CLAYTON — City Council held the first of two readings of an ordinance to address the need to remove trees, plants and shrubbery in an emergency instance if deemed to be an immediate danger to the public.
The legislation is intended to allow the removal of trees, plants or shrubbery that obstruct the proper distribution of light from street lamps or that obstruct the view of traffic approaching an intersection. It gives the city the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees or other growth within the lines of all streets or alleys as necessary to ensure public safety.
Trees must be trimmed to have a clear height of ten feet above the surface of sidewalks and 12 feet above the surface of a street or roadway. Trees along lots near street lights must be trimmed so as not to obstruct light from reaching the street and sidewalk.
The legislation would give the city manager or designee or zoning administrator the ability to order the removal any tree or portion of a tree, plant or shrub which is in an unsafe condition. These can also be removed if growth is “injurious” to sewers, electric power lines, gas or water lines or other public improvements, or if it is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.
Removal or trimming would be completed within 60 days of notice at the owner’s expense. The property owner could perform the necessary work or hire a contractor to perform the work. If the city performs the work or hires someone, the property owner would be required to pay the city within 30 days of receiving a statement of costs from the city. If not paid within 30 days the city could charge the costs as a lien upon the property.
The second reading of the ordinance is scheduled to take place at the June 16 meeting.