City of Westbrook, ME
Cumberland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Westbrook as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-11-1972 (Ch. 32 of the 2007 Code)]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Municipal Tree Ordinance of the City of Westbrook."
For the purpose of this article, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular, and words in the singular include the plural. The word "shall" is mandatory and not merely directory.
FORESTRY DEPARTMENT
The designated department of the municipality under whose jurisdiction park and/or street trees fall.
MUNICIPAL ARBORIST
The designated official of the City of Westbrook assigned to carry out the enforcement of this article.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind.
PROPERTY LINE
The outer edge of a street or highway right-of-way.
PROPERTY OWNER
The person owning such property as shown by the Tax Maps, City of Westbrook, unless proof to the contrary is available.
PUBLIC PLACES
All grounds owned by the City of Westbrook.
PUBLIC TREES
All shade and ornamental trees now or hereafter growing on any street or any public areas or overhanging said street or public areas.
STREET or HIGHWAY
The entire width of every public way or right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right.
TREE LAWN
Part of a street or highway, not covered by sidewalk or other paving, lying between the property line and that portion of the street or highway usually used for vehicular traffic.
A. 
Large trees are designated as those attaining a height of 45 feet or more.
B. 
Medium trees are designated as those attaining a height of 30 feet to 45 feet.
C. 
Small trees are designated as those attaining a height of 20 feet to 30 feet.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
The Recreation and Conservation Commission may study the problems and determine the needs of the City in connection with its tree-planting program.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II)]
The Municipal Arborist shall be a person skilled and trained in the arts and sciences of municipal arboriculture and shall hold a college degree or its equivalent in arboriculture, ornamental or landscape horticulture, urban forestry, or other closely related field. The Municipal Arborist shall have passed any applicable state examinations and shall hold a current regular arborist's license from the State of Maine.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
The Municipal Arborist shall have the authority to promulgate the rules and regulations of the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice governing the planting, maintenance, removal, fertilization, pruning, and bracing of trees on the streets or other public sites in the municipality and shall direct, regulate, and control the planting, maintenance, and removal of all trees growing now or hereafter in any public area of the City of Westbrook. He shall cause the provisions of this article to be enforced. In his absence, these duties shall be the responsibility of a qualified alternate designated by City administration.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
A. 
Ensure safety and preserve aesthetics. The Municipal Arborist shall have the authority and jurisdiction of regulating the planting, maintenance, and removal of public trees on streets and other publicly owned property to ensure safety or preserve the aesthetics of such public sites.
B. 
Supervise and inspect. The Municipal Arborist shall have the authority and it shall be his duty to supervise or inspect all work done under a permit issued in accordance with the terms of this article.
C. 
Affix conditions to permits. The Municipal Arborist shall have the authority to affix reasonable conditions to the granting of a permit in accordance with the terms of this article.
D. 
Formulate master street tree plan; contents, effect of plan. The Municipal Arborist shall have the authority to formulate a master street tree plan with the advice of the Recreation and Conservation Commission. The master street tree plan shall specify the species of trees to be planted on each of the streets or other public sites of the municipality. From and after the effective date of the master street tree plan, or any amendment thereof, all planting shall conform thereto.
(1) 
Consideration of utility and environmental factors. The Municipal Arborist shall consider all existing and future utility and environmental factors when recommending a specific species for each of the streets and other public sites of the municipality.
(2) 
Amendments. The Municipal Arborist, with the advice of the Recreation and Conservation Commission, shall have the authority to amend or add to the master street tree plan at any time that circumstances make it advisable.
A. 
Planting, maintenance or removal generally.
(1) 
No person shall plant, spray, fertilize, preserve, prune, remove, cut above ground, or otherwise disturb any tree on any street or municipally owned property without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the Municipal Arborist or otherwise specified municipal authority. The person receiving the permit shall abide by the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice adopted by the Municipal Arborist. In emergency situations, such as storm damage to trees, requiring immediate pruning or removal, the work may be done; however, the Arborist must be informed of such action within two days thereafter.
(2) 
Application for permits must be made at the office of the Municipal Arborist not less than 48 hours in advance of the time the work is to be done.
(3) 
Standards of issuance. The Municipal Arborist shall issue the permit provided for herein if, in his judgment, the proposed work is desirable and the proposed method and workmanship thereof are of a satisfactory nature. Any permit granted shall contain a definite date of expiration and the work shall be completed in the time allowed on the permit and in the manner as therein described. Any permit shall be void if its terms are violated.
(4) 
Notice of completion shall be given within five days to the Municipal Arborist for his inspection.
B. 
Planting:
(1) 
Application data. The application required herein shall state the number of trees to be set out; the location, grade, species, cultivar or variety of each tree; the method of planting; and such other information as the Municipal Arborist shall find reasonably necessary to a fair determination of whether a permit should be issued.
(2) 
Improper planting. Whenever any tree shall be planted or set out in conflict with the provisions of this section, it shall be lawful for the Municipal Arborist to remove or cause removal of the same, and the exact cost thereof shall be assessed to the owner as provided by law in the case of special assessments.
C. 
Maintenance:
(1) 
Application data. The application required herein shall state the number and kinds of trees to be sprayed, fertilized, pruned, or otherwise preserved; the kind of treatment to be administered; the composition of the spray material to be applied; and such other information as the Municipal Arborist shall find reasonably necessary to a fair determination of whether a permit should be issued.
D. 
Removal, replanting and replacement:
(1) 
Whenever it is necessary to remove a tree or trees from a tree lawn in connection with the paving of a sidewalk, or the paving or widening of the portion of a street or highway used for vehicular traffic, the municipality shall replant such trees or replace them. Provided that conditions prevent planting on tree lawns, this requirement will be satisfied if any equivalent number of trees of the same size and species as provided for in the arboricultural specifications are planted on the adjoining property.
(2) 
No person or property owner shall remove a tree from the tree lawn for the purpose of construction, or for any other reason, without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the Municipal Arborist, and without replacing the removed tree or trees in accordance with the adopted arboricultural specifications. Such replacement shall meet the standards of size, species, and placement as provided for in a permit issued by the Municipal Arborist. The person or property owner shall bear the cost of removal and replacement of all trees removed.
Unless specifically authorized by the Municipal Arborist, no person shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree; attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters, or other contrivance to any tree; allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in contact with them; or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any tree.
No person shall hinder, prevent, delay, or interfere with the Municipal Arborist or any of his assistants while engaged in carrying out the execution or enforcement of this article; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as an attempt to prohibit the pursuit of any remedy, legal or equitable, in any court of competent jurisdiction for the protection of property rights by the owner of any property within the municipality.
A. 
All trees on any street or other publicly owned property near any excavation or construction of any building, structure, or street work shall be guarded with a good substantial fence, frame, or box not less than four feet high and eight feet square, or at a distance in feet from the tree equal to the diameter of the trunk in inches diameter at breast height (DBH), whichever is greater, and all building material, dirt, or other debris shall be kept outside the barrier.
B. 
No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels, or trenches or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet from any public tree without first obtaining a written permit from the Municipal Arborist.
No person shall deposit, place, store, or maintain upon any public place of the municipality any stone, brick, sand, concrete, or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air, and fertilizer to the roots of any tree growing therein, except by written permit of the Municipal Arborist.
The Municipal Arborist shall have the authority to promulgate the rules and regulations of the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice governing the planting, maintenance, removal, fertilization, pruning, and bracing of trees on the streets or other public sites in the municipality.
[Adopted 12-3-1973 (Ch. 15 of the 2007 Code)]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "City Forest Ordinance of the City of Westbrook."
The purpose of this article shall be to provide open space areas in the City for recreation, timber harvesting, wildlife, watershed protection, scenic beauty, and affiliated educational uses.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
The Recreation and Conservation Commission shall be responsible for the management of the City forest. All work done in the City forest shall be under the direct supervision of the City Arborist. The Recreation and Conservation Commission may develop and implement a City forest management plans, subject to the approval of City Council and in coordination with the City Arborist.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
The Recreation and Conservation Commission may receive gifts, including land rights and easements, in the name of the City for any of the purposes of this article, and administer the same, subject to the terms of the gift and the provisions outlined in § 7-30 of this Code.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
The Recreation and Conservation Commission may recommend the acquisition of lands to be included in the City forest, said acquisition to be subject to approval of a two-thirds vote of the City Council, in accordance with 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3201.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
A. 
The Recreation and Conservation Commission shall inventory property presently held by the City, recommending which parcels should be dedicated solely to the purposes of this article. Such recommendations shall be submitted to the Planning Board for a report.
B. 
The report of the Planning Board, together with the recommendations of the Recreation and Conservation Commission, will be considered by the City Council in determining which parcels of City-owned property shall be dedicated to the City forest.
C. 
Property so dedicated shall be designated by the Assessor's office and shall be listed as such on a schedule, which shall become part of this article.
D. 
Dedication shall be by a two-thirds vote of the City Council.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
Parcels can be removed from the City forest designation only by a two-thirds favorable vote of each of the following City boards: Recreation and Conservation Commission, Planning Board, and City Council.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-69]
The schedule of property dedicated to the Westbrook City forest is on file in the office of the City Clerk.