Platte City, MO
Platte County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 240.010 Purpose and Intent.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
A. 
It is the purpose of this Article to promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare by providing for the development and implementation of a Community Forestry Plan to address the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees, shrubs and other plants in order to promote, maintain, and improve the urban forest resource of the City of Platte City.
B. 
This Article provides full power and authority over all trees, plants and shrubs located within street rights-of-way, parks and public places of the City; and to trees, plants and shrubs located on private property that constitute a hazard or threat as described herein.

Section 240.020 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
PARK TREES
Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks and all areas owned by the City, or to which the public has free access as a park.
STREET TREES
Trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation on public land and rights-of-way on either side of all streets avenues, or ways within the City.
TREE TOPPING
The severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three (3) inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.

Section 240.030 Designation of City Tree Board.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
The Community Forestry Plan shall be managed by a City Tree Board, consisting of not less than three (3) persons to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Board of Aldermen.

Section 240.040 Duties and Responsibilities.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
It shall be the responsibility of the Tree Board to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually, and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the Board of Aldermen and upon their acceptance and approval shall constitute the official Community Forestry Plan for the City of Platte City. The Tree Board, when requested by the Board of Aldermen, shall consider, investigate, make finding, report and recommend upon any special matter of question coming within the scope of its work.

Section 240.050 Street Tree Species To Be Planted.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
Only desirable, long-lived trees of good appearance, beauty, adaptability, and generally free from injurious insects or disease shall be planted in public sites. The Tree Board shall establish a list of official tree species acceptable for planting, divided into three (3) categories of trees based on average height of each tree at maturity; those categories being small, medium and large trees. No species other than those included in this list may be planted as Street Trees without written permission of the Tree Board.

Section 240.060 Spacing.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
The spacing of Street Trees will be in accordance with the three (3) species size classes as referred to in Section 240.050, and no trees may be planted closer together than the following: Small trees, thirty (30) feet; Medium trees, forty (40) feet; and Large trees, fifty (50) feet; except in special plantings designed by a landscape architect and approved on a case by case basis by the Tree Board.

Section 240.070 Distance From Curb and Sidewalk.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curb lines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three (3) species size classes as referred to in Section 240.050, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following; small trees, two (2) feet; medium trees, three (3) feet; and large trees, four (4) feet.

Section 240.080 Distance From Street Corners and Fire Hydrants.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
No street tree shall be planted closer than thirty-five (35) feet of any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersection curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted within ten (10) feet of any fire hydrant.

Section 240.090 Utilities.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
No street trees other than those species listed as small trees in the adopted list of street trees may be planted under or within ten (10) lateral feet of any overhead utility wire.

Section 240.100 Public Tree Care.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
A. 
The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the public rights-of-way or boundaries of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds, as may be necessary to insure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.
B. 
The City may remove or cause 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 affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. This Section does not prohibit the planting of street trees by adjacent property owners providing that the selection and location of said trees shall be in accordance with Sections 240.060 through 240.090.

Section 240.110 Abutting Property Owners — Duty To Maintain.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
Property owners abutting rights-of-way, shall be responsible for maintaining trees, shrubs, and other woody vegetation within such rights-of-way in a manner which promotes safe and healthy plants and which protects the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Said property owners shall not allow such plants to hinder or obstruct the rights-of-way, interfere with traffic on adjacent streets or alleys, or to create a nuisance, and shall prune the branches and remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs. Branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection. Said owners shall maintain a minimum height clearance over sidewalks of ten (10) feet. Minimum height clearance over streets shall be thirteen (13) feet, except for improved thoroughfares and designated truck routes which shall be fourteen (14) feet.

Section 240.120 Tree Topping.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or City department to top any street tree, park tree, or other tree on public property. 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 Article at the determination of the Tree Board.

Section 240.130 Removal of Stumps.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.

Section 240.140 Interference With City.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the City, or any of its agents, while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this Article.

Section 240.150 Enforcement By City Building Official.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003; Ord. No. 1650 §5, 3-10-2010]
A. 
The City Building Official shall be the person approved by the City Administrator to serve in the Codes Enforcement/Building Inspector position and shall have the duty to investigate complaints or information received concerning conditions that may require the removal of trees, shrubs or other plants and to determine whether removal is warranted under the provisions of this Article and the policies established by the Tree Board, to order the removal of a tree, shrub or other plant on behalf of the City.
B. 
A removal order issued by the Building Official shall be served upon the owner of the property where the tree, shrub or other plant to be removed is located, or to the owner of the property adjacent to the road right-of-way if the tree, shrub or other plant is to be removed from the right-of-way, together with notification that the removal will take place on a date certain not earlier than seven (7) calendar days after the mailing of the notice and order, and further notifying the recipient of the right to appeal under Section 240.160. An appeal filed with the Tree Board shall delay the removal of the subject tree, shrub or other plant until the Tree Board can conduct its hearing and issue its decision.
C. 
The Building Official may shorten the time period for notification and appeal of a removal order if, in the opinion of the Building Official, the tree, shrub or other plant proposed to be removed poses an immediate threat of harm to any person or property. If a determination is made that such an immediate threat is posed, then the Building Official shall also cause the subject tree, shrub or other plant to be barricaded and otherwise marked in order to direct members of the public away from the dangerous condition.

Section 240.160 Appeals.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
A. 
Unless otherwise specified in this Article, whenever it is claimed that the provisions of this Article do not apply or that the true intent and meaning of this Article has been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the respondent may appeal from the decision of the Building Official to the Tree Board prior to the date of removal stated in the notice and order of removal issued by the Building Official. Such appeal shall be made in writing and filed with the City Clerk.
B. 
The Board shall have the following powers:
1. 
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in an order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of this Article.
2. 
To hear and decide all matters referred to it or upon which it is required to pass under the provisions of this Article or other ordinances of the City.
3. 
In passing upon appeals, where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of this Article, to vary or modify the application of any of the regulations or provisions of this Article relating to the use, construction or alteration of buildings or structures, or the use of land so that the spirit of the Article shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done.

Section 240.170 Penalty.

[Ord. No. 1330 §1, 11-6-2003]
Any person violating any provision of this Article shall be, upon conviction or a plea of guilty before the Platte City Municipal Court, be subject to the misdemeanor penalties set forth in Section 100.100 of the Platte City Municipal Code.