The activities below are exempt from both the minor tree removal permit and major tree clearing permit requirements of CMC 18.45.060, 18.45.070, and 18.45.080; provided, replanting pursuant to CMC 18.45.080(2) is still required, unless specifically detailed below. This section is not applicable to the removal of trees that do not meet the definition of a significant tree unless specified. The use of the exemptions listed below for the removal of replanted trees and landscaping as required pursuant to Chapter 18.40 CMC and Chapter 18.31 CMC is prohibited, unless the property is being redeveloped. No permit shall be required for tree removal pursuant to the exemptions listed within this section, unless such tree removal disturbs any critical area or critical area buffer, or within the identified shoreline jurisdiction, or unless such actions cause a major adverse impact to runoff and diversion of stormwater or streams, erosion, risk of landslide, infiltration of pollution into ground water, or other major adverse impacts to safety and security of the property or adjacent properties, as determined by the Director.
(1) Emergency Removal. Removal of trees necessary to protect public safety or public or private property from imminent danger in response to emergencies declared by the City, County, State or Federal governments shall be allowed and in such cases the written approval requirement herein shall be waived and no tree replacement shall be required.
(2) Emergency Removal of an At-Risk Tree or Trees. Removal of an at-risk tree following a tree risk assessment and recommendation by a qualified arborist that the tree is a safety risk and should be removed. For a tree to be considered an at-risk tree it must be defective either in some part or as a whole, with risk for failure and a target that is threatened. Trees are declared at risk if a tree risk assessment has been completed and mitigation is required to prevent a failure from causing damage affecting the target. The City may, at its sole discretion and in consideration of ISA tree risk assessment guidance, waive the qualified arborist requirement if City staff conducts an on-site inspection and determines that a tree clearly and obviously constitutes a risk. City staff should consider the following conditions when conducting a tree risk assessment:
(a) Whether the tree is dead, diseased, decayed, dying, burned, or otherwise damaged;
(b) Whether the tree has multiple weak branch attachments, broken and/or hanging limbs;
(c) Whether the foliage is sparse and/or discolored;
(d) Whether there is evidence of root rot/exposed, undermined or pruned roots or a restricted root area;
(e) If leaning, what the degree of such lean is and whether roots are broken or the soil heaving or cracking;
(f) Whether the tree top is broken on conifers; and
(g) Whether there are targets such as buildings, parking, or traffic or pedestrian facilities below the tree and whether those target(s) can be moved.
Upon such inspection, staff may determine that further review by a qualified arborist is required before making a determination as to whether a tree constitutes a risk.
(3) Normal and Routine Maintenance of Existing Trees. Any normal and routine maintenance of existing trees, but not to include utility easements; provided, that said maintenance does not involve removal of healthy trees and is not detrimental to the health of any trees. Trenching or digging to a depth of greater than one foot within the critical root zone and tree topping is not allowed.
(4) Commercial and Wholesale Nurseries and Tree Farms. Removal of trees which are being grown within commercial and wholesale nurseries or tree farms to be sold as landscape or Christmas trees. No tree replacement shall be required.
(5) Removal of an invasive tree if located outside of a designated critical area and associated buffer, or outside shoreline jurisdiction. No tree replacement shall be required.
(6) Removal of a nuisance tree if located outside of a designated critical area and associated buffer, or outside shoreline jurisdiction. No tree replacement shall be required.
(7) Removal of Trees on City-Owned Property for Installation of Utilities and Public Facilities and/or Maintenance of Property. Removal of trees on any City-owned property, right-of-way, or tract for installation of any public infrastructure, including streets, utilities or public facilities, or for maintenance and operation of any existing facilities.
(8) Removal of trees where the trunks are located within 10 feet of an existing building that will remain on a site.
(9) The removal of three trees on lots less than or equal to 7,200 square feet and one additional tree for every 7,200 square feet of lot area up to a maximum of six significant trees per lot within a 36-month period.
(10) Removal of significant trees in emergency situations involving immediate danger to life or property or substantial fire hazards as determined by the City in its sole discretion. This includes trees damaged by fire, natural causes, or accidental damage caused by human interference. No tree replacement shall be required. (Ord. 02-21 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 05-20 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 04-08 § 2)