City of Creve Coeur, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 220.010 Use of Native Plant Communities As An Alternative in Urban Landscape Design.

[R.O. 2008 §14-44; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
A. 
A variety of landscapes adds diversity and richness to the quality of life in Creve Coeur. There are, nonetheless, reasonable expectations regarding the City's landscapes which, if not met, may decrease the value of nearby properties, degrade the natural environment or threaten the public health and safety. It is therefore in the public interest and within the purview of this legislation to provide standards for the development and maintenance of the City's landscapes, whether corporate, private or public.
B. 
The City recognizes the landowners' interest in having managed turf grass landscapes. At the same time, the City encourages the preservation, restoration and management of native plant communities and wildlife habitats within the City limits. The City recognizes that the use of wildflowers and other native plants in managed landscapes is economical, reduces maintenance and effectively conserves water, soil and other elements of the natural community. Moreover, the preservation, restoration and management of native plant communities and wildlife habitats may preclude the introduction of toxic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other pollutants into the environment.
C. 
The City further acknowledges the need to enjoy and benefit from the variety, beauty and practical values of natural landscapes and seeks to guarantee citizens the freedom to employ varying degrees of natural landscaping as viable and desirable alternatives to other conventional modes of landscaping.
D. 
The City seeks to encourage each landowner to create and sustain a condition of ecological stability on his/her land, that is, a state of good health and vigor, as opposed to one of impairment and decline. It is not the intent of this legislation to allow vegetated areas to be unmanaged or overgrown in ways that may adversely affect human health or safety or pose a threat to authorized agricultural activity. It is the express intent of this City that it shall be lawful to grow native plants, including, but not limited to, ferns, grasses, forbs, aquatic plants, trees and shrubs, in a landscape when these plants were obtained not in violation of local, State or Federal laws.

Section 220.020 High Weeds, High Grass and Rank Vegetable Growth Prohibited.

[R.O. 2008 §14-45; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007; Ord. No. 5176 §1, 2-14-2011]
A. 
All areas shall be kept free from weeds, grass or rank vegetation in excess of seven (7) inches except as otherwise provided in Section 220.030 regarding exemptions to height limitation. It shall be the duty of any person owning, leasing, occupying or controlling any plot of ground in the City to prevent the growth of and eliminate noxious weeds including, but not limited to, cockleburs, thistles, ragweed, crown vetch, garlic mustard, purple loosestrife and Johnson grass. The Department of Public Works shall maintain a list of permitted ornamental grasses and native plants for use in connection with the enforcement of this Chapter.
B. 
Except as otherwise stated expressly in Subsection (A) or the list of plants referenced therein, weeds shall not include cultivated flowers, gardens and native plantings used for aesthetic enhancement, to improve the natural environment of Missouri and/or to offset and control any soil loss problems either occurring or predicted including bank stabilization on a creek system.

Section 220.030 Exemptions To Height Restrictions.

[R.O. 2008 §14-46; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
Ornamental grasses will be restricted to a height of seven (7) inches if obstructing sight distance anywhere within the City limits. Ornamental grasses and native plants are exempt from height restrictions in all parks or private property, if these grasses do not obstruct sight distance for vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian traffic and are located not less than five (5) feet from an adjacent property owner(s)' boundaries. The Public Works Department shall maintain a list of permitted ornamental grasses and native plants.

Section 220.040 Dead Trees, Bushes or Shrubbery Prohibited.

[R.O. 2008 §14-47; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
No person, whether owner, lessee or occupant, having control, possession or use of any lot or land, property or any part of any property shall allow dead trees, bushes, shrubbery or debris to remain on such property. Dead trees, bushes, shrubbery, when cut down, or debris must be promptly removed from the property and disposed of in such a manner as not to create a nuisance. It shall be the duty of those responsible under this Section for the removal of dead trees, bushes, shrubbery or debris from a private lot to also remove dead trees, bushes, shrubbery or debris from an abutting right-of-way or easement as defined in Section 220.070.

Section 220.050 Notice To Owner, Lessee or Occupant To Trim or Remove.

[R.O. 2008 §14-48; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
Wherever weeds, grass, rank vegetation growths or dead trees, bushes or shrubbery or debris in violation of this Article are found to exist on any property, the Chief Building Official or his/her designee shall notify, in writing, the owner or owners, lessee or occupant of such property or their agents by United States mail or by posting notice on the premises. Such notice shall include a copy of Sections 220.120(A) to 220.120(E) regarding appeals. If, after five (5) business days from the date of mailing or posting such notice, the weeds, grass or rank vegetation growths remain in excess of seven (7) inches in height or dead trees, bushes or shrubbery or debris remain on such property, then the Chief Building Official or his/her designee at any time thereafter may declare the weeds, grass, rank vegetation growth, dead trees, bushes or shrubbery or debris to be a public nuisance and proceed to have same removed and the cost billed as provided in this Article.

Section 220.060 Depositing Grass Clippings On Streets or Along Creeks — Misdemeanor.

[R.O. 2008 §14-49; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000]
No person whether owner, lessee, occupant or contractor shall allow or permit debris of any kind, including, but not limited to, weeds, grass, overgrown vegetation, dead trees, bushes or shrubbery, to be placed, left, mechanically blown, swept, fall or thrown onto any street, gutter, curb, road, lane, cul-de-sac, highway, alley, open creek, stream, watercourse, public place, common ground or right-of-way within the City limits. When complying with these Sections in cutting, mowing, trimming of weeds, grass, rank vegetation growths, dead trees, bushes and shrubbery, any such person shall promptly dispose of debris by removal or in such a manner as to not create a nuisance.

Section 220.070 Maintenance of Vegetation in The Right-Of-Way or Easement.

[R.O. 2008 §14-50; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007; Ord. No. 5492 §2, 8-22-2016]
Whenever private property abuts a public right-of-way or easement and there exists in such right-of-way or easement a tree, lawn or landscaped area between the private property line and the edge of the street pavement, then such tree, lawn or landscaped area shall be considered, for purposes of this Section, to be a part of the private lot which abuts the right-of-way or easement, and it shall be the duty of those responsible under this Section for the maintenance of the private lot to equally maintain the tree, lawn or landscaped area within the abutting right-of-way or easement. Whenever the public right-of-way or easement includes an island with a tree, lawn or landscaped area, then such tree, lawn or landscaped area shall likewise be considered for purposes of this Section to be part of the common ground to be maintained by the homeowner association or subdivision trustees of the surrounding area or if none then part of the private lots with frontage on the circular roadway area surrounding the island to be maintained jointly by the owners of such lots. Such requirements shall not apply to landscaped areas for which the City or another governmental entity regularly conducts maintenance.

Section 220.080 Removal By City Upon Owner, Lessee or Occupant's Failure To Comply With Notice — Collection of Costs.

[R.O. 2008 §14-51; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
If the weeds, grass, overgrown vegetation or dead trees, bushes or shrubbery or debris are not cut down and removed from such property on or before the fifth (5th) business day from the date of mailing or posting of notice provided for in Section 220.050, the Chief Building Official or his/her designee may, without further notice, have the same cut down and removed from such property. The Chief Building Official or his/her designee shall certify the cost of such cutting and removal to the City Clerk who shall cause the certified costs to be included in a special tax bill or added to the annual real estate tax bill for such property, at the Clerk's option, and the certified costs shall be collected in the same manner and procedure for collection of real estate taxes. If the certified cost is not paid, the tax bill shall be considered delinquent and the collection of the delinquent bill shall be governed by such laws applicable to delinquent and back taxes. The tax bill shall, from the date of its issuance, be deemed a personal debt against the owner of the property and shall also be a lien on the property until paid. The lien shall be enforceable in any manner provided by law and shall bear interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum.

Section 220.090 Administrative Costs and Lien Recording Fees.

[R.O. 2008 §14-52; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000]
As a part of the cost of cutting weeds, rank vegetation growth, dead trees, bushes and shrubbery pursuant to this Article, each lien issued under this Article shall include such reasonable administrative charges as are determined by the City Administrator for inspecting, giving notice for issuing and recording the lien.

Section 220.100 Failure To Comply With Notices — Misdemeanor.

[R.O. 2008 §14-53; Ord. No. 2047 §1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
If the weeds, grass, rank vegetation growths or dead trees, bushes, shrubbery or debris are not cut down and removed from such property on or before the fifth (5th) business day after the serving of the notice that the nuisance must be removed as provided for in Section 220.050 or if grass clippings are left in the street or along creeks and are not removed as required under Section 220.060, the owner, lessee or occupant of such property shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be subject to penalties as provided for in Section 100.090 of the Municipal Code. Municipal Court proceedings shall not be commenced prior to expiration of the appeal period set forth in Section 220.120(C) or while a timely filed appeal remains pending.

Section 220.110 Cost of Nuisance Removal or Abatement.

[R.O. 2008 §14-54; Ord. No. 2110 §§1 — 2, 2-12-2001]
A. 
In addition to any other remedy or procedure provided by Missouri Statute or City ordinances, if the owner of property has failed to begin or pursue without unnecessary delay the removal of a nuisance and the City has removed or abated a public nuisance that has been declared to exist on any lot or land as provided in the ordinances of the City of Creve Coeur, the cost of such removal or abatement may be added by the City to the annual real estate bill for the property and collected in the same manner and procedure for collecting real estate taxes.
B. 
The City Administrator is hereby authorized and directed to enter into such agreements with St. Louis County as are necessary or appropriate for St. Louis County to include such nuisance abatement fees with the tax bills sent each year by St. Louis County to residents of the City of Creve Coeur onto the tax bill of the owner of the property where said nuisance was removed or abated.

Section 220.120 Landscaping Appeals Process.

[R.O. 2008 §14-55; Ord. No. 4071 §1, 4-9-2007]
A. 
The Recycling, Environment and Beautification Committee shall hear appeals regarding the City's landscaping and weed ordinances, namely Chapter 220, Article I. Five (5) members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of making a decision.
B. 
Application For Appeal. Any person with a material interest in the decision of the Chief Building Official or his/her designee may appeal to the Recycling, Environment and Beautification Committee. An appeal shall be based on a claim that:
1. 
The decision of the Chief Building Official or his/her designee is not consistent with the true intent of the landscaping ordinances,
2. 
The provisions of the Code have been incorrectly interpreted, or
3. 
The provisions of the Code do not apply.
C. 
How To Initiate An Appeal. The first (1st) step in the appeals process is to be cited for a landscape violation or to challenge the Code interpretation of the Chief Building Official or his/her designee. The applicant must then send a letter and a filing fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) to the Chief Building Official requesting that the Recycling, Environment and Beautification Committee meet to hear the appeal. This letter must specifically state the violation or interpretation at issue, including pertinent Code Sections if known and the basis for appeal. Upon receipt of this letter the City will organize and schedule the hearing (typically within ten (10) working days). An informational summary packet will then be distributed by the Chief Building Official or his/her designee to the Committee members and applicant. A written appeal may not be filed more than thirty (30) days after the affected individuals are notified of the Chief Building Official or his/her designee's decision.
D. 
Meeting Procedure. All meetings are open to the public and all affected persons shall be given the opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Committee's adopted procedures. Strict rules of evidence do not apply.
E. 
Committee Decision. The Committee shall reverse or modify the decision of the Code Official only by a majority vote of the quorum present and voting. The Committee shall issue its decision by resolution. Otherwise, the Committee shall be deemed to have upheld the decision of the Chief Building Official or his/her designee. The Committee may not waive or set aside a Code requirement. If the appeal is successful, the one hundred fifty dollar ($150.00) filing fee shall be refunded to the applicant.

Section 220.130 Applicability.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-11; Ord. No. 1899 §1, 11-10-1997]
This Article provides full power and authority over all trees, plants and shrubs located within street rights-of-way, parks and publicly owned places of the City (not including subdivision common ground) and to trees, plants and shrubs located on private property that constitute a hazard or threat as described herein.

Section 220.140 Definitions.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-12; Ord. No. 1899 §2, 11-10-1997]
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
CITY ARBORIST
The designated official at the City of Creve Coeur, Missouri, assigned to carry out the enforcement of this Article.
CITY-OWNED PROPERTY
Property within the City limits of the City of Creve Coeur, Missouri, that is:
1. 
Owned by the City in fee simple absolute, or
2. 
Implied or expressly dedicated to the public for present or future use for purposes of vehicular or pedestrian traffic or for public utility easements.
CONTRACTOR
Someone paid to supply goods or services at a fixed price.
LANDMARK TREES
Trees with historic value or unusual qualities. A tree may qualify as a landmark tree if it meets one (1) or more of the following criteria: rare species, old age, association with a historical event or person, abnormality or scenic enhancement.
PARK TREES
Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names and all areas owned by the City or to which the public has free access as a park.
PROPERTY OWNER
The record owner or contract purchaser of any parcel of land.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Any tree with an infectious disease or insect problem; dead or dying trees; a tree or limb(s) that obstructs street lights, traffic signs or the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles; or a tree that poses a threat to safety.
STREET TREES
Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying within the public right-of-way of all streets, avenues or ways within the City.

Section 220.150 Landscaping.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-13; Ord. No. 1899 §3, 11-10-1997]
The Community Development Department will review landscaping plans and may require street trees to be planted in any of the streets, parking lots, parks and other public places abutting lands henceforth developed and/or subdivided according to Section 405.540 of the City Zoning Code.

Section 220.160 Tree Planting, Maintenance and Removal.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-14; Ord. No. 1899 §4, 11-10-1997; Ord. No. 4071 §2, 4-9-2007]
A. 
Tree Species. The Community Development Department has a list of desirable trees for planting along streets as required under the Zoning Code. Deviations from the approved list of street trees are subject to review and must be approved by the City prior to installation to prevent the use of species that are intolerant of disease, salt or other factors or which are susceptible to disease or decay.
B. 
Spacing. The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the Zoning Code, but in no case less than thirty (30) feet, center to center, except in special plantings designed or approved by a landscape architect.
C. 
Utilities. No street trees other than those species listed by the Community Development Department as small trees may be planted under or within ten (10) lateral feet of any overhead utility wire or over or within five (5) lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, transmission line or other utility.
D. 
Distance From Curb And Sidewalk. The distance street trees may be planted from curbs or curb lines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the Zoning Code (eight (8) feet minimum and twelve (12) feet maximum). If there is a grass strip between street and sidewalk, trees shall be centered in grass strip.
E. 
Topping. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or City department, as a normal practice, to top any street tree, park tree on public property. "Topping" is defined as the severe cutting back of branches or limbs to stubs within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and/or disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this Section at the determination of the Recycling and Environment Committee.

Section 220.170 Landowner Responsibility.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-15; Ord. No. 1899 §5, 11-10-1997]
No person shall plant, remove, cut above the ground or disturb any tree on any street, park or other public place without first procuring permission from the City Arborist. The person receiving the permission shall abide by the standards set forth in this Article.

Section 220.180 Protection of Landmark Trees.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-16; Ord. No. 1899 §6, 11-10-1997]
The City Arborist shall have as one of his/her duties the location, selection and identification of any trees that qualify as "landmark trees". Landmark trees shall be protected under new development or in public places.

Section 220.190 Private Trees.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-17; Ord. No. 1899 §7, 11-10-1997]
The City Arborist or his/her official designee has the authority to enter onto private property to determine if a public nuisance exists regarding a tree, shrub, plant or plant part.

Section 220.200 Enforcement.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-18; Ord. No. 1899 §8, 11-10-1997]
The City Arborist shall have the power to promulgate and enforce rules, regulations and specifications concerning the trimming, spraying, removal, planting, pruning and protection of trees, shrubs, vines, hedges and other plants upon the right-of-way of any street, alley, sidewalk or other public place in the City.

Section 220.210 Penalties, Claims and Appeals.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-19; Ord. No. 1899 §9, 11-10-1997]
A. 
Notice Of Violation. Any person who violates any provision of this Article or who fails to comply with any notice issued pursuant to provisions of this Article, upon being found guilty of violation, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each separate offense. Each day during which any violation of the provisions of this Article shall occur or continue shall be a separate offense. If, as the result of the violation of any provision of this Article, the injury, mutilation or death of a tree, shrub or other plant located on City-owned property is caused, the cost of repair or replacement of such tree, shrub or other plant shall be borne by the party in violation and shall be in addition to any fine imposed hereunder. The replacement value of trees and shrubs shall be determined in accordance with the latest revision of A Guide to the Professional Evaluation of Landscape Trees, Specimen Shrubs and Evergreens as published by the International Society of Arboriculture.
B. 
Abatement Of Nuisance. In the event that a nuisance is not abated by the date specified in the notice, the City Arborist is authorized to cause the abatement of said nuisance. The reasonable cost of such abatement shall be filed as a lien against the property on which the nuisance was located. In addition, the owner of the property upon which the nuisance was located shall be subject to prosecution.
C. 
Procedure For Appeals.
1. 
Time for appeals. Notice of appeal of an action, event or requirement of the City Arborist shall be filed with the City Administrator within a reasonable time, not to exceed thirty (30) days from the date of the event or action appealed from occurred.
2. 
If an appeal is timely filed with the City Administrator, such person shall be entitled to a hearing before the City Administrator within thirty (30) days after the notice of appeal has been filed. The City Administrator shall issue a written decision on such appeal within ten (10) days after such hearing. An appeal from the decision of the City Administrator may be filed with the City Council within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the City Administrator's decision. On an appeal to the City Council, a hearing shall be held in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of the State of Missouri (Chapter 536, RSMo.). Any appeal from the City Council's decision shall be to the Circuit Court in accordance with Chapter 536, RSMo.

Section 220.220 Reporting.

[R.O. 2008 §26.5-20; Ord. No. 1899 §10, 11-10-1997]
The City Arborist will write an annual report to be submitted to the Recycling and Environment Committee.