[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Brentwood 3-7-1994 (Ch. 141, Art. I, of the 1986 Code) Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to preserve, protect and promote the urban forest of Brentwood, which is part of a large ecosystem which contributes significantly to air, noise and visual pollution control, moderates climate extremes, promotes sound energy conservation and has a significant aesthetic value affecting property values and the Town's quality of life; and to establish a Town Tree Committee to be responsible for the tree program which regulates the planting, maintenance and removal of trees in public places. Other goals of this chapter are to promote public awareness of and pride in urban forests, to observe Arbor Day and to become a "Tree City, USA" community.
All trees in the public domain in Brentwood are considered a part of the Town's urban forest and are subject to the provisions of this chapter.
Creation. There shall be created a committee to be known and designated as the "Town Tree Committee" composed of five members. The terms of the members shall be three years. All members shall serve without pay. Vacancies caused by death, resignations or otherwise shall be filled by the Mayor with the approval of the Council.
Duties and responsibilities. It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to study, investigate, counsel, develop and/or update annually and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas. Such a plan will be presented annually to the Town Council and, upon its acceptance and approval, shall constitute the Official Comprehensive Town Tree Plan for the Town. A tree may be removed by recommendation of the Committee and the State Forester and approval of the Mayor and Town Council if it is affected by untreatable injurious fungus, insect or other pests.
No person shall remove or destroy or cause the removal or destruction of a tree on any public property or undertake construction or other action that may significantly and permanently detract from the health or growth of a tree without first having obtained permission from the Town Clerk, which shall only be issued upon the presentation of an application bearing the approval of the Mayor and Town Council.
It is unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm or Town department to top any street, park or other tree on public property to such a degree as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes or certain trees under utility lines or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this chapter (as determined by the Town Tree Committee).
The official street tree species list is to be established.
Any of the following shall constitute a municipal infraction for which a citation may be issued:
The fine for each violation shall be $50 per tree affected, plus $25 per inch of tree circumference greater than 24 inches, measured 4 1/2 feet above ground level, with a maximum fine of $100 per tree affected; and a fine of $200 for each repeat of that offense.
A misdemeanor violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a mandatory fine of $50 for each tree affected, plus $25 per inch of tree circumference greater than 24 inches, measured 4 1/2 feet above ground level, to a maximum of $500 per tree or such other greater maximum as may be permitted by state law. The minimum fine may be suspended only upon a finding that the violation was the first offense by the party charged and that there was no willingness involved.
No permission shall be required when performing professionally accepted tree maintenance.