City of Auburn, NY
Cayuga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Auburn 9-4-1997 by Ord. No. 23-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning and subdivision — See Ch. 225.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 230.
Streets and public places — See Ch. 259, Art. IV.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have meanings indicated:
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
Shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the City.
The Department of Public Works shall be responsible for developing, updating and administering a written plan for the inventory, care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas. Such plan shall be presented to the City Council and, upon its acceptance and approval, shall constitute the official comprehensive tree plan for the City of Auburn.
A list of official tree species for the City of Auburn may change from time to time due to the introduction of new species and hybrids. The Department of Public Works is charged with creating and continually updating an official tree list of small, medium and large species appropriate for urban planning. As a long-term goal in protection against epidemic and widespread loss from ice storms, those species should represent no more than 10% of the total number of street trees and park trees owned by the City of Auburn.
The spacing of street trees shall be in accordance with the species size classes developed in § 277-3 of this chapter, and no trees may be planted closer together than the following, except in special plantings designed or approved by a landscape architect:
A. 
Small trees: 20 feet.
B. 
Medium trees: 30 feet.
C. 
Large trees: 40 feet.
The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines and sidewalks shall be in accordance with the three species size classes listed in § 277-3, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following:
A. 
Small trees: one foot.
B. 
Medium trees: 11/2 feet.
C. 
Large trees: two feet.
No street trees shall be planted closer than 40 feet to any street corner, measured from the point of the nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet to any fireplug, stop sign or streetlight.
No street trees, other than those species listed as small trees in § 277-3 of this chapter, may be planted over or within five lateral feet of any underground waterline, sewer line, transmission line or other utility.
A. 
The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure 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, waterlines or other public improvement or is infected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.
It shall be unlawful, as a normal practice, for any person or firm to top any street tree, park tree or other tree on public property. "Topping" is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions or where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this section at the determination of the Department of Public Works.
Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the City shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any streetlamp, obstruct the view of any street intersection or interfere with visibility of any traffic control device or sign and so that there shall be a clear space of 12 feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. In the event that the owner fails to prune the offending branches after five days' written notice from the Department of Public Works, the City shall have the right, at its own cost, to prune the offending branches and remove the obstruction.
The City shall have the right to cause the removal of any broken or decayed limbs or any dead or diseased tree on private property within the City, when such tree or part thereof constitutes a hazard to life and property or harbors insects or disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within the City. The City will notify, in writing, the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within 60 days after the date of service of notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the City shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal to the property owner. Said cost shall constitute a lien on the property upon which the tree is located and may be collected in the same manner as the collection of delinquent taxes.
A. 
An abutting landowner seeking removal of a dead, diseased, healthy or live tree situate on a public right-of-way shall file a petition with the Department of Public Works seeking permission for removal.
B. 
Petitions for removal of a healthy or live tree must demonstrate that removal will be of greater benefit to the inhabitants of the City than the existing tree or trees sought to be removed.
C. 
In determining whether removal of a healthy or live tree is in the best interest of the City, the Department of Public Works may recommend to the City Manager the removal of same if it determines that:
(1) 
Said tree is damaging public property and such damage cannot be permanently repaired save for tree removal; and
(2) 
Such tree is damaging abutting private property and such damage could result in liability to the City and such damage cannot be permanently repaired save for tree removal.
D. 
Trees that are ordered removed by the City Manager upon the recommendation of the Department of Public Works pursuant to this section must be replaced two trees for one.
E. 
No person or entity shall cut down any park or street tree, or cut any branch or limb therefrom, or otherwise disrupt or degrade tree form or health, without a written permit from the Department of Public Works arborist or his/her designee.
[Added 4-13-2006 by Ord. No. 7-2006]
F. 
No public service corporation or agent thereof shall trim trees in or on City street rights-of-way or public places for overhead utility line clearance without a written permit from the Department of Public Works arborist or his/her designee.
[Added 4-13-2006 by Ord. No. 7-2006]
G. 
Persons, entities and/or City departments conducting regular maintenance work on street trees and/or shrubs may be granted general permits to cover their work on a yearly basis.
[Added 4-13-2006 by Ord. No. 7-2006]
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be, upon conviction or a plea of guilty, subject to a fine not to exceed $500.