s time for processing CTRPs and would likely save the City $20,000-25,000 per year in the actual view restoration tree trimming contract with West Coast Arborist, Inc (WCA).

Furthermore, there have been some instances where severe tree crown raising or reduction needed to restore an applicant’s view has raised concerns from residents and the City Arborist. In a recent report from WCA (the City’s tree trimmers), one particular crown raising incident on Monero Drive was selected as an example of how severe crown raising can weaken the structural integrity of trees (see Attachment E). Staff agrees with WCA’s conclusion that tree trimming for views often requires severe crown raising and that this practice and the long term effects are likely to be harmful to the City’s trees. The WCA report highlights Staff’s recommendation that tree removal and replacement is less damaging and more economical than customized tree trimming.

Expansion of the Notification List

Under the current code, notification of a CTRP decision is provided to the properties directly adjacent to the view-impairing tree(s). It is proposed to increase the notification so that more properties that could be affected by a CTRP decision are notified of the Director’s decision. This would be accomplished by notifying the ten (10) properties closest to the subject tree(s). The proposed amendment also requires notification to any applicable Homeowners Association.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Authorization to proceed as proposed would not result in any additional costs to the City’s General Fund. Should the City Council approve the proposed code amendment, Staff anticipates that there will be a cost savings of approximately $20,000-$25,000 per fiscal year.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On October 30, 2004, a notice of a City Council public hearing on this code amendment was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News as it was anticipated at that time that the Council’s review of the matter would be heard on December 7, 2004. However, at it’s scheduled meeting on December 7, 2004 and on February 1, 2005, the City Council continued the public hearing without discussion so that the matter could be heard in conjunction with the City-wide Fee Study report (to be heard as a separate agenda item).

ALTERNATIVES

    1. Modify, add, or delete the proposed code amendment language, as deemed appropriate; or
    2. Identify any issues of concern that may require further study and direct Staff to provide additional information at a subsequent meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel Rojas, AICP

Director of Planning, Building and

Code Enforcement

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachments

A – Proposed Draft Language and Ordinance No. __ with Exhibit "A" (Environmental Assessment Addendum)

B - City Council Staff Report dated June 17, 2003 and Minutes

C - Planning Commission Staff Report dated June 22, 2004

D - Excerpted June 22, 2004 Planning Commission Minutes

E - Report re: Crown Raising of City Trees from WCA, Inc.

PROPOSED REVISIONS TO SECTION 17.76.100

17.76.100 City Tree Review Permit

A. Purpose. This chapter provides a procedure for the pruning and/or removal of trees and/or foliage which are located on city property, a city easement or within the public right-of-way in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare by preventing the needless impairment of views from vista points and view lots.

  1. Approval Required. A city tree review permit is required prior to the pruning and/or removal of any tree and/or foliage, located on city property, a city easement or within the public right-of-way, for the purposes of view restoration.

C. Exemption. Trees and/or foliage located within the boundaries of the Miraleste recreation and park district shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

D. City Tree Review Permit Application. Any person owning or having an interest in land in the city may file an application for a city tree review permit. An application for a city tree review permit shall be made to the director on forms provided by the city, and shall include the following items:

  1. A completed application form signed by the property owner of the property where the view is impaired; and
  2. A plan or map, drawn to the satisfaction of the director, which clearly shows the location of each tree and/or foliage located on city property, a city easement, or within the public right-of-way that is impairing the view of the applicant; and
  3. A current photograph of the alleged view impairment taken from the applicant’s viewing area; and
  4. An application fee, as established by City Council resolution.

E. Review Criteria. Within thirty days of the applicant's submittal of the complete city tree review permit application, The director or the director's designee shall either grant, deny or conditionally grant the city tree review permit if, after conducting an investigation of the applicant's property, it is determined that trees and/or foliage located on City property, a City easement or in the public right-of-way are significantly impairing a view from a viewing area of the applicant's lot, as defined in Section 17.02.040 (Single-Family Residential Districts) of this title.

1. After conducting an investigation of the applicant's property, it is determined that trees and/or foliage located on city property, a city easement or in the public right-of-way are significantly impairing a view from a viewing area of the applicant's lot, as defined in Section 17.02.040 (Single-Family Residential Districts) of this title;

  1. The trees and/or foliage, which are significantly impairing a view from a viewing area of the applicant's lot, are located less than one thousand feet from any part of the applicant's lot; and

3. The trees and/or foliage, which are significantly impairing a view from a viewing area of the applicant's lot, did not exist as view impairing vegetation when the applicant's lot was created.

  1. Conditions of Permit Issuance. In granting any approval under this section, the director may impose such conditions thereon as may be reasonably necessary to prevent danger to public or private property; to prevent the tree removal or pruning from being conducted in a manner that is likely to create a nuisance; or to preserve the intent of any goal or policy of the general plan. No person shall violate any conditions so imposed by the director. Such conditions may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

1. For a parkway city trees and/or foliage that is part of a city-identified uniform street tree program or landscaping plan are located within the parkways and roadway medians, or within any other city property or city easement (except city parks):

a. The city shall determine whether the tree and/or foliage shall be pruned or removed in order to restore the applicant's view. If the city determines that the tree and/or foliage is to be removed and the owner of the property directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way where the tree and/or foliage is located requests that a replacement tree and/or foliage be planted, the city shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage.

b. The city shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage pruning, removal and/or replacement. Whenever work is to be performed, it may be performed by the city or by a licensed contractor hired by the applicant and approved by the city.

c. If the city determines that the tree and/or foliage may be pruned to restore the applicant's view, the city and applicant shall enter into an agreement, drafted by the city attorney, binding the city to maintain the trees and/or foliage which have been pruned so as to prevent future view impairment by such trees and/or foliage. The agreement shall require the city to undertake such maintenance on at least an annual basis.

    1. A view-impairing tree and/or foliage shall be removed and replaced with a similar 24-inch box size tree by the City. The City shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage removal and replacement. Trees and/or foliage that are removed shall not be replaced if the following conditions exist:
    1. The replacement tree or foliage will immediately cause a significant impairment of the view from the applicant’s viewing area;
    2. The Director of Public Works determines a replacement tree would cause damage to the improvements in the public right-of-way (street, curb, sidewalk, etc.) or obscure traffic visibility or create an impediment to pedestrian access within the public right-of-way;
    1. The City shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage, if any.

c. If a person who has received notification of the Director's decision files a written request to not remove the tree(s) (within 7 days of the notification), then the trees and/or foliage may be pruned instead of removed, provided the following conditions can be met:

    1. The Director determines that the pruning of the subject tree and/or foliage will eliminate the significant impairment of the applicant's view;
    2. The Director determines that the pruning of the subject tree and/or foliage will not result in an unsightly tree and /or likely kill or weaken the tree;
    3. The Director of Public Works determines that the trees and/or foliage have not, and will not, cause damage to improvements in the public right-of-way (street, curb, sidewalk, etc.);
    4. The City and the owner of the property directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way parkway where the tree and/or foliage is located enter into an agreement that is recorded on the title of the owner’s property, binding the property owner and any future property owners to maintain the tree and/or foliage so as to prevent future significant view impairment by such tree and/or foliage. The agreement between the City and the property owner shall specify the maximum time interval, as determined to be appropriate by the Director, within which the property owner shall undertake and pay for such maintenance;
    5. Should the property owner, who has entered into an agreement with the City to maintain a City tree or foliage, within 30 days of receiving a notice from the City requesting maintenance, fail to adhere to the maintenance provisions of the agreement, then the City shall terminate the agreement and shall remove the subject tree(s)/foliage at the City’s expense.

2. For parkway trees and/or foliage that are not part of a city-identified uniform street tree program or landscaping plan:

a. The trees and/or foliage shall be removed, and not replaced. The applicant shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage removal. Whenever work is to be performed, it may be performed by the city or by a licensed contractor hired by the applicant and approved by the city. If the work is performed by the city, the applicant shall establish a trust deposit account with the city in an amount determined by the director of public works prior to the commencement of any work. If a person who has received notification of the director's decision files a written request, the trees and/or foliage may be pruned instead of removed, subject to the following requirements:

i. The director determines that the pruning of the subject trees and/or foliage will adequately restore the applicant's view;

ii. The director of public works determines that the trees and/or foliage have not, and will not, cause damage to the improvements in the public right-of-way (street, curb, sidewalk, etc.);

iii. The city and the owner of the property directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way parkway where the trees and/or foliage are located enter into an agreement, drafted by the city attorney, binding the property owner to maintain the trees and/or foliage that have been pruned so as to prevent future view impairment by such trees and/or foliage. The agreement between the city and the property owner shall specify the maximum time interval, as determined to be appropriate by the director, within which the property owner shall undertake such maintenance;

iv. If pruning, rather than removal, would increase the cost of restoring the view, the owner of the property directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way parkway where the trees and/or foliage are located shall pay the difference in cost. The property owner shall establish a trust deposit account with the city in an amount determined by the director of public works prior to the commencement of any work.

3. For trees and/or foliage located within a roadway median, a city park or within any other city property or city easement, not including parkways:

a. If the city determines that the tree and/or foliage needs to be removed in order to restore the applicant's view, the city shall determine whether the tree and/or foliage shall be replaced, and shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage.

b. If the city determines that the tree and/or foliage can be pruned to restore the applicant's view, the city and applicant shall enter into an agreement, drafted by the city attorney, binding the city to maintain the trees and/or foliage which have been pruned so as to prevent future view impairment by such trees and/or foliage. The agreement shall require the city to undertake such maintenance on at least an annual basis.

c. The city shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage pruning, removal and/or replacement. Whenever work is to be performed, it may be performed by the city or by a licensed contractor hired by the applicant and approved by the city.

3. For trees and/or foliage located within a roadway median, a city park or within any other city property or city easement, not including parkways:

a. If the City determines that the tree and/or foliage needs to be removed in order to restore the applicant's view, the city shall determine whether the tree and/or foliage shall be replaced, and shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage.

b. If the City determines that the tree and/or foliage can be pruned to restore the applicant's view, the city and applicant shall enter into an agreement, drafted by the city attorney, binding the city to maintain the trees and/or foliage which have been pruned so as to prevent future view impairment by such trees and/or foliage. The agreement shall require the city to undertake such maintenance on at least an annual basis. the City shall maintain the trees and/or foliage so as to prevent future view impairment by the trees and/or foliage.

c. The City shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage pruning, removal and/or replacement. The City shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage. Whenever work is to be performed, it shall be performed by the City.

G. Notification. When the director makes a determination regarding a City tree review permit, written notice of the decision shall be given.

1. When the foliage is located on a City street or easement, the notice shall be sent to the applicant(s), the appropriate Homeowners Association, and the ten (10 ) closest adjacent properties including the property owners directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way where the tree(s) and/or foliage, which are subject to removal, are located. Adjacent properties shall include the ten (10) closest lots, which are on the same street, directly abutting and adjacent to the property where the tree and/or foliage are located. Notice of denial shall be given only to the applicant.

2. When the foliage is located in a City park, notice of the director’s decision shall be given only to the applicant.

H. Appeals. Any interested person receiving notice of the director's decision may appeal the decision of the director to the view restoration planning commission, in writing, within fifteen calendar days of the director's decision. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040(C)(2)(g) of the Municipal Code, the decision of the view restoration planning commission on such an appeal may be appealed to the City Council. Any appeal must be accompanied by payment of the appropriate appeal fee. No city tree review permit shall be effective until all applicable appeal periods have been exhausted.

ORDINANCE NO. ____

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGARDING CITY TREE REVIEW PERMITS AND AMENDING TITLE 17 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE

WHEREAS, Section 17.76.100 of Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code (the "Municipal Code") sets forth various procedures and regulations regarding City Tree Review Permits; and,

WHEREAS, in June 17, 2003, after public review of the cost reduction proposal for view restoration services, the City Council directed Staff to initiate a code amendment to streamline the City Tree Review Permit process contained in Section 17.76.100; and,

WHEREAS, on March 27, 2004, notice of a public hearing on the proposed amendments to Section 17.76.100 of the Municipal Code was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and,

WHEREAS, after notice was issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the Planning Commission conducted public hearings on April 27, 2004 and June 22, 2004, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Section 17.76.100; and,

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission reviewed and considered the proposed code amendments to Section 17.76.100 and forwarded its recommendations to the City Council for its consideration; and,

WHEREAS, on October, 30 2004, a notice of a City Council public hearing on this code amendment was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and,

WHEREAS, at its December 7, 2004 and February 1, 2005 meeting, the City Council continued the public hearing, without discussion, to its February 15, 2005 meeting to allow the matter to be heard in conjunction with a forthcoming City-wide Fee Study report; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council held a duly noticed public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Municipal Code on February 15, 2005, at which time all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence;

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The City Council has reviewed and considered the amendments to Section 17.76.100 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code.

Section 2. The City Council finds that the proposed amendments to Chapter 76.100 of Title 17 are consistent with the purposes and intent of Proposition M in that the revisions concerning the City Tree Review Permit policy further the goals of Proposition M and merely streamline the process and reduce the costs associated with that process.

Section 3: The City Council further finds, based upon its own independent review, that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Title 17 would result in new significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of the effects, as previously identified in Environmental Assessment No. 694 and the Negative Declaration adopted through Resolution No. 97-25 in conjunction with Ordinance No. 320 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the Municipal Code, because the new amendments are minor language revisions that establish a permit application fee and streamline the review criteria for the City Tree Review Permit application process. Part of the amendment will also require removal of City tree(s) upon approval of the City Tree Review Permit, however the replanting of tree(s) as a condition of approval for the City Tree Review Permit shall mitigate any impact caused by such removal. Accordingly, the Council hereby finds that Addendum (No. 13) to the prior Negative Declaration, which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A," complies with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Section 4. Section 17.76.100 of Chapter 17.76 of Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

17.76.100 City tree review permit.

A. Purpose. This chapter provides a procedure for the pruning and/or removal of trees and/or foliage which are located on city property, a city easement or within the public right-of-way in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare by preventing the needless impairment of views from vista points and view lots.

B. Approval Required. A city tree review permit is required prior to the pruning and/or removal of any tree and/or foliage, located on city property, a city easement or within the public right-of-way, for the purposes of view restoration.

C. Exemption. Trees and/or foliage located within the boundaries of the Miraleste recreation and park district shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

D. City Tree Review Permit Application. Any person owning land in the city may file an application for a city tree review permit. An application for a city tree review permit shall be made to the director on forms provided by the city, and shall include the following items:

    1. A completed application form signed by the property owner of the property where the view is impaired; and
    2. A plan or map, drawn to the satisfaction of the director, which clearly shows the location of each tree and/or foliage located on city property, a city easement, or within the public right-of-way that is impairing the view of the applicant; and
    3. A current photograph of the alleged view impairment taken from the applicant’s viewing area; and
    4. An application fee, as established by City Council resolution.

E. Review Criteria. The director or the director's designee shall either grant, or conditionally grant the city tree review permit if, after conducting an investigation of the applicant's property, it is determined that trees and/or foliage located on City property, a City easement or in the public right-of-way are significantly impairing a view from a viewing area of the applicant's lot, as defined in Section 17.02.040 (Single-Family Residential Districts) of this title.

F. Conditions of Permit Issuance. In granting any approval under this section, the director may impose such conditions thereon as may be reasonably necessary to prevent danger to public or private property; to prevent the tree removal or pruning from being conducted in a manner that is likely to create a nuisance; or to preserve the intent of any goal or policy of the general plan. No person shall violate any conditions so imposed by the director. Such conditions may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

    1. For a city tree and/or foliage that is located within the parkway and roadway median, or within any other city property or city easement (except city parks):
      1. A view-impairing tree and/or foliage shall be removed and replaced with a similar 24-inch box size tree by the City. The City shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage removal and replacement. Trees and/or foliage that are removed shall not be replaced if the following conditions exist:
      1. The replacement tree or foliage will immediately cause a significant impairment of the view from the applicant’s viewing area;
      2. The Director of Public Works determines a replacement tree would cause damage to the improvements in the public right-of-way (street, curb, sidewalk, etc.) or obscure traffic visibility or create an impediment to pedestrian access within the public right-of-way;
      1. The City shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage, if any.
      2. If a person who has received notification of the Director's decision files a written request to not remove the tree or foliage (within 7 days of the notification), then the tree and/or foliage may be pruned instead of removed, provided the following conditions can be met:
      1. The Director determines that the pruning of the subject tree and/or foliage will eliminate the significant impairment of the applicant's view;
      2. The Director determines that the pruning of the subject tree and/or foliage will not result in an unsightly tree and /or likely kill or weaken the tree;
      3. The Director of Public Works determines that the tree and/or foliage has not, and will not, cause damage to improvements in the public right-of-way (street, curb, sidewalk, etc.);
      4. The City and the owner of the property directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way parkway where the tree and/or foliage is located enter into an agreement that is recorded on the title of the owner’s property, binding the property owner and any future property owners to maintain the trees and/or foliage so as to prevent future significant view impairment by such tree and/or foliage. The agreement between the City and the property owner shall specify the maximum time interval, as determined to be appropriate by the Director, within which the property owner shall undertake and pay for such maintenance;
      5. Should the property owner, who has entered into an agreement with the City to maintain a City tree or foliage, within 30 days of receiving a notice from the City requesting maintenance, fail to adhere to the maintenance provisions of the agreement, then the City shall terminate the agreement and shall remove the subject tree(s)/foliage at the City’s expense.
    1. For trees and/or foliage located within a city park:

a. If the City determines that the tree and/or foliage needs to be removed in order to restore the applicant's view, the City shall determine whether the tree and/or foliage shall be replaced, and shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage.

b. If the City determines that the tree and/or foliage can be pruned to restore the applicant's view without damaging or killing the tree or foliage, the City shall maintain the tree and/or foliage so as to prevent future view impairment by the tree and/or foliage.

c. The City shall pay for all costs of tree and/or foliage pruning, removal and/or replacement. The City shall make the final determination as to the type and number of replacement trees and/or foliage. Whenever work is to be performed, it shall be performed by the City.

G. Notification. When the director makes a determination regarding a City tree review permit, written notice of the decision shall be given as follows:

    1. When the foliage is located on a City street or easement, a notice of the determination to grant the application shall be sent to the applicant(s), the appropriate Homeowners Association, and the ten (10 ) closest adjacent properties including the owner(s) of the property directly abutting or underlying the public right-of-way where the subject tree(s) and/or foliage are located. Adjacent properties shall include the ten (10) closest lots, which are on the same street, directly abutting and adjacent to the property where the tree and/or foliage are located. Notice of denial shall be given only to the applicant.
    2. When the foliage is located in a City park, notice of the director’s decision shall be given only to the applicant.

H. Appeals. Any interested person receiving notice of the director's decision may appeal the decision to the planning commission, in writing, within fifteen calendar days of the director's decision. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040(C)(2)(g) of the Municipal Code, the decision of the planning commission on such an appeal may be appealed to the City Council. Any appeal must be accompanied by payment of the appropriate appeal fee, as established by City Council resolution. No city tree review permit shall be effective until all applicable appeal periods have been exhausted.

Section 5: The amendments to Section 17.76.100 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code as identified herein shall apply to all City Tree Review Permit applications submitted after the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance and to all City Tree Review Permit applications that have not been deemed complete prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance.

Section 6: The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this ordinance and shall cause the full text of this ordinance to be posted in the manner prescribed by law.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 15th day of February 2005.

_______________________
Mayor

ATTEST:

_______________________
City Clerk

STATE OF CALIFORNIA )

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES )ss
CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES )

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; the foregoing Ordinance No. _____ was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on February 15, 2005, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

___________________________
City Clerk